How to Make Long Distance Dating Sexy and Keep Things H.O.T. in Your L.D.R.

Long distance relationships can be romantic, exciting, and totally hot. They can also sometimes totally suck and it can feel like you’re missing out on things. I get it! I’m with you! It’s hard to feel so far from the people you care about. This shit is not easy. But! We choose these relationships anyway, for our varied reasons, and gosh darnit we are gonna have some sexy fun while we’re here! Luckily we live in the digital age, where we can share more of ourselves with our long distance dates than ever before. There are some things to keep in mind though, before you dive right into sending your sweetie the hot nudez you just took.

+ No LDR looks the same. Every relationship’s journey has been different and every person differs and what might work for one relationship might not work for yours. That’s okay! Don’t stress if a particular thing here doesn’t apply to or work for you!
+ Negotiate everything with your partner, and keep them in the loop of what you want to do and what you want your LDR sex life to look like. Even from a loved one, unsolicited nudes can be a lot to take in when you aren’t expecting them! Be aware of your partners needs and boundaries.
+ Consent consent consent!

With that said, even beyond the avenues named here in this very guide, there are so many options for ways to keep things sexy! Consider these your starting points, a place to start the conversation and the exploration for your long distance relationship.

Use Your Words

Words can be so powerful, and SO sexy. Written or spoken or read, words can have such an impact, and form a huge component of any LDR. They’re a great option in addition to sending photos and video, or if you and your partner aren’t in a place where you’re comfy with visual content. There are so many ways to verbally connect with your partner (after all, you’re probably texting and on the phone all the time in non-sexual contexts already!), but here are some ideas to start.

Phone sex & sexting

These are what people often think of in terms of maintaining intimacy in a long distance relationship. They look different — you can sext under your desk at your day job all day long, and then curl up with the phone at your ear at night — but they follow similar narratives. You’re likely talking about sex you’ve had before (“remember how you did [redacted] last weekend? I’m still thinking about it…”), or sex you could be having (“I wish you were here, I’d [redacted]”), or sex you want to have (next time I see you I can’t wait to…). You can share fantasies, let your partner know how hot they are and everything you want to do to them, or tell them in great detail how fantastic the sex you’ve already had is, and how much remembering it turns you on (a combination sext and compliment!). If you and your long-distance sweetie have yet to connect in real life to this degree, you can use sexting and phone sex as your platform to get to know what you’re both into. It can be a great way to feel out words or names you both like, favorite fantasies and turn-ons, and the overall sexual dynamic between you two. Feeling nervous about how to get things started? Understandable! Lucky for you, Autostraddle has a whole guide on 10 tips for better sexting!

Written letters

Who said the written word is dead? By far one of the most lovely surprises I have ever received in the mail was a handwritten letter with smutty words describing the details of a past hookup in a crush’s hand writing. It’s romantic! It’s hot! The act of writing the words down feels intimate and personal, plus now your sweetie has your actual written words to carry with them and look back on, like a diary of your relationship.

Reading erotica/fan fiction to each other

Listen, coming up with your own words can be really difficult at times! It can feel like there’s a lot of pressure to be wonderful at words.  Luckily, so many people have written hot words that you can read or share with your partner. Having your partner listen to you read passages or articles or erotica that made you think of them, or vice versa, can even ease you into phone sex. Even sending links to pieces you enjoyed, saying “this made me think of you,” or “I’d love to do this with you” is a nice small but sexy gesture, and those small gestures matter.

Leaving voice recordings

Texting technology is increasingly multimedia, and that means in addition to sending sexy pictures or emoji, audio is an option too. Leaving a voice recording — be it a voicemail, voice memo, voxer, or other voice recording device/app — has all the perks of phone sex, while giving your partner the option to listen to your voice over and over again. It also eases off some of the pressure of phone sex knowing that someone is listening on the other end RIGHT THEN; if you don’t like how something sounds or change your mind about something you’re experimenting with, you can re-record. If phone sex and the idea of coming up with sexy words on the spot makes you shy, try writing your words down before like a script!Practice it a few times if you need! Give yourself the space to get comfortable while also giving your lover a wonderful gift. If you’d rather not have to worry about a script, recording your moans while masturbating is plenty hot on its own; hearing you say her name while you’re coming is a great way to make your partner blush as she’s checking her voicemail after a work meeting.

Let’s Get Visual

The visual aspect of an LDR is of great importance, and worth putting a lot of thought into. Sharing your body with someone in real life is one thing, but sharing permanent media featuring your body that you ultimately have no control over once its been sent is a really vulnerable and different experience! You’re sharing yourself with someone you trust, but also phones get lost or hacked, or laptops get shared with friends and roommates. Do you want your face to be featured? Just your body? No body at all, only your face? A straight close up of your genitals? Do you want to be touching yourself or teasing yourself or just making cute faces while you seductively pull your shirt down? What is your partner comfortable receiving? Once you know where you and your partner stand, you not only have a clearer idea of what your next moves are, but also now have had a conversation about what you want from and with each other. Communication is amazing!

Send nudes?

