Yet another amazing thing your phone can do for you.

By Mia Cross
January 21, 2021
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Social distancing has made sexual activity pretty difficult (if not impossible) for many people. But you don't have to be skin-to-skin with your partner to have great sex. FaceTime sex (or sex via Skype or Google Hangouts or Zoom or whatever you want to use) might be your only option—or, at least, the safest—until social distancing restrictions are dropped, which won't be anytime soon. So here's how to have FaceTime sex, and what to know about it to make it hot AF.

Benefits of FaceTime sex

"FaceTime sex is a great way to be intimate without risking getting COVID-19—or an STI, for that matter," certified sex coach, sexologist, and SKYN sex and intimacy expert Gigi Engle tells Health. "And it can be just as fun as real sex. You get to see how your partner likes to touch themselves and vice versa, which is excellent for figuring out exactly what will get them off during IRL sex."

In fact, if it was up to Engle, we'd all have FaceTime sex before we had IRL. "It gives us a chance to see if we have chemistry and if the other person is a good match for us," she explains. "You don't get the benefits of learning if you like their smell or their favorite sex positions, but you get a chance to see how comfortable they are sexually, if they like dirty talk, and how adventurous they are. It's sort of sneak-peak into who they are as a sexual person without investing a lot of time and energy. Let's face it, getting ready for IRL sex is a lot of work. It's better to know if it's worth it."

Preparing for FaceTime sex: lighting and camera angles

While spur-of-the-moment sex is great—like your partner happens to call when you're home alone and starts in with the pillow talk ASAP—it pays to prepare when you're planning a FaceTime session. First, set yourself up some sexy lighting. "You can use the FaceTime camera without actually talking to someone," Engle says, so check yourself out first before calling your partner. "Set yourself in a place you find flattering in your house, and be sure you're not backlit by a window, which can wash out your face." This is where the ring light you use to look professional in work video chats can come in handy.

There are no rules when it comes to wardrobe—just wear something that makes you feel hot. "You don't need to be in lingerie to look sexy," Engle says. "It's about what makes you feel sexiest." This is crucial during phone sex, especially if you're new to it. If you feel your best, you'll enjoy it more—whether that means being stark naked or in a T-shirt and shorts.

Apart from yourself, think about what else you want in the camera view. Remember, the person you're talking to can view everything that's there, so make sure it's what you want them to see, says Marla Renee Stewart, sex expert at Lovers adult wellness brand and retailer. A pile of dirty laundry, for example, might not set the scene you're hoping for.

If you're still anxious about it, "it also helps to do something you love right before the experience so that you can feel more relaxed and happy," Stewart says, That could be anything from taking a long bath, texting friends, or binging a show you like—whatever puts you in a good frame of mind.

Stewart also recommends you gather all the necessary accoutrements, like a pillow, towels, toys, lube, and anything else you want to use to enhance the experience, so you don't have to get up in the middle of FaceTime foreplay to find your favorite vibrator. "Make sure they are within reach," she says.

FaceTime-Sex_AdobeStock_368019736
Credit: Adobe Stock

Wait—there's more prep. Before you get into position, consider a couple of things. "Make sure the angle is flattering and your partner can see all the good bits (e.g. your breasts and clitoris)," Engle says.

But it's harder than you might think. She suggests using a laptop, as the camera angle is much wider than a cellphone. "When you use a cellphone, you have to hold it from above to get everything in the frame, and it makes your arm tired," she explains. She recommends placing the laptop next to you on the bed (if you sit it on top of a few pillows it will be higher than you are), then adjust it so everything is in view and you feel comfortably sexy. Engle also suggests investing in a tripod and a ring light, which can help you look more flattering and keep you from constantly having to adjust the light.

Finally, make sure your Wi-Fi is working well. "Nothing is more unsexy or frustrating like a stalled video or a horrible connection," Stewart says.

FaceTime foreplay and sex positions

Getting started with FaceTime sex can feel awkward, even if you and your partner have a pretty hot IRL sex life. You might want to start easing into it with some dirty talk or by doing a striptease, then step things up by touching yourself in slo-mo or fast moves, flashing your sexiest parts, or doing extreme closeups of body parts you really want your partner to see.

When it comes to positions, whatever makes you feel good is totally fine. Because you and your partner aren't actually having sex, you don't have to consider whether they're physically comfortable or not. So do whatever turns you on: You can go with standard positions like lying on your back and touching yourself with your hands, or getting on your hands and knees and using one hand to stimulate yourself with a vibrator from behind. You can masturbate to orgasm while your partner watches, then switch up and watch your partner do the same...or try to orgasm at the same time.

Whether you're a FaceTime sex newbie or have done it before, it's natural to feel a little nervous about things in the middle of the action, even if you're way turned on and close to orgasm. "Try to relax and breathe, and the more prepared you are for the experience, the better you will feel about how it all goes down," Stewart says. Sure it's weird to be getting sexy on a screen, but the more you lean into the experience, the easier it'll be.

If you're shy, Engle suggests placing the laptop next to you so that your partner can only see the side of your body, rather than a full-frontal shot. "It's really about whatever feels best for you," she says.

Risks to know about

Just like regular sex, FaceTime sex comes with some risks. "There's always a possibility that your partner will record the screen or take photos," Engle says. "These are things that don't need to deter you, but you should discuss this possibility and talk about how violating it would be. No one should go into this blind. Be in a clear state of mind."

Engle also advises against revealing personal information if you're doing it with somebody you don't know (or completely trust). "Don't send nudes with your face in them—there's no reason why your face needs to be in a nude photo," she warns. "Keep in mind that tattoos can also be big signifiers, so try to avoid having any of them in nude photos, too." And it goes without saying that you should follow the same rules about giving out personal info as you would if you were having sex with someone you don't know IRL, like where you live and work....unless you're sure (really sure) it's someone you can trust.

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