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15 Ways To Maintain Your Sex Life From Afar

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While there are many untold upsides to being in a long-distance relationship, like the ability to choose where you live and have a place to yourself, one challenge that comes with the territory is maintaining your sex life when you and your partner are apart. Fortunately, thanks largely to technology, physical distance doesn't have to make you sexually distant. So, if you aren't currently near each other, for any reason, rest assured there are ways to remain close.

"LDRs can feel more challenging because you don’t have the luxury or convenience of being side by side or a quick Lyft ride away from one another, but that doesn’t have to be detrimental to your bond," sex educator Anne Hodder tells Bustle. In fact, it might even make it stronger, Hodder says, because you have to work extra hard to stay connected.

So, don't let distance get in the way. "Maintaining some kind of sexual contact is important for two reasons," Jonathan Bennett, a certified counselor and dating expert with Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle, "First, it can keep the romantic side of your relationship alive while separated. Second, it can provide needed stress relief to help with the difficulties that can occur during physical separation."

Here are some tips to try if you and your partner want to keep your sex life alive, even though you're apart.

1
Use Teledildonic Toys
Ashley Batz/Bustle

Fortunately for couples in LDRs, you don't have to be in the same room to sexually stimulate each other. How do you accomplish that with miles between you? Through teledildonic toys, of course. OhMiBod's Bluemotion Nex 1- 2nd Generation, Club Vibe 3.OH Panty Vibe, and Fuse can all be controlled remotely via an app. We-Vibe's Sync also connects to an app that lets you and your partner video chat, so you can experience sex with all your senses.

2
Exchange NSFW Films

What's just as hot as (or even hotter than) looking into each other's eyes during sex? Watching each other masturbate. And this activity can be enjoyed whether you're geographically close or far apart. If you're shy about being naked on video, Astroglide's resident sexologist Dr. Jess O'Reilly suggests filming yourself in the dark or just recording your voice. "Filming yourself in the throes of solo passion might be too intimidating, so consider sending a very short clip of your self-pleasure session filmed in the dark," she tells Bustle. "Your lover will benefit from the sounds, and the lack of a clear picture helps to build mystery and anticipation."

3
Leave Behind Sexy Surprises When You Visit

Catch your partner off guard by leaving a pair of underwear, your signature perfume, or a dirty love note at their place as you depart, Dr. Jess says. That way, they'll be able to enjoy your company even in your absence.

4
Use A Couples' App

Couples' apps like Couple, We Did It, and Happy Couple help couples stay connected and get to know each other long-distance, and more R-rated ones like Desire help keep the spark alive. Dr. Jess recommends InTheMood for couples who want to flirt and communicate their desires across long distances. "You’ll likely find you’re more playful and at ease if you use a separate app, as opposed to texting sweet nothings in between practical messages," she says.

5
Write Your Own Erotica

Instead of searching erotica sites for masturbation material, how about creating your own that both of you can enjoy? It might even give you inspiration for when you're back together. Hodder suggests sending your stories to each other over snail mail if you want them to feel extra personalized.

6
Talk On WhatsApp

Using a different app than your usual messaging app can be a way to make things feel new. Hodder says, "It feels a little naughtier, or like you can role play with partners as though they’re flings or side pieces."

7
Enjoy A Mutual Masturbation Session
Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Mutual masturbation has lots of benefits, like teaching each other what you like and enjoying sexual intimacy. And the best part is, apps like Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts let you do it from anywhere. "Allowing each other to laugh and feel weird about it at first" will help dissolve the tension, says Hodder.

And, of course, don't focus just on the sex. "Remember that emotional connection is an important part of a strong sex life," says Hodder. "So don’t forget to communicate your dreams, ideas, excitement for the future, and what you love about your partner beyond their sexy parts."