Nudes are truly a gift. There are so many lists of tips for taking them; almost all of them boil down to using natural lighting, exploring different angles, and practicing a LOT. Thirst traps are not nudes, but that doesn’t mean Kayla’s exhaustive guide to thirst traps isn’t relevant. Get creative, get artsy, tell a story through your nudes! Incorporate them in sexting, send them as a little “thinking of you” through the day, have fun with it! Practice and test things out with various cameras and angles, ask a trusted friend if they can review before you send them to give feedback. Think about your own favorite body parts or angles, and the things about your body you know drive your partner wild. At the same time, don’t feel obligated to take nudes you don’t want to for the sake of a partner. And definitely, 100% do not send unsolicited nudes ever! Pre-negotiate with a partner your boundaries around sending and receiving nudes prior to sending anything.

Video star

Recording a sexy video isn’t always easy, and it takes work to find your rhythm. Are you using a phone camera, a computer, a DSLR, a full production team? And what does a sexy video even mean to you? To your partner? Think about the premise of your sexy video; start with something that authentically makes you feel sexy and confident, not just something you think looks sexy when other people do it. Do a cute dance, a striptease if you want. Take a video just of the lower half of your face while you’re touching yourself and whispering their name. What about a slow motion video of you spanking yourself? Or send an entire scene from start to finish of you masturbating, use multiple cameras! There are so! many! options for what a sexy video can be! Just a quick video of a not-explicitly-sexual thing you know turns your partner on, like putting on lipstick or playing with a belt, can have them thinking about you all day. Half the fun is making them, knowing that this is for your person, and that you are creating something for them to enjoy.

FaceTime sex

It’s an art, having to perform live, and even more so while naked in front of a camera with a sweetie on the other end watching. Much like everything on this list, there are so many options for how this can look and it’s so specific to your relationship! FaceTime sex can mean you’re speaking your sexy thoughts to each other and only focusing on your face, maybe touching yourselves or maybe not. It can be a striptease, or full body shots of you masturbating — maybe simultaneously, maybe one at a time. It can be kinky, romantic, silly, messy, whatever you want! Performance anxiety is very real though, and not feeling ready or comfortable to bare all, live on screen, is understandable. Communicating with each other about what would feel good to you while having FaceTime sex is very important, so that no one ends up feeling uncomfortable with the arrangement. It might be something you want to build up to after exchanging other media or phone sex. But having a partner right there in front of you live in real time, getting themselves off to just the thought of you being there, can be incredibly connective and incredibly hot!

Watch porn together

Watching porn together is a sexy, fun way to explore what you’re both into and enjoy something together while far apart. Trade links throughout the day and pick out ones you enjoy, ones you can see yourselves in, ones you can’t see yourself in at all but find very very hot, and share with your partner why that is. This can be a nice option if you aren’t quite in the place to be wanting to do the performing yourself, or if you already do a lot of joint watching of movies or shows in your relationship it could be a natural choice. In general, it’s also just a really hot segue into bigger conversations. Have you heard of Crash Pad? You should check out Crash Pad.

Toys for Good Girls and Bois

One of the hardest things about LDRs is that you can’t have your hands on and in your sweetie whenever you want — but you can send them a sex toy to use in your absence, which is like the next best thing.

Send wish lists

Sex toys can be very expensive! Not everyone can have the means to afford splurging on sex toys all the time, especially while also trying to afford travel to see your sweetie in real life! Try finding a sex shop you like and build a wishlist of products together. This can be a fun way to open the floor to wider conversations of what you want to do to each other/ with each other with these things, and also lets you have a list to pull from to surprise each other. You can even use the wishlist to refer back to as gift ideas for future celebrations.

Send sex toys

If you find yourself in a place where you can purchase some sweet gifts for your sweetie, consider sending them the gift that keeps on giving. Something to keep in mind with sex toys is that it is very hard to be able to know for sure if something works for someone up until you try it. Talk to your partner prior, and if they’re new to sex toys or unsure what they might like, Autostraddle is here to help with the handy guide on how to buy a vibrator, a harness and a dildo to strap on with. Ultimately though, it is all about learning together, which is so hot! Plus it gives you something to have and look forward to using together once you do get to spend time together in real life.

Send an app-compatible vibrator

The future is now! Did you know there are so many app-compatible vibrators on the market? Vibrators that you can operate from any distance on your phone? Imagine the possibilities! There are a lot of variations of an app-compatible toy, but most notably is We-Vibe’s entire line of vibrators that are app-compatible and all vary in their shape and style, giving you and your partner a variety of options to choose which might work best for you. One anonymous reviewer just tried out the We-Vibe Ditto with their long-distance partner and had great things to say. Fun!


Ultimately, every long distance relationship is on its own path and started differently. Some folks have been together for a while before they became long distance, some have only ever been long distance, some are part-time long distance; it all varies! And that, among many other factors, changes what might work for you! But feel it out together, be as honest and direct as possible, and you’ll find your way. Have fun, be weird, keep the sexy magic alive!

Are you going through it too? Share in the comments how you keep things ~sexy~ in your long distance relationships of past or present!

Courtney is a budding sex educator, performer, and writer based out of Portland, Oregon. She spends her time slinging sex toys at the local female-owned queer-friendly sex toy boutique, being a dutiful intern on the podcast Sex on the Brain with sex educator Amory Jane, singing at the nearest variety show, writing way too personal things for the internet, dancing at the queer party down the street and buying lots of cheese. She can be found tweeting about tinder and astrology @courtneykist. She just wants you to have a good time.

Courtney has written 6 articles for us.

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