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Re-Inventing Phone Sex: One Way to Make Long Distance Relationships (A Little) Better

By HERWriter
 
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I recently noticed an interesting and confusing phenomenon. Perhaps it’s because I am just out of college and people my age want to hang on to the vestiges of university romances, but it feels like a large percentage of the people I meet are in long-distance relationships. I’m both intrigued and disturbed by this. What is it about long-distance that has suddenly become sexy to young people? Do we truly believe that services like the Internet and smart phones have made long distance more tolerable? Do we thrive on the promise of sexual tension? Do we crave the opportunity to “really get to know each other’s personalities?” Or is long distance simply a context that allows us to more easily cheat? Perhaps all of the above are true.

In any case – there are some important things to note about trekking through the often painful and always confusing wasteland of cross-country (or inter-country!) dating. I won’t waste time suggesting that thoughtful communication with your partner is the most essential ingredient to your survival, because this point is common sense. Similarly, I won’t take up space advising you to focus on balancing your life to make meaningful time for a far-away lover and local friendships, giving each realm of your life the attention, effort and love they deserve. I certainly won’t assume you need to be reminded that patience and compromise are crucial frameworks for enhancing your locationally-challenged relationship, or that equal parts of active listening and self-reporting in conversations will limit frustration or misunderstanding. And obviously, I won’t begin to mention the absolute necessity of maintaining an open mind toward your partner, toward the situation, toward the future and toward alternative paths – I don’t want to bore you.

So let’s bring it back to what we do best – sex (or at least the next best thing):

It’s time to re-invent your concept of phone sex. Suppress your brain’s immediate urge to conjure trashy 1990s-era images of scantily dressed women whispering pick-up lines into a phone.

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EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Dear Writer,

This is still my favorite piece you've ever written ever. Still, re-reading it just raises more questions for this reader.

Can we ever call phone sex "sex?" or is it just mutual masturbation? Certainly there involves some "reaching out" to each other and touching/connecting with each other during "phone sex" but will two people ever be able to replace the magic that tactile, hand-to-hand contact gives us?

Questions of technology are also raised. In a world where the number of gadgets (no pun intended) increases everyday, does this lend us as lovers newfound possibilities for loving? Or just more distracting choices that get in the way of our instinctive need to screw.

Also, how are two people supposed to successfully phone-do each other if one of them is deaf and one of them is blind? Ok, this question is more philosophical than anything...

I guess my point is that phone-sex seems like an even harder thing to do for two people who had their in-person chemistry down pat than it is for two strangers who are each looking for a thrill.

I would be interested to hear more discussions on casual phone-sex versus committed phone-sex. I would also be interested to hear other readers' comments on phone-sex versus cyber-sex versus skype-sex.

With real love on this end of the line,
Reader

November 11, 2010 - 11:17am
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

Thank you, reader/writer!

I love all of your questions - it seems to me like you should be writing for empowHER yourself! I agree, phone-sex is potentially a misnomer or a romanticization of mutual masturbation. However, I think you put your finger right on the slight difference when you mentioned the "reaching out" component of the call. Being able to participate in rewarding phone sex requires that a couple knows each other, can listen to each other carefully and can communicate wants/needs to each other effectively. It requires more than just self-centered gratification, which masturbation (whether in the presence of others or not) implies. I'm sure you are right that phone sex would be a different phenomena when held between 2 strangers and a committed couple, just like a one night stand is different than sex with a partner.
In response to your question about gadgets, as well as in terms of long-distance romance in general, I definitely believe that nothing will replace the magic of actual, intimate touch. But if it could, perhaps touch wouldn't be so magical!

Keep your comments coming, and thank you again!
Hannah

November 11, 2010 - 1:40pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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