My girlfriend and I live on opposite sides of the same continent, sleeping and rising at different hours, out of any sight and conveniently crossable spanse of hours and roads. We love, and though we share the same sky and the same country, cannot share the same space in any intimate and personal sense. We are forlorn, despite the ease brought to such an attachment between two people by speaking through screens.
This distance which splinters us is of course a source of frustration. This should be evident among any who truly love and are loved by another person, who share a mutual affection which incessantly creeps into the brain. This emotion is a thing which eats away all other thoughts with its starved longing. Hungry is the lover with the simple, inexhaustible want, the want to be with their other half, battered in their every being by just existing so far apart and rendered so cruelly long a time without something as profoundly romanticized as simply touching this object of emotion; this distant amorous deity of reverence in which the greater lay of measures are found to belong, the majority shares of one’s strength, identity, and life seeming to reside in their partner rather than themselves.
Such is the case with me and mine, and such are the frustrations we both harbour, the most base and expected of which stems from the callous stretch of miles strewn between us being the most animalistic. We love each other, and so naturally, like the primates, we are we want to fuck. As natural as that enjoyment of one another’s company in the physical fashion, and the bursts of emotion that likewise come attached to this, are the inherent difficulties of any such arrangements when we are near three-thousand miles apart on any given day. The time and flights which would be required just for a single meeting, for a single day, neither affordable nor practical, as desirous of such a fling as we might be. And yet, with the limited means we have, the abundance of apps and programs there to communicate instantaneously whenever such is advantageous for us both, we’re not unsated. We don’t have to be celibates consumed with passionate thoughts, unable to act on them. A sex life can be had, even with someone so far away. The existence of phone sex, nearly being as old as affordable telephones, is testament to this, and my girlfriend and I do our share of indulging.
Of the myriad of methods available to us, my girlfriend is most partial to erotic roleplay over text, a more discrete means of enjoying ourselves when or where privacy isn’t guaranteed. There’s even more security on top of this when using communicative apps that require a login. She describes it as just being “fun, phone sex”, but there’s a subtlety in typing a response that is difficult to secure compared to a spoken counterpart. It’s easy to lose awareness of that going on around you when speaking on a call after all, more so one in which you’re sexually engaged on top of that, and easier for someone else to overhear you - whether roommates, family, or others who you might need to have an embarrassing conversation with due to thin walls or cramped living situations. Furthermore, texting gives you time to think about what to say, unlike verbal conversation, giving you that extra minute to pause about how to best respond to your partner in the manner they’ll most enjoy. But it isn’t necessarily the easiest means of maintaining some semblance of a physical connection - I myself are just biased to it, readily leaning into it as a person who enjoys creative writing, and considers themselves more than adequately skilled at it. In contrast, while phone sex in the proper sense obviously needs more in the ways of isolation from any company, it’s much of a step closer to emulating one’s romantic or sexual partner being in the same room, gasping and laughing into your ear, and just there with you as you share one another’s presence. It is nice to hear a voice, their voice, even outside of sexual activity. It’s something you can lose hours to, just talking to a person about nothing for hours and stepping away feeling a wholeness within yourself. There is a disconnect where we are limited to select senses, and to read the lyrics to a song is a mitigated experience compared to listening to it. Of course, it’s hard to forget the existence of programs like Zoom and Skype for video calls on top of just hearing a person, adding the use of additional senses to that mimicry of physical company, especially in a time where such has been employed in educational and professional settings to mitigate the effects of a global pandemic. Imagination can be a coy and tentative thing to manifest, and generally sight is the sense we greater respond to with ease, with action being the more evocative and impressionable component to any relationship, excluding the obvious sexual elements I’m referring to. If computers aren’t quite manageable for you, or if you’re sick of such programs after over a year spent using them in everyday life, there’s always Facetime.
Distance doesn’t need to inhibit love; miles don’t have to spell doom for those kindlings of romance that kicked off a relationship in the first place. We live in an age where each of us are surrounded by rapidly developing advances in technology, and it is foolish to not exploit these tools which are found so integral to various careers within the sphere of the personal life. Being far from a person can make one feel isolated, destitute, but difficulty isn’t enough to consider abandoning the whole affair. If you care for your partner, and vice versa, if you want to remain committed and intimate despite whatever circumstance have brought you physically apart; endless, endless options are there to stimulate matters between you.