Sometimes I feel like I’m on that show Catfish. Not because I’m in some weird online relationship with someone I’ve never met. Someone who could possibly be a woman, or a serial killer, but because I’m in some weird over-the-phone relationship with someone I never get to see. He got a job down south so when we considered establishing a relationship our options were limited. He refuses to give up his career and follow me to New York City next year and the thought of me living in Florida is absolutely hilarious. I burn under florescent lighting and it’s a known fact that the south is a dark place where feminism goes to die. Letting him go is easier said than done. So for the past few months this where I’ve been. Settling in some strange place between togetherness and separation, forced to navigate the uncharted territory of a long distance relationship.
We do as couples do. We talk when we can and make sure to support each other in our varying endeavors. We fight like typical twenty somethings, although I have to admit I do start most of it, because I get bored and restless. Everything is how it would normally be except for the underlying fact that we never share the same space, leaving us severely disadvantaged when it comes to sex. We’re average people with average needs and if it weren’t for a mutual attraction and romantic connection we would simply be friends. So how do we make the most of what we’ve got? Easy, we make it work with phone sex.
Skype sex is overrated and completely impractical. Have you ever sat across from someone and watched them masturbate? It’s disgusting. Made even worse by freezing screens and bad connections Skype runs the risk of making sexy time one horribly awkward moment. Honestly, I prefer not to Skype with him all together. Mostly because we are both so unbelievably conceited that we spend more time focusing on our own appearance than we do on each other.
Sexting is fun but there is no greater turn off than improper abbreviations or misspelled words. If you are making the attempt to sext then for God’s sake please spell out the word “you”. Illiteracy is not sexy. Thankfully he is not illiterate and understands that as a writer, I will judge him unfairly for any grammatical errors.
Words are great but then of course sometimes there is a need for a visual. I don’t mind sending pictures but even though I trust him, I would never send him anything too incriminating. As a general rule I avoid sending anything that has the potential to destroy my life. The exchange of naked photos will always be slightly unfair. Whereas I can get creative with lingerie or by positioning myself in various ways, men really only have one angle. And although I love his body, let’s be real, my phone can only handle so many dick pics. It’s also extremely dangerous to have anyone’s nudie pics living openly in your phone. I’m constantly transferring images from my phone to my office computer and the last thing I need is a close up picture of a penis to pop up on my screen. Needless to say, sexting is a little risky for my taste.
So really that just leaves us with phone sex. I know, “gross! That’s so ’97” believe me, I’ve heard it all already from my friends. But honestly, what else do we have? Sometimes when I’m feeling melancholy I’ll think back to old movies or novels I’ve read where two people are separated by time and space and rather than give up on each other they wait patiently, romanticizing about the other’s return. It all sounds so old world and lovely but really it’s shit. We live in time consumed by the idea of instant gratification where we need to speak to, be with, or constantly be able to reach out and touch the ones we love. Having phone sex with him may be better than any actual sex I’ve had with past partners (and not just because masturbation is exceptionally more satisfying than some sweaty playboy grunting in my ear and wheezing with every thrust). but often it leaves me feeling emptier than before we began. The connection we share may feel invaluable, but there’s always a price.
One might think that doing the whole long distance thing would be easier with modern technology, and maybe for most people it is. For me, it seems to unjustly prolong something that will inevitably end. Facebook, Skype, and cell phones keep people connected to one another. For people like us, it maintains a connection that perhaps was never meant to be. Our lives are moving in two totally different directions and these communication platforms aren’t helping us build a relationship, but are instead forming false hopes. So really, if you can’t see a future in a relationship you’re holding onto, whether it be a friendship or one that’s romantic, what’s keeping us connected to it?