There’s no getting around it: long distance relationships are hard. My primary partner and I were long distance for the first year of our relationship, before I packed up my life and moved to be with him. We were lucky – we were separated by only 100 miles, and with a lot of expense and juggling of schedules, we were able to be together most weekends. Many couples are not so lucky and have to go weeks or even months between visits. Thankfully, modern technology means that keeping long distance love alive has never been easier. With smartphones, Skype and unlimited data plans, the touch of a button can connect us virtually to our loved one, no matter where they are in the world.
But what about sex? Sure, there’s good old fashioned phone-sex, and the slightly more modern Skype-sex, but what if you and your long distance beloved want to take things up a notch? Well, that’s where sex tech really comes into its own. Today, I’m looking at a handful of the technologies that allow you to keep having a hot time even when you’re separated by miles or time-zones.
App-Controlled Sex Toys
Did you know that there are an increasing number of app-controlled sex toys on the market? These are the next step on from the now-ubiquitous short range remote controlled toys. Of course, they do tend to be variable in quality and price, so read some reviews before you make your choice. However, some of my top picks include:
We-Vibe Sync: A wearable “couple’s vibrator” with an arm that fits inside the vagina, keeping it in place, and an external arm that pleasures the vulva and clitoris. Currently $198.99.
Lovense Lush: A bulb shaped vibrator that is worn inside the vagina, with a thin vibrating tail which stimulates the clitoris. Currently $119.00.
We-Vibe Verge: An app-controlled vibrating silicone cock ring. Long distance pleasure isn’t only for people with vulvas, after all! Retails for $119.99.
Lovense Hush: A vibrating butt-plug, fantastic for anyone regardless of gender. Retails for $119.00.
Vibease Erotica Knicker Vibrator: A small vibrator worn inside your underwear with a hooked tip to pleasure the clitoris. What’s unique about this one is that you can download erotic audiobooks via Vibease’s ‘fantasy store’, and the toy will vibrate along with the story. It currently costs $109/£89.99.
There are many app-controlled toys available that can add an extra dimension of fun to your phone or cyber sex… or, for the more daring among you, you could tell your partner when you’re going to be out in public wearing the toy, knowing that they could switch it on at any moment.
Virtual Reality porn is huge at the moment. This is not really surprising – any new technology will, if given enough time, eventually be used for sexual purposes, and virtual reality is no different. Watching porn at the same time as your lover while you both masturbate (and/or play with one of the toys listed above) is not quite as good as having sex in person, perhaps, but it’s a fantastic substitute when you’re far apart. You can access VR porn relatively inexpensively if you have a phone capable of VR. Though you will need to purchase a headset separately (or get one bundled with a subscription), these have come down hugely in price in recent years. Headsets specifically designed for VR porn, such as the VRotica, make accessing VR porn a simpler proposition than ever.
Sharing the porn you like has long been a great way to build sexual intimacy in a long distance relationship, as well as plan for the sexy adventures you might have when you’re next together. The hyper-realistic, almost-actually-there nature of VR porn is the next frontier in this area. How about compiling a playlist of your favourite scenes to send to your partner, have them do the same for you, then watch them together on one of your Skype date nights?
Tools beyond toys
Technology to help lovers in long distance relationships goes far beyond just app-controlled sex toys. British company Little Riot has created Pillow Talk, which enables you to listen to your lover’s heartbeat across the miles. Each partner has a wristband they wear to bed, and a small speaker which fits under their pillow. The wristband picks up your heartbeat and transmits it, in real time, to your partner’s speaker.
My immediate reaction to this was that I couldn’t decide if it was incredibly awesome or incredibly creepy. Having investigated further and read reviews from people who have used this device (at time of writing I was unable to source a review unit,) I feel happy to say that Pillow Talk is a brilliant and innovative way of bringing some of the intimacy of a shared bed into a long distance relationship.
Or what about sending your partner a comforting arm-squeeze or a gentle caress, even from hundreds of miles away? HEY Bracelets come in pairs, and if you touch or squeeze yours, your partner will feel it. The inventors assure us that the sensation is not a “mechanical vibration or buzzing sensation,” but actually mimics a real human touch.
How annoying is it to be in a different time-zone from your beloved and constantly be counting forward or back, trying to work out what time it is where they are? The Long Distance Classic watch from Kitmen Keung allows you to have your partner’s time zone on your wrist right along with your own. Yes, you could just put it on your Smartphone lock-screen, but… that’s nowhere near as sweet or as stylish, is it?
Finally, there are endless apps to help you feel connected in your long distance relationship. From Couple, a social media style environment just for the two of you, to Dreamdays countdown app (iOS / Android) – ideal for building anticipation of your next visit – and much more besides, there’s bound to be one to suit your relationship perfectly.
Again, no-one can deny that long distance relationships are hard. Ultimately, nothing can replace the touch or smell or warmth of your partner (the ultimate in sextech would be functional teleportation, yes?)… but these tools and many more can help you to make your time apart more bearable, build intimacy instead of letting it slip away, and create wonderful anticipation for the next time you’re together.
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