One of the biggest challenges in long-distance relationships is maintaining intimacy. Of students who responded to this year’s sex survey, more than half have been in a long-distance relationship, and it seems like apps like Snapchat and FaceTime have been essential in keeping things steamy. Here are some options for maintaining an active sex life while apart.

Phone sex

While maybe not ideal, phone sex is an easy way to feel close to your partner just by hearing their voice. Soulja Boy sang it 2008: “Kiss me thru the phone, I’ll see you later on” — but it doesn’t have to stop at kissing.

Roughly 24 percent of survey respondents reported that they participated in phone sex and one student wrote that in their long-distance relationship there is “lots of dirty talking about what we would do to each other if we were together.”

This kind of discussion can build up to a very exciting meetup, but it can also lead to sexual frustration for both partners. One respondent even reported that the lack of real sex in their relationship is “why things ended.”


Although the phrase “Send nudes” is the subject of countless internet memes, exchanging sexy photos can be a healthy way to stay in touch with your partner’s sexuality.

Still, the fear of images being leaked is a real one — one BU student who participated in our survey said, “I didn’t trust sending pictures because I was afraid of who would see them.”

Video chat

Skype or FaceTime provide just about as close to a real-life experience as one can get with both audio and visual action. About 22 percent of students who responded reported that they’ve tried FaceTime or Skype sex with very mixed results.

While one student said that “FaceTime was extremely helpful,” another responded that it was “pretty awkward considering we couldn’t do anything to each other.”

Wait and make up for lost time

The ever-expanding digital landscape clearly does present a wide range of options for sex in a long-distance relationship, but if none of them work for you, there is always the alternative of waiting.

One respondent said that, “We used to have phone sex, but now we let it build until we see each other,” while another answered that, “When they visited we would not leave my dorm room for hours.”

It can definitely be difficult to restrain from any form of sexual activity — but, for some couples, that buildup to an eventual in-person sexual encounter is worth it. According to one student, “The distance made each time we had sex more special.”

While a strong relationship does not necessarily have to revolve around sex, it certainly plays a large part for many couples. There is no wrong or right answer to what sex should be like in a long-distance relationship and every couple does things a little differently. Enter your long-distance relationship with an open mind and experiment with ways to keep things hot.