Skype sex: elation, masturbation, frustration

Anonymous Long-distance relationships: the wonders of modern technology make them much easier than ever before. Instead of waiting weeks for a letter from the front lines of Europe, there are any number of video chat services which allow you to see your darling at any hour of the day.

They also will always fail you when it comes to one specific, intimate aspect: sex.

When all you can do is gaze longingly across 1,980.13 miles, two time zones, and the sorry excuse for an internet connection that is Claremont WPA, any convenience afforded by real-time conversation is overshadowed by the fact that you can’t even hold your sweetheart’s hand. Making matters worse, your super obnoxious, 20-something sex drive never seems to leave you alone.

Masturbation is, for most of us, a very personal thing. While we (meaning I) might talk about how we masturbate or what we masturbate to without hesitation, I think most people I know would rather not jack off in front of another person. And up until fairly recently, I would have counted myself among those who would never—EVER—take off my clothes on camera.

But 2,000 miles!

So I guess you could call me a bit of a convert. Skype sex (meaning mutual masturbation over any video chat service, really) can be a really good thing for long-distance couples. The horniness can be kept at bay, and while masturbating alone is important and healthy, it can be downright lonely when you know there’s someone out there who would gladly jump your bones if you weren’t halfway across the continent. So touching yourself and talking with your honey on camera can be a nice way to keep the fire going until you can see each other again.

But it also definitely has its pitfalls. Aside from the more harmless annoyances like getting tangled up in your headphones or your partner turning into a Lego person when the connection goes bad, the internet can be a shady place filled with terrible people who know how to take screen shots and upload them to imgur.

That very rational concern of having photos of my o-face all over the Internet made me very wary of Skype sex at first. Soon, though, I became more comfortable with my partner and with the idea of masturbating in front of someone, and I’ve found that Skype sex can actually be kind of fun.

First, it’s a great break from porn. Generally, I try to be very critical about the media and society around me, so porn can be downright depressing to watch. While watching someone I love get themselves all hot and bothered and mussed up isn’t as enjoyable as doing it to them myself, watching them enjoy my body and their own is better than any porn on the market. Being and feeling as sexy as a porn star without being pressured to look or act like one is pretty great.

Second, the mishaps are hilarious to recount. Like the time a “miscommunication” had me giving the camera a close-up of an area that, well, maybe shouldn’t have been given a close-up. Or the look of terror on my partner’s face as they slipped on discarded clothes and tumbled to the ground. Or praying to the Internet gods—Al Gore, Steve Jobs, NASA, who the hell cares?—before beginning that the Internet will last at least until we’ve both orgasmed. Or when my partner has to gently remind me to adjust my camera angle because they can’t see my boobs. Or when what sounds like a circus parades past my door just as we start getting close. Or when your partner dashes off to pee and comes back to find you no longer horny and instead playing Angry Birds. The list goes on.

While Skype sex can be infuriating and even embarrassing, it can also be fun, exciting, and healthy, if done right. And though not being able to snuggle when it’s all said and done is a bummer, I recommend leaving Skype on when you fall asleep. Though it’s a little bittersweet, seeing your partner’s face first thing in the morning might make you forget, if only for a second, that you are even apart in the first place.