Sending an eggplant emoji is so 2018.

By Ashley Mateo
Updated: April 22, 2019
Photo: Getty Images/jacoblund

In theory, phone sex should be simple: Get naked, pick up the phone, talk (or text) dirty, touch yourself. But when you compare the vulnerability of talking to someone in real-time time to the relative safety of texting, say, the eggplant emoji, things can get intimidating fast.

But for the more than 14 million couples in long-distance relationships (or just the couples that are currently not in the same bedroom…), phone sex can be an easy, fun way to spice things up.

Here, your game plan for how to have (non-awkward) phone sex.

Before You Get It On...

Being vocal about what you want can be scary no matter where you are, but it can sometimes feel easier between the sheets, especially in the heat of the moment. If you're nervous about speaking up without the face-to-face element, start with texting. (P.S. Here's how to talk dirty if you are in person.)

"Texting gives you the opportunity to take your time to compose and read back your words," says California-based intimacy expert and educator Miyoko Rifkin. "If you're not a seasoned vet at talking dirty or sexting, this is a great way to build your vocabulary. You can also find out what their preferred words are prior to your live session. Many people have words that are a complete and utter turn-on, or turn-off. By finding out their favorite words, you'll know exactly which ones to use when the urge comes to call."

While sending a sext hardly needs to fit a certain schedule, don't just dive into the dirty talk next time you're on the phone with your S.O. "Discuss and agree to have phone sex with your partner before it happens," Shamyra Howard, LCSW, a sexologist and owner of On The Green Couch. "This way, you both know what to expect and you won't feel awkward."

And it can't hurt to practice what you're going to say. "Go over some phrases that you think your partner would like to hear," says Howard. "Moan, groan, breathe, and laugh at yourself because it will be funny!" It may feel silly, but it'll feel a lot less silly than trying to come up with something sexy to say on the fly.

BTW-as with any other kind of sex, sexting or phone sex is always better if you're actually in the mood. Make sure to set aside a little time before your phone date so you can re-watch a porn scene that you really like or read some erotica (and maybe write down some of the phrases for later…). By the time you actually hear your partner's voice, you'll already be turned on. (Related: How to Have Multiple Orgasms In 7 Steps)

How to Get Things Started

So you're texting or you're on the phone...now what? "A good place to start is to ask what the other person is wearing," says Tom Ella, a co-host on the dating podcast The Undesirables. "It's cliche, but it's such a fantastic jumping-off point. From there, you can compliment them, request for clothes to be removed, and, most importantly, describe what you'd do if you were there. Do you want to rip off their clothes and throw them on a bed and keep them up all night? Righteous. Say that."

If you don't know what you want to say, work from a memory of a sexscapade you've already had together so it doesn't feel so strange. "Tell them, 'I can't stop thinking about the last time we had sex.' Then ask for a response: 'Do you remember that? We were in the bedroom and....'" says Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., a psychotherapist and author of Dr. Romance's Guide to Finding Love Today. Memories will take you both from there.

Make sure to appeal to all five senses, too. "Talk to your partner about what you're seeing in your imagination, what you're hearing, how you feel emotionally and physically, and what you remember about how sex with your partner tastes and smells," says Tessina. Your brain is the biggest sexual organ in the body-stimulate that, and you're golden.

Finally, remember, this is your partner. You know what they like best. "Utilize what you know: What turns them on? What have they expressed to you that they like in the bedroom? Do they like lingerie? Are they into feet? Do they fantasize about being tied up?" says Rifkin. "By drawing them in with their own desires, you're already halfway to an orgasm-inspiring phone sex session."

How to Have Phone Sex That Ends with an Orgasm

Speaking of orgasms...phone sex should end with one! Touch yourself or use a toy while engaging with the person on the other end of the phone. It's a lot more authentic if you're really moaning versus phoning it in. (Related: The Best Sex Toys for Women On Amazon)

"When you experiment with phone sex, the number one rule is that you both need to be fully invested in it," says Ella. "If you feel like it's embarrassing or uncomfortable or a little silly, that's totally normal and natural. Eventually, you'll learn together." But if you're too embarrassed to speak up, that defeats the whole intimacy-building purpose of the call.

This is also a perfect time to really be open about what turns you on. "Phone sex is all about fantasy," says Howard. "It's OK if you talk about stuff you'd never try or stuff you really want to do. Whether you talk about tying your partner up in the middle of the Grand Canyon while people watch or edging them until they explode, it's your fantasy-get into it!"

Just be careful that you're not just doing it by yourself-that's masturbating. "Keep the conversation going back and forth by saying something, then asking how your partner feels about it," says Tessina. "That keeps both of you involved and at similar places."

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