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Can I Do A Long Distance Relationship Without Sexting?

This article is NSFW.

The biggest challenge in a long distance relationship, arguably, is the lack of physical intimacy. You may very well be counting the days until you can share a bed with your long distance partner. C and I did that all the time.

Sexting each other is a good alternative while you wait to reunite. Some dirty talk here and a private photo there can certainly help to keep things spicy. It’ll help keep each of you in the forefront of each other’s minds.

However, what if—for whatever reason—it’s not possible or appealing to either of you? Can your long distance relationship survive without sexting?

The short answer is: yes, it can be done. My wife and I did just that.

I’m new to this whole thing—what is sexting?

Credit: teddy

Sexting is “sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs, or images, primarily between mobile phones, of oneself to others”. It’s an official Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary word since 2012.

Sexting is a great way to stimulate the passion between the two of you. It’s an effective tool to use while you’re apart from each other. If you both have active imaginations, a colorful exchange can really set off a spark between the two of you. It can give you something to look forward to, either on your next video or audio chat, or when you see each other in person.

The spontaneity of a sex message is powerful as well. Sharing your intimate thoughts or photos, especially when it’s unanticipated, can highlight your own desire for them and make your partner feel desired and wanted.

For those of you with a strong sexual appetite, sexting will be a core part of your communication with your long distance partner.

A study by Superdrug found that the majority of its respondents in an active long distance relationship engaged in sexting (averaging just under 8 times a month). This is followed by phone sex (at the same frequency) and then physical sex (at half the rate).

Reasons you may not want to do sexting

Credit: mikoto.raw

Some of you might find that you’re just not interested in sexting, and that’s totally fine. Just like in a geographically-close relationship, sexting each other can be purely down to individual or couple’s preference. Here are some reasons you may not want to sext your partner:

1. It just doesn’t do anything for you

For some people, the idea of thinking up sexy scenarios, imaginative phrases, or maintaining a steady stream of sexual imagery by tapping away at their phone keyboard couldn’t be further from a good time.

It can be particularly grating if you’re just not in the mood. And if your partner insists on engaging in some cybersex when you’re feeling this way, you may end up like this woman eating in bed and watching TV while responding to her boyfriend every so often.

For me personally, I always found sexting to be a colder form of communication. It just didn’t do anything for me, and I preferred using other methods of remote sexual play.

2. You’re not confident or comfortable doing it

Another possibility is that you might not be comfortable at writing this sort of stuff. It may feel awkward, or you have trouble thinking up of things to say.

If your heart isn’t behind those messages, you might feel that your messages will miss the mark.

Also, if your partner doesn’t respond well to your messages (or doesn’t respond at all) that can also discourage you from sending that sexy message or pic.

3. You’re worried about sharing and privacy

Chances are you’ve seen news articles or heard horror stories about women who had shared intimate pictures of themselves being victims of revenge porn, or having their accounts hacked and their nudes leaked on public websites.

It’s a real concern. It was one of the main motivators for me and C to refrain from engaging in too much sexting.

Unfortunately, as soon as we send something out into the Internet, it’s pretty much out there for good. Messages and photos can be easily replicated and saved. It can be extremely difficult to take them back or take them offline entirely. There are plenty of bad actors out there that intend to get photos or information like that and abuse that trust.

You may feel that you are relinquishing control of your photos and messages once you send them out into the world. You shouldn’t feel pressured into sending anything you’re not comfortable with.

4. Health reasons

There’s also the possibility that you might not be fully engaged sexually because you have a low libido, or other health related reasons. If that’s the case for you, make sure your partner knows so they don’t feel like you’re purposely ignoring their sexting efforts.

Will not sexting hurt my relationship?

When my wife and I were apart, we would count the days until we could share a bed. We’d talk about all the things that we wanted to do once we were there, and how much we missed each other’s bodies.

However, we rarely (if ever) actually sexted each other. The main reason for us was that we weren’t comfortable with keeping intimate content like that on our phones.

The same study by Superdrug I mentioned earlier found that sexting didn’t necessarily correlate with a successful long distance relationship. The average number of sexting sessions between couples that reunited and couples that broke up was about the same.

Sexting definitely isn’t a requirement to maintain a healthy long distance relationship. I did a quick search through Reddit, and other long distance relationship couples also noted that they weren’t into sexting or even phone sex either. They ran into various issues, like being frustrated at making love to a phone screen, or failing to get into a good rhythm. 

Ultimately, it’s down to how comfortable you both feel about initiating sexual contact at a distance. If you’re both okay with saving sexy times for your next visit, then don’t feel bad for neglecting to share naughty messages.

If you’d rather not have anything saved in a chat history, or you’re nervous about photos of yourself floating around out there, let your partner know and set those expectations.

One of you may insist on sexting. If so, you could both set some ground rules, like:

  • Deleting photos and messages immediately afterwards
  • Only using apps that allow access to photos and messages temporarily, like Snapchat.

Alternatives to personal sexting

Abstaining from personal sexting doesn’t mean that you can’t engage in other kinds of intimacy. You’ll need to be a little creative, but here are some thoughts:

1. Set up an alternate chat account, and keep things anonymous

If you’re worried about privacy, consider this. Rather than using your everyday chat account and risking others stumbling across your chat history, you could create an alternate chat account on a different app and keep all of your private messages there instead. It’s more work juggling between two apps, but it’ll keep things separated to minimize the possibility of prying eyes. Plus, seeing a notification for intimate messages coming through that particular app can set your heart racing.

2. Use adult material

If you’d rather not send photos of yourself, why not send someone else to convey how you feel? There are a wealth of GIFs and animations out there from various adult websites you can share. You can also search for X-rated GIFs on repositories like Giphy (NSFW) for some tasteful erotica.

3. Turn to Skype sex

Credit: cottonbro

If you find it hard to get into the moment of sexting, or you’re unsure of when is a good time to express your intimacy, your video or audio chat sessions will be your best bet. 

Go with whatever makes you both feel comfortable. Talk with your partner if you’d rather set a specific time for it when you both know that you won’t be disturbed, or you’d prefer it be on the spur of the moment. 

It can feel a little strange at first trying to express yourself sexually to a phone or a webcam, but practice makes perfect. If you’re nervous, turn to things that’ll relax you. Scented candles, sensual music, a nice full glass of wine…anything that’ll lower your inhibitions.

Make sure you both have privacy and won’t be interrupted, and set boundaries and ground rules with each other. 

4. Make use of advanced toys

While you’re engaging in video sex, using toys like dildos, strokers, and vibrators are great physical aids to help in your sessions.

However, these days you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to remote-controlled sex toys. If you feel that you want to have more control over giving pleasure to your partner, these options might just be the ticket.

Many of them can be controlled using a phone app. Some sex toy designs are quite discrete (like this one or this vibrator), allowing you to wear them while you’re out and about, with your partner controlling them on the other end. There are even some that are musically activated!

Finally, there are machines available  that are remotely controlled and simulate rhythmic penetration. Admittedly they look like they’d take up a lot of space, require some initial setup, and are not cheap. However, if you really want to take your remote sex game to the next level, you’ll definitely get there with this.

5. See each other more regularly

At the end of the day, nothing beats the real thing! 

If it’s feasible for both of you, try to make more room in your calendars to schedule visits and spend more time with each other. You’ll both be happier for it, both emotionally and physically.

And if it’s not feasible to see each other regularly…it’s not the end of the world. Remember, many other couples are going through the same thing. Talk with your partner and settle on what will make both of you happy…and have fun!