Cybersex

Staying intimate apart during the pandemic and beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a hiccup in romantic plans over the last two years. Even without the pandemic, many Dal students travel from other provinces or countries for school, leaving partners behind. 

In a world where we can’t always be together, how do we stay intimate with our romantic partners? Try cybersex.

I’m not talking about sending your partner the cat, peach, or eggplant emoji (By the way, eggplant, really?). I’m talking about real, old-fashioned cybersex. 

What is cybersex and where did it come from?

According to the article “A History of Cybersex: Dirty Talk, Chat Rooms, and Addictions” in The Cut, the initial rise of cybersex dawned in the early ‘90s. At the time, AIDS infection was high, and the digital world offered some sexual reprieve from the fear of STIs. 

More likely, the popularity of cybersex stemmed from the growing popularity of the internet in the ‘90s, paired with digital anonymity. 

Cybersex involved a lot of description, dirty talk and fantasy. Think phone sex, before phones had cameras, but typing it out online.

Now, digital sex, sexting, and everything that goes along with it feel just another branch of standard sexuality. But there are ways to be more intimate than texting “Send noodz.” 

I can’t speak on behalf of womankind, but for me, the only noodz I want are in a bowl covered in Szechuan chili sauce. That said, tasteful boudoir-style photos can certainly make things interesting, without the risk of having the whole enchilada winding up on the internet somewhere.

Getting intimate from a distance

I’m not one to flaunt my sex life, not that there’s anything wrong with sex. I mean, as Sex and the City’s Miranda Hobbs puts it in “The Ick Factor”:

“I have a child. The jig is up!”

Obviously, I have sex. And my husband and I aren’t always together. It’s not a long-distance affair, but I have a few ideas on how to shake things up and get things tingling when you can’t reach out and touch someone.

My advice to those apart is to forget the short form emojis and instant gratification nude photography. Instead, get intimate. 

Intimacy is closeness, something private between sexual or romantic partners. Being intimate should evoke feelings, emotional or otherwise. So, how do you get intimate while you’re apart? 

For me, vulnerability plays a big part in building a real relationship. If you can’t be with your partner in person, you can still be vulnerable. Sharing sexual fantasies, describing naughty dreams, even talking about future plans for intimate acts when next you meet are all great ways to fuel that sexual fire without touch. 

Be spontaneous

A problem I think some long-distance couples encounter is monotony. Even exciting things grow dull with repetition. 

If you want to be successful with a mainly virtual sex life, you need to be spontaneous. Again, I may not speak from a long-distance relationship perspective, but I can definitely speak from a long-term relationship perspective. 

My husband and I have been together for nearly 11 years. I can tell you, the mystery is long gone. Fortunately, you can replace mystery with surprise, and I’m full of surprises. 

Don’t wait for a scheduled video call or goodnight text to mention you’re feeling frisky. I say put it out there in the moment and see what comes back. 

For someone who isn’t expecting to open Facebook Messenger and see the plot of 50 Shades of Gray, reading about last night’s erotic dream could be a pleasant surprise. 

Of course, random sexts sometimes spell disaster. Mark your sexts with something telling, like, “NSFW!”, or “For your eyes only. Seriously, you’ll regret it if your roommate reads this,” before sending. You’ll thank me later.

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