There I was, in front of my iPhone I’d strategically placed against my dresser on my bedroom floor. My room was dimly lit to set the mood. It was a Tuesday, or maybe a Friday. (Honestly, what even is time anymore?) And I was completely naked, baring it all for the camera.
If I imagined this scenario six months ago, it would feel like that bad recurring nightmare I used to have where I was naked in one of my old childhood classrooms, crawling on the floor, trying to hide myself any way I could. I was naked on a floor, yes, but this time I loved it, even craved it, and didn’t want to look away.
I need to give credit where credit is due: this newfound sexual venture—FaceTime sex—was brought into my life as a direct result of social distancing.
At the beginning of quarantine, my relationship with my boyfriend was fairly new. He and I started dating officially in November. It wasn’t that I was concerned for the longevity of our relationship, but having to physically distance myself from him for our own safety felt like our first big challenge as a couple. We could figure out the communication, sure, but what about our honeymoon stage?! I was horny, dammit!
Before social distancing and masks ever became part of our everyday conversation, I was comfortable with the capacity of my sex life. My boyfriend and I had figured out our groove—we knew how to please each other in foreplay, then I would get on top, sometimes with some missionary here and there, and we were golden. I was more than satisfied. We had our little routine.
Of course, all routines got flipped upside down once COVID-19 arrived.
Because of our living situations, we had to quarantine separately for a month. Admittedly, I’m an abnormally social person. I love being around people. Even just being in a coffee shop and talking to my barista gives me a thrill. So yes, I was that person who tried to throw biweekly Zoom parties just to feel something. I had to ask myself, why wasn’t I giving that same energy to my now-digital sex life?
I never so much as sent a sext before. The thought of watching porn on my own computer frightened me (what if my FBI agent sees?), and if I wanted to buy a new sex toy, I would do it in person only. I was not at all used to digital sex ventures, but isolation made me crave it.
I knew what had to be done for my own sense of sexual normalcy. I FaceTimed my boyfriend one night, and it all happened so fast. One minute I’m wondering if I should consider celibacy until there’s a vaccine, and the next I’m stripped down, giving a full show like the performer I am. It felt so natural. Insecurities? Not here! Stage fright? Don’t know her! Shame? Nonexistent!
Trying something I would have never tried before made things exciting. Even if for five minutes, it felt like there were no problems in the world. There was no anxiety, unemployment, or pandemic. It was just my boyfriend and me.
It changed my idea of what sex was and could be.
Once our living situations changed and we were able to unite once more, my boyfriend and I used the momentum FaceTime sex had given us to experiment more in the bedroom. It was no longer a matter of knowing what works for us and wanting to do it—intimacy was so much more than that. They say it’s all about the journey and not the destination, and sex should be treated the same.
I discovered that as much as I love being the center of attention outside the bedroom, I do in as well. We tried new positions that allowed me to perform, and we brought a mirror into the bedroom. (10/10, by the way.)
I learned to be more open with positions I’d immediately shut down before. I was more often than not opposed to doggy style (what was I supposed to look at?), and now it’s a personal favorite.
I also realized the opportunities for dirty talk are limitless. My love language is words of affirmation, and who could have predicted that would include being called a dirty slut?
We’re going through an unprecedented, anxiety-ridden time. We have to be easy on ourselves when we can and allow ourselves the little wins. So with that, excuse me while I make a FaceTime call.
Illustration by Janet Sung for Medium.
Annie Walton Doyle