Here’s what sex is really like in a long-distance relationship

My boyfriend and I live a two hour plane ride apart, and we only see each other every two to three weeks. It’s my first serious attempt at a long-distance relationship, and many aspects of it can be extraordinarily difficult. For most couples, simple, daily activities like breakfast, laundry, and Netflix are givens. For us, those are the parts of a relationship we crave — simple interactions that create normalcy. We envy couples that have shared routines. That means that when we’re together, putting sheets on the bed is an event. Buying groceries can be the highlight of our day. And we’ve found that sex works similarly in our relationship.

After a few months in a typical relationship, seeing each other naked becomes commonplace, and the urgency to be intimate fades over time. We’ve been together for more than a few months, but the distance between our beds and our bods means that we haven’t had quite that same experience. We’ve learned that while long-distance relationships are hard, having hundreds of miles between you and your partner can actually have a mind-blowing effect on your sex life.

Here’s how we work through the sexual tension, frustration, and reunions:

We talk about it. A lot.

Because we spend a huge amount of time texting, emailing, and chatting on the phone, we’ve cover a lot of ground when it comes to sex — including our preferences and our plans for next time. It helps that I feel completely comfortable with him, but I think the opportunity to spell out what’s going to happen in our next sesh allows us to better use our imaginations and explore new territory in our own sexualities. And it’s not just dirty talk — we share articles and insights, we evaluate our experiences together and weed out anything that isn’t working, and most importantly, we discuss how our sex life affirms and supports the relationship we’re working to sustain, even though we can’t be geographically close at the moment. It means that we have a lot of time to ensure that we’re on the same page, and that we’re both getting what we need.

Let’s be real — we’ve gotten used to feelin’ ourselves…

…and sometimes, we share the experience. Of course, dry spells can be difficult whether or not you’re in a relationship, but it’s especially infuriating when you know you could be with the person you love — if only you could teleport to their bed. But at the same time, getting down over the phone or Skype gives us a different perspective. It means that by necessity, we’re being vocal about what’s turning us on, and if we’re including visuals, that gives us information about each other’s fantasies. Sometimes, witnessing your partner do their thing themselves can be just as sexy as actually being together physically, and you can learn a lot about how to better pleasure each other in the future. Not to mention that masturbation gives you the knowledge and vocabulary to better communicate with your partner about your own needs. We’ve built an incredible foundation for discussing our bodies and our sweet spots.

When we end up in the same city, we have a lot of sex.

And we agree — it’s sex like neither of us has ever had before. We’ve discussed the fact that we’ve both always been fairly sexual people, but nothing has come close to this. When we’re together, we usually end up having sex at least three times per day. It’s not something we plan for, but I think there’s part of each of us that knows the clock is ticking. We also try new things — some things I’ve never considered doing in previous relationships. But with him, nothing he could ask for would scare me away, and vice versa. And that’s because of our communication — we’ve created a safe space to say “no” if we did want to. And everything comes together – all of the tension, planning, and anticipation means we’re on fire, but it’s combined with an incredible amount of intimacy and marvel. Missing each other for weeks at a time means that we just cannot get close enough. Finally, I understand why sex is revered as the thing that solidifies a union; if nothing else, I’m grateful that the distance between us has elucidated that most profound closeness.

Of course, I’d love to think that we’ll keep up the frequency even when we do share a roof and a bed. But if I’m being honest, there’s a zero percent chance my body could sustain the three-a-day groove we’ve got going now. So as much as I love our time together as it is currently, I am more than ready for the day when we no longer live in different states. Distance is stressful and complicated, and being together so often that sex becomes routine will honestly be an incredible relief.

In the meantime — hot damn.

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