Jack, 29, only used to have FaceTime sex once or twice a month, but now is up to a few times a week. Like Ness, Jack is polyamorous and actually has five partners, so he has plenty of different folks to virtually have sex with. "With what's going on, it fills the [sexual] gap that otherwise would leave desires unfulfilled," he says.
Charyn, 46 is used to having sex over FaceTime. “Some of my partners are long-distance, so I’ve been dependent upon FaceTime sexing in order for our relationships to survive,” she says. However, before the pandemic hit, she would FaceTime sex maybe once a week. Now it’s at least every other day.
FaceTime sex can indicate many things, but at least for the people interviewed, it means mutual masturbation. That doesn't mean you watch the other person masturbate in silence (awkward!). You can talk dirty to your partner, have them switch positions, or change sex toys. In fact, FaceTime sex is a great way to dabble with a more dominant-submissive sexual dynamic. Tell your partner what it is you’d like them to do. Tell them to hold off on ejaculating before they orgasm. Get a little kinky.
You also don’t have to immediately whip out your dick or have your partner undress when you have FaceTime sex. “I have a lot of fun teasing the guys I’m FaceTiming,” says Ness. Often, she starts by just showing her partner her face, and slowly works her way down to the rest of her body. Other times, she focuses on a piece of lingerie or heels she knows her partner likes.
Jack seldom jumps right into the naughty stuff. He always starts by asking his partner about their day, so they feel more comfortable. “This leads to light flirting and teasing, and eventually showing each other our bodies,” he explains. This verbal foreplay, and by that I mean simply not jumping into anything sexual, is a way to really connect with your partner—it feeds the need for platonic social interaction too, explains Jack.
Even when you take your time getting to the nudity and masturbation, FaceTime sex can be awkward. For one, it’s tough to hold the phone and masturbate at the same time. If you start moving around too much, you end up off-screen. That’s why Jack recommends using a laptop, selfie stick, or tripod, "but just flat out having a third arm would help tremendously,” he says.
Ness notes that simply being in an apartment can make it awkward. You can get too loud and your neighbours hear, she says. Your dog can walk in midway through. The WiFi goes out. Your Facebook Messenger pings.
While it’s often easier to FaceTime with people you've had IRL sex with prior, the coronavirus doomsday mentality has people wanting to branch out.
“I must admit, having a friend with benefits via FaceTime is highly tempting right now, or, even taking up an offer with a past ex-boyfriend sounds exhilarating,” says Ness.
Charyn adds, “I’m FaceTime sexing with a few random folks I’m friendly with but aren’t in my dating sphere, because frankly, they’re hot and I’m horny.”
While FaceTime sex isn't clearly the same as going out on a date and sleeping with a partner IRL, at least for the time being, it is something. "It's filling the void of flirting, sexually-charged human connection and the anticipation of having a date," says Charyn. She's still intentionally setting aside time to FaceTime with a partner and "the build-up of sexting before is super hot."
In her pre-corona world, Charyn didn't have a lot of time for spontaneity. Now, when the mood hits, she can text a lover and see if they're interested and available. "It's allowed for a lot more fun impromptu interactions, and in some cases, I'm 'seeing' my partners more than I normally would IRL. "
This article originally appeared on Men's Health