There is nothing more uncomfortable than a webcam video meeting, and when getting naked is also involved, you’re in highly awkward territory. Anyone in a long distance relationship will tell you how un-horny it is to shout “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?” at your laptop as your face and tits melt into a pixellated jumble of potato salad. So – is good video and cyber sex even possible?
As all great cam girls will attest, there can be an unbound joy in bashing one out to a forward facing camera. And thank god, for there are now two distinct classes: people quarantining with a partner, alternating between Animal Crossing and Afternoon Delight, and the forcibly distanced couples and single people, who – myself included – are finally bored of vibrator jokes and are slowly forgetting the sensation of human touch.
Futile attempts to arrange post-quarantine dates over Hinge are doing nothing to quench the lockdown thirst, and there’s only so many times you can gaze at Michael Vegas tenderly ransacking someone else’s arsehole before feeling an emptiness that he’s not spanking you instead. If we’re going to make it through this quarantine, we’re going to need to get socially-distant freaky with the fit lad we hooked up with twice in February.
But nailing great video sex raises a lot of questions. What angles should you use? What about the weird silences? What if your bad wifi cucks you? Read on, my horny friend!
Never exchange explicit video material, live or otherwise, if you or the person you’re exchanging with is under 18. This is classed as child pornography, and is very illegal.
Everyone else – make sure the person you’re speaking to is cool with exchanging explicit material online before harassing them with a clip of you wanking.
TIDY YOUR ROOM, JFC
Dirty pants, ugly sheets and god forbid, an abandoned dish of spag Bol slowly crisping against ceramic – leaving these out when you’re video sex-ing is the online equivalent of farting in someone’s face while they’re going down on you. Offensive! There’s a reason why porn sets always look like the empty white version of Kings Cross at the end of Harry Potter. Obviously, you want to keep it personal, so the cheese plant can stay, but wanking next to a scrunched up ball of what *might* be socks, but could also be the sticky remains of corona-snot in a tissue, has never been a turn on. Clean up.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ANGLES
Now your room is cleansed of any threatening auras, you need to make your set. Like all films, production value matters. Cam girl and porn industry vet Sarah Vandella says: “Create a place that you feel sexy and sensual in. Make sure that you have some adequate lighting. You don't really need much, just enough to see what's going on. Do some testing on your framing. You want to see what they're seeing before you go live.”
So, you’re in a cute kneeling position ready to go. But your knees are already starting to wobble under the weight of your new lockdown workout arse. What now?
“Select a flattering angle and assume a comfortable position that can be maintained over a period of time,” says sex therapist Dr. Jess O’Reilly.
She adds: “Cam models will tell you that rookies often make the mistake of setting the camera at an angle that flatters their initial positioning, but do not realise how tiring the position can be. Prioritise your comfort.”
To avoid staring at your lip snarl throughout the whole experience, consider closing or minimising your own camera view so you can make proper eye contact. Practice facial expressions and movements in the mirror before camming, says Vandella, to “see what expressions make you feel turned on”.
PSYCH YOURSELF UP
Going from eating Quavers