The CSPH was founded by Megan Andelloux, one of the nation’s most sought-after sexuality educators, invited back to 94% of all colleges and universities where she has presented.
Kira Manser is The CSPH’s Interim Executive Director. With a clinical Master’s of Social Worker and a Masters in Education in Human Sexuality from Widener University, she has worked as a sexuality educator in a large range of settings, from middle schools to medical schools, for over a decade. Energetic and friendly, she strives to create spaces that challenge and support individuals to explore sexuality using active methods and affirmative and feminist-informed therapeutic modalities.
Here, Kira shares her tips (and a few suggestions on products you can use) to keep your LDR going strong:
By Kira Manser
LDRs are often spoken about like a death sentence for otherwise awesome relationships. What I would like to offer here is another perspective: LDRs can be complicated and difficult to manage, but they also offer incredible opportunities to connect with a partner in creative ways you might not otherwise make happen!
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to LDRs, just like there is no “one way” to connect with a partner who lives nearby. Some folks want to have an intense amount of communication, and have many aspects of their life intersect with their partners’. Other folks love having their own life, separate from their relationship, and need much more personal space.
Whether you’re closer to the former or the latter, there are ways to connect over a distance, which can work for you and your relationships:
First, have an idea of how an ideal LDR would work for you, and communicate that with your partner! The website Loving From a Distance has great suggestions on how to keep your LDR alive, as well as a discussion forum. The forum has tons of examples of different ways people have built their LDRs, including the length of time in between seeing each other, how many times a day will you be in touch, what modes of communication (talk, text, videochat, snail mail, social media, etc.) you and your partner agree to use, and what other ways will you stay connected – these are all choices you can make with your sweetie.
Are y’all people who would love to "Skype Sleep" together, or would that level of connectivity drive you apart, as Time suggests? To support effective communication, read up on the Five Love Languages (a great summary of the 5LL can be found here). It is so important to be aware of how you and your honey communicate “caring” - especially from afar. For instance, if your main “love language” is physical affection, you should probably start a loyalty program with a good airline so you can see each other as frequently as possible! However, if your “love language” is words of affection, you can send those throughout the day via the magic of technology, such as texts, instant messages, and other means.
In the interest of getting the LDR you want sexually, here are some more fun tips from some experienced LDR-ers:
First! If you or your partner is someone born with a penis (and y’all enjoy playing with it/them), then consider making a replica to play with while you’re away from each other! There are many versions of this, but the original Clone-A-Willy is still (in my opinion) the best!
For other sexy ways to connect, consider the expanding world of teledildonics - these are toys you can control over distance, with the help of the Internet. Lovesense offers a solution for both penis and vagina owners which can be purchased separately, or in pairs. Kiiroo is a large name in this industry, but also a pretty large investment.
Other companies are also coming out with Bluetooth-enabled apps, which you can use to tickle the sensitive parts of your significant other from afar (and vice versa). The We-Vibe 4 is expanding the functionality of a toy built for couples, to include folks in a LDR! Their new app is compatible with most smartphones, and allows you to control the intensity and vibration pattern from around the world. It also incudes a live video feed, so you can watch the fruits of your labor!
We at The CSPH hope these suggestions can connect you to some new and fun resources, to remind you that being physically far away from your partner doesn’t mean being you are far from fun sexy times with them, and help you consider how you want to build a LDR that is right for you!
For more resources about love, sex, relationships, and everything in between, check out The CSPH’s website at www.thecsph.org!