Kalina Mladenova

Are you sick of mediocre man sex? In love with your econ TF? Worried corona has killed your love life? You’re in luck! WKND’s own anonymous love guru is here with a new biweekly column to answer your questions about all things sex, romance, and relationships at Yale. Whether you’re pining over your ex or fed up with a clingy FWB, she’s probably been in your shoes before and is ready to help. Don’t be shy: submit your questions here.

How do you get ~spicy~ in a long-distance relationship? I miss sex, but Zoom masturbation just seems both cursed and not comparable.

Your favorite YDN sex columnist (me) is a self-described sex expert. But I have to admit: This question stumped me. 

That’s probably because I’ve never survived a long-distance relationship and I absolutely hate the idea of being in a long-distance relationship. I’m currently doing everything in my power to avoid getting myself into a long-distance relationship. But I feel for you. The pandemic has turned a lot of couples into long-distance lovers, and with travel restrictions and COVID risks, it’s even harder to navigate LDRs now. 

Since I don’t have much personal advice to offer, I’ve consulted some wise friends who are veterans at the LDR game. They range from people whose entire relationships were long distance (five! and! a! half! years!) and others whose relationships were forced online due to COVID. Here’s what they had to offer:

  1. If you’re used to being physically intimate together, FaceTime or phone sex is unavoidable. You’ve gotta do it. If you’re anything like me and the thought of FaceTime sex makes you want to admit yourself into a celibate convent or monastery, then start out slow. Try talking on the phone without video and tell each other what you wish you could be doing in person together. If you aren’t big chatters in the bedroom, don’t expect you’ll suddenly become smooth talkers over the phone or FaceTime. The first few times will probably be awkward and feel silly, but once you commit to it, you’ll feel the rewards. Remember how terrible your first few hookups were? But over time you found your rhythm and suddenly you were having orgasms galore? It’s the same thing with phone sex. Be patient and find your rhythm together. (And for God’s sake, do not use Zoom. Ew. This is one instance where work should definitely not be mixed with play.)
  2. For your LDR sex life to improve, you should make sure your non-sex life is thriving too. How’s your communication looking? Are you and your SO being honest with each other about your frustrations and desires in the relationship? Long distance is hard, and you both are bound to encounter some problems. If you feel like your SO isn’t talking to you enough (or is being too clingy), voice those concerns. There’s no way you’ll be having steamy FaceTime sex if your offline selves are discontent.
  3. Do things together!!! Yes, online dates pale in comparison to in-person ones, but you’ve still got to try! Brainstorm with your SO activities that you can attend or enjoy together. Some suggestions: virtual trivia nights, cooking classes (or just cook together over FaceTime), workouts. Netflix Party is great, but watching The Office season three together while muted on FaceTime gets old real fast. Try to recreate the spark of date nights by getting dressed up and ordering each other Grubhub. Think of ways to translate your favorite in-person activities online.
  4. Buy a remote controlled vibrator!
  5. Novelty is key!!! Once you feel comfortable getting it on over the phone or on FaceTime, spice things up. Try out a new toy (gift one to your SO as a surprise!), send each other photos/videos (or better yet, film a video next time you’re together to watch in the future) and mail each other letters. An LDR requires a lot of planning — scheduling calls, booking flights, etc. — and unexpected surprises can go a long way in making the relationship still feel spontaneous and exciting.
  6. If all else fails, break up. I hate LDRs.

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