Megan Amato // Associate News Editor
Keeping your sexual relationship thriving in a long-distance relationship (LDR) can be difficult in any situation, but it’s nearly impossible when you’re a biromantic demisexual. Simply stated, I am romantically attracted to all genders but I don’t feel sexual attraction unless there is a strong emotional attachment. This is not a problem when my husband is in the same country as I am, but the disconnection of time and space means that sexual encounters online don’t do much for me. However, my husband is more traditionally sexually inclined and so we both make compromises to ensure that both of our needs are being met while our boundaries are not ignored.
I like to consider myself a writer—a decent one, if not a natural one. Despite this self-proclamation, I am absolutely terrible at sexting. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m an awkward person or if my lack of sexual attraction just makes everything seem awkward. But whatever the case may be, I don’t seem to have the ability to sext without turning it into a research project. I often start by looking up “sexting examples” on Google then cringing at the wide array of responses ranging from absurdly obscure suggestions to the vanilla classics. I’m sure my husband would love the more…uh…creative examples, but as they make me either laugh or Google further to see how they can be anatomically possible, I often settle for the staider option (which is still more eloquent than the eggplant or the donut emoji). One of my good friends is exceptional at sexting—so good that I think she should charge people to do it for them. I for one would pay a great deal of money for her help. But for now, I just have to find the words myself. Whether that means that I copy and paste the message point-blank from whatever website, or tweak it to suit my and/or my husband’s needs is my little secret.
More often than not, when I’m feeling a bit naughty (or more often so, when my husband is) but I don’t want to put the work into Googling sexy messages, I will just send a cheeky picture—sometimes literally. I don’t know what strange voodoo it is but sending those pictures can sometimes bring me further into a romantic mood. There is something about getting dolled up and seeing my ass in some lacy underthings or as the focal point of a photograph that turns me on a bit. I don’t know if that’s narcissism, or if going through the motions lends me a libido that I don’t usually have, but sexy photos are by far the most successful way that I’ve managed to maintain a sexual relationship with my husband.
There is a small part of me that is afraid of those images disappearing into the cloud and being used against me one day, so I do try to keep my face and identifiers like tattoos out of the more risqué ones. Something that worries me more than the cloud, however, is accidentally sending a photograph to one of his relatives. Listen, people in the UK love Whatsapp. I am in about 15 Whatsapp chats involving the same members of his family in different combinations. We’ve made a Whatsapp chat specifically for naughty moments with many emojis in the title so that I don’t mix it up, but boy, does it give me anxiety. I think any gains I make in turning myself on can sometimes be lost in the process of triple checking that I am in the right convo.
Being a full-time student and working two jobs (both mostly remote work to be fair), maintaining friendships and general laziness can often get in the way of a healthy long-distance sex life. Especially when that person is an introvert who needs days of disengagement to recharge after all the aforesaid activities. Add in the complicated sexuality and well, I really have to work at it. I can go days, weeks and even months without thinking about sex. My husband, however, is the opposite and thinks about sex rather often. This means that we have to work together to find solutions that don’t make me feel less sexual than I already do and that he doesn’t feel neglected. It’s a fine balance that often gets forgotten about when I’m in the midst of exams or recharge periods. Our latest solution—after some very intense talks—is to find “date nights” with the hope that (like the instances with taking photographs) the preparation and anticipation of those moments will lead me to feel a bit more sexual.
LDR’s are a complicated business and that holds true about sex too. Finding a balance that works for both you and your partner can be tricky, and often awkward. But vocalizing your needs and concerns will help your relationship in the long run. I love my husband, and when we are together the issue of sex is a lot less laborious since he as a person turns me on. However, the 4000 miles between him and I, and the differences in our sexual needs, can cause friction—and not the good kind—in our relationship. In the end, it’s that old cliché of communication that keeps it strong, even if one of us is almost perpetually frustrated.