Advice

Five Hard-Earned Rules For Effective Skype Sex

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What I've learned from long hours of practice.

I'm a lucky woman. I've had a wealth of sexual experience, and learned many wonderful and terrible things from many wonderful and terrible people. But I recently started having semi-regular Skype sex, and realized that I hadn't felt this sexually inept since I was a terrified teenager. I'm seeing a person who a) is a photographer and b) lives in a different country and c) is far more visual than me. So I've had to shift my sex gears. I'm now relearning intimacy through a whole new medium.

Skype sex is a strange experience. It's not like being right there with someone, but it also doesn't let your imagination run wild like phone sex or sending dirty emails; it's some whole new thing, with its own drawbacks and its own distinct pleasures. I'm still figuring it all out, but here are a few tips I've learned from my foray into this brave new world of e-humping.

1. Be sure to vocalize.

Skype sex is like watching porn that stars a person who (hopefully) you know for real, who's aware that you're watching them. It's like porn you direct and co-star in, which is both exciting and nerve-wracking. Having an encouraging person on the other end is invaluable. If my partner weren't reassuring me I was hot, it would just make me feel weird. Like, do I need to be here? Or would YouPorn work just as well? (Am I just a set of naked pixels for you to put your sex feelings into?)

It's scary to be that vulnerable, so make sure you appreciate your partner out loud. Even though you might be thinking, "My God, those are the greatest pectoral muscles in the history of pectoral muscles," there's no way for your partner to know that unless you spit it out. You lose nothing by making someone feel good.

2. Screenshots are a privilege, not a right.

Since you're clearly not near your partner, a little keepsake for the lonely times is nice. But before you take a screenshot, make sure your boundaries are clear. Personally, I couldn't care less if there are naked pictures of me on the internet, since there already are naked pictures of me on the internet. But that's a minority experience.

Skype and most other video chat services include a little picture of you nested in the big picture of the person you're chatting with. That's nice, because it means that if you try to screengrab their bits, you're going to get your bits all up in the photo, too. (Granted, if you're really a criminal mastermind, you could crop it out, but let's call it a deterrent.) Mostly, don't be a dick. Someone is sharing something intimate with you. Respect that.

If it really makes you uncomfortable (remember: nothing dies on the internet. Hi, Mom!), maybe avoid Skype sex. The person you're all twitterpated over could turn out to be a jerk. If you're cool with that risk, know that you're in charge of what your partner sees. You can always opt out of including your face in the frame. That way, if anybody else sees it, you can deny it, because it's just a bunch of faceless body parts floating around on a screen. Famous people pull that denying-naked-photos trick all the time.

3. Embrace exhibitionism.

It's widely held that men are visually stimulated and women don't know how to use their eyeballs except to look at shoes and children and housework. If the success of Magic Mike, and the subsequent Channing_Tatum_stripping.gif explosion (I was doing research, okay?), is any indication, ladies like to stare at hot bodies, too. It helps if you get excited by showing off your own body, and are eager to stare longingly at the bod of your person of choice.

Lots of advice about Skype sex will tell you that lighting and posing are very important because you want to look your best for your audience. I think it's more that you want to feel attractive in your own skin. So pose a bit in front of your own camera. Figure out what you're comfortable with. Make sure that overhead light doesn't make you look like you're in jail. (Unless you are in jail.)

I like my body. I like the way it looks, but I mostly like it for the pleasure it brings me. It's taken me a long time and a lot of work to feel that way about myself, and I'm lucky that I finally do. It makes me especially happy that my partner's happy looking at me. It's likely that your partner already finds you attractive and wants to look at you. Otherwise, why are they wasting their time and your time? If you can't find confidence in any other aspect of Skype sex, find confidence in that.

4. Dirty talk is easy.

In we're-in-the-same-room sex, there's a simple formula for effective dirty talking. One, say what you're going to do. Two, say what you're doing. Three, say what you just did. Now, on Skype, it's a little trickier, because all you can really say is what you want to do (and what you're doing to yourself). But that can be hot, too! There's a bit of a learning curve when getting comfortable with dirty talk, but porn can help. Nothing coming out of the mouths of porn actors is poetic or complex. It's mostly just, "Oh yeah, baby. You like it when I do it like that? Yeah, you like that." It's not, you know, rhetorically sophisticated, but it works.

5. Having sex via the internet doesn't excuse you from tenderness.

Call me a girl, but lying there after most kinds of sex with people I like, I want to check in with my partner, talk to them, find out about their day, their dreams, make them laugh or see if they can make me laugh. You know, communication. Developing intimacy. Verbal cuddling, or somesuch. So even on Skype, it's considerate to follow up, especially after the first time. Send a quick text/email/gchat/phone call/postcard the next day — "That was fun!" should do it.

And speaking of which, have fun! This is not serious work. It's okay to giggle or fuck up or whatever. Remember, you're going to be moving your laptop around to get a better angle of your genitals, so I wouldn't worry too much about keeping a straight face.

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