The new safe sex
How to have virtual sex while quarantined
Written by Zoë Kors
In the unprecedented days of a global pandemic, many of us find ourselves isolated from our partners in an effort to keep each other safe and healthy. Although it may not be top of mind in these precarious times, sex is part of a proper wellness plan with many physiological and psychological benefits. The hormones released during sexual arousal reduce stress, lower blood pressure and boost the immune system. Additionally, having sex provides an opportunity to nurture a relationship. Fortunately, technology is facilitating virtual sex when we are unable to do it the way in which we are accustomed.
What exactly is virtual sex and how do you do it?
Simply put, one or both of you will be masturbating in front of the camera in your phone or laptop while connected on a video call. Just like regular sex, there are infinite ways this can look depending on the individuals involved. It’s up to you how much of yourself you reveal to the camera. Imagine showing your partner just your face as you pleasure yourself. That’s hot! Or maybe you are turned on by putting the camera between your legs for a close up of the main action. As long as it’s mutually consensual, there is plenty of opportunity to get creative. Because there's also plenty of opportunity for vulnerability and clumsiness, below are some guidelines to help you handle yourself in the brave new world of virtual sex.
Figure out what your boundaries are
Using a device with a screen to create physical intimacy is a completely different experience to being with someone in person. The best place to start is to figure out where your boundaries are. On your own, consider the following questions:
- What about the idea of virtual sex are you comfortable with?
- What do you find exciting?
- What are you hesitant about and why?
- How much of your body are you willing to show?
- Are you willing to take requests from your partner?
- How do you feel about making requests from them?
The more you explore your internal limits and feelings in advance, the more likely you will be able to stay present and comfortable in the actual experience.
Find out what your partner’s boundaries are
Encourage your partner to do the same exploration for themselves by prompting a discussion about it. I highly recommend doing this well in advance of the actual session so that you can both process and revisit your own and each other’s thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. You want the space to be as clear of emotional clutter as possible when you get there.
Choose a platform, set the scene
Think of preparing in three ways: choosing an online platform, setting the scene and getting yourself ready.
- Skype, FaceTime, Zoom or Google Hangouts are all popular digital venues. You’ll want to agree on one and test it out before the actual date. Technical troubleshooting is a total buzzkill you’ll want to avoid.
- Many of the things you would do to set the scene if you were both in the room are tricky in the digital world. Candlelight creates a sexy vibe but may not provide enough light for you and your partner to see each other. If you want to be accompanied by your favorite playlist, choose in advance which one of you will cue it up.
- Choose something to wear that makes you feel sexy. It’s not so much about what your partner thinks, but how you feel. If you have decided you don’t want to be fully naked or prefer to reveal one body part at a time, think about what kind of garment will allow that. Perhaps you’ll want to make a ritual out of getting ready by taking a bath, pouring your favorite beverage or playing music that gets you in the mood.
Foreplay, think different
What we normally think of as foreplay looks a little bit different in the virtual world. The role of foreplay in an in-person sexual encounter is to build anticipation and arousal. The same is true in the virtual world but in the absence of touch, you will need to rely on words and pictures. Sexy conversation, a slow reveal of body parts or both can be an effective way delivering on the purpose of foreplay.
You might have no problem reaching orgasm during virtual sex (after all, you know how to touch yourself for optimal pleasure) but don’t be surprised if you find that you are camera shy. It’s best to approach a virtual sex session with no expectations of either partner reaching orgasm. If you approach this new venue as a laboratory in which you are experimenting, you will simply be gathering information about what does and doesn’t work for you. In any case, be prepared for the any of the following scenarios to play out:
- You reach orgasm and your partner doesn’t
- Your partner reaches orgasm and you don’t
- Both you and your partner reach orgasm at different times. The partner who comes first keeps the action going long enough to support their partner in coming
- Both you and your partner come at the same time
- Neither you nor your partner reach orgasm
Just like with regular sex, orgasm is not the goal of sex. The journey itself is the destination. Let your virtual route be filled with pleasure, fun, adventure and intimacy!