8
Try Good, Old-Fashioned Phone Sex

If it's been a minute since you picked up the phone and gave each other a call, why not start there — and then see if it turns into phone sex. "It might seem like a flashback to the '80s and 90s, but it’s possible to get aroused using only your voices," Bennett says.

When you think about it, the sound of your partner's voice can actually be quite the turn-on. And yet it's often missing from everyday sexting.

Plus, "this can help you appreciate your partner for their words rather than physical traits," Bennett says, which will help you feel closer than ever.

9
Send Sexy Emails

If you're separated by distance, Bennett says, you may want to brighten each other's day by sending a few steamy photos via email, as a form of foreplay and teasing for real-life activities to come. Make sure it isn't anything too revealing (leave your face out of the photos, for instance) but show each other just enough to pique your interest.

You could even pop other surprises into the actual mail, including sultry gifts for one another. See if your partner would be OK with receiving a kinky gift from a sex shop, for instance, and promise to use it the moment you're reunited.

10
Hop On Skype

Just like WhatsApp, Skype allows you to do an easy video call any time you want. "It might be awkward at first," Bennett says, "but many people have found ways to make long distance sexual activity work over video."

Consider turning off the lights, if you're feeling shy, or angling the camera away from you to start. Or, if hate the idea of doing anything too sexy on camera, remember there are benefits to be had by simply look into each other's eyes.

"Look at your partner in silence, find that place in their eyes that feels ‘regular,’ that brings you comfort, that sparked those first feelings of love," Dr. Corey Jamison, a psychologist, tells Bustle. "No matter what is happening around you, re-connecting every day to that sacred space between you and your partner, that is yours alone, will keep you closer than the fanciest app out there."

11
Get To Know Each Other's Bodies

Get to know each other's bodies in an intimate way by purposefully taking time to "explore" while on Skype, Dr. Fran Walfish, a sex and relationship therapist, tells Bustle. "The adventure is a huge turn-on," she says. All you need to do to begin the process is to turn on your camera, disrobe, and start talking.

12
Have Meaningful Conversations

While sexy conversations can certainly be meaningful, don't forget to have discussions about your hopes, fears, and disappointments, too. Many times being vulnerable with someone, Walfish says, can lead to even better physical intimacy.

13
Slip Into Lingerie

Even though you aren't physically there to see each other, it doesn't mean you can't feel sexy in your finest lingerie.

You could even use your current privacy to wear lingerie you may not otherwise feel comfortable wearing in person, Elisabeth Goldberg, LMFT, a relationship therapist, tells Bustle.

From there, try masturbating at the same time, she says, or experiment with brainstorming new ideas for sexual fantasies, like talking dirty, using sex talks, etc.

"You can stay on the phone for hours and end up feeling more connected than if you were in person, distracted by work or technology," she says. "Attention is more focused on the relationship, so love will inevitably strengthen."

14
Make A Plan

While there are plenty of ways to have fun from afar, you can also use the time spent apart to (very sexily) plan what you'd like to do once you can meet up again. "The hope is that the absence of physical sex will make the libido grow stronger," Goldberg says.

15
Have A Sexy Convo

As Goldberg says, "Long distance allows couples the opportunity to talk about sex in a way they may be too shy or embarrassed to discuss in person." When you can't physically feel the nerves radiating off each other, conversation may flow more freely. Use this to your advantage by discussing fantasies, how your sex life is going thus far, and any changes you'd like to make.

And, of course, don't focus just on the sex. "Remember that emotional connection is an important part of a strong sex life," says Hodder. "So don’t forget to communicate your dreams, ideas, excitement for the future, and what you love about your partner beyond their sexy parts."

Experts:

Anne Hodder, sex educator

Jonathan Bennett, certified counselor and dating expert with Double Trust Dating

Dr. Jess O'Reilly, Astroglide's resident sexologist

Dr. Corey Jamison, psychologist

Dr. Fran Walfish, sex and relationship therapist

Elisabeth Goldberg, LMFT, relationship therapist

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