It’s said that an avalanche of hypersexual media is making us more visually orientated. That’s debatable, of course, but it does make sense that we’re becoming more voyeuristic, even in our own bedrooms. If you can fantasize about something, somewhere on the internet you can watch someone else doing it. And, given that the pressures of the real world often leave us too jaded or exhausted to act out our fantasies with the regularity and intensity we’d like, a bit of visual stimulation tides us over when we don’t have the energy to put out in person.
But voyeurism needn’t be a second-rate stand-in for real-life sex. More and more couples are discovering there’s no harm in harnessing the power of the pornographic gaze to enhance the real deal. Sexting is a great example of how to use visual stimuli as the basis for physical intimacy. Trading graphic self-portraits can narrow the gap between ‘do you think we should…’ and ‘well, that happened’. Of course, when you’re a woman, sending one sexy selfie after another, with no reply, gets old quickly. And since research shows women get just as turned on by the sight of exposed skin as men do, neglect to tap ‘Send’ on your own pictures and you could be the one really missing out.
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There’s no reason not to get snap-happy with your partner – it’s likely to result in more explicit returns between the sheets at some stage. Maybe start with a joke or something suggestive and build up, or send her a picture of herself and describe how it makes you feel. Just stick to a few key rules and don’t stray too far off the reservation. Here are our guidelines to the art of getting graphic.
Step 1: Write Your Own Script
If power games are your thing, demand your co-communicator indulges exactly what you want to see. You can ask for anything – just be prepared to do the same. Oblige if she insists on a shirt-off selfie in the mirror (what else is the office shower room for on a Thursday afternoon?). If nothing else, it’s less intimidating than stripping in person.
Webcamming is another way to get an illicit thrill. Think of it as a peepshow for the wireless generation. Take turns to play the lucky customer; when it’s yours, send her emails throughout the day leading up to the session to specify details about what you want from the “performance”.
Related: 8 Ways To Be A Gentleman After Sex
Demeanour, costume, props – they’re yours for the specification. And this is one of the safest ways to experiment: she may be more willing to try things out from the comfort of her home than she is in front of you.
Step 2: Enjoy the Show
Use evenings and weekends for after-hours video calls; they’re particularly effective if you’re in anything resembling a long-distance relationship. In fact, webcamming is worth a go even if you can drive over on a school night – you needn’t explore your naughty side only by necessity.
My overseas-based squeeze and I keep the passion going across the ocean by having regular, explicit mutual masturbation sessions. (It certainly gives new meaning to FaceTiming.)
Step 3: Three’s a Crowd
While exposure is the name of the game, that doesn’t mean you want the world to see what you’re up to together. Thankfully, privacy innovation is finally catching up with the way we use technology. For example, most video-chat programmes prohibit you from screen-grabbing (Apple’s FaceTime is one exception) – which should allay your screen-mate’s fears that any of your male friends could get a second viewing of her on-screen performance.
Similarly, if you’re sending phone images, Snapchat is a useful app (iOS, Android) that destroys the material after just a few fleeting, teasing seconds – in case you were worried your ex was posting your finest shots to Facebook (yes, it has happened).
You can of course extend the pervy periscope to other people’s bodies, although you’d be wise to do it through visual recall alone, rather than legally dubious video footage. There’s little I enjoy more, for example, than sharing a Facebook picture of a sexy new female acquaintance with my lover before I describe in detail the times I’ve seen her changing in front of me at my yoga studio.
Remember, the new voyeurism is about bridging the gap between the real and the ideal. What you see might pique your desire. But only your partner can satisfy it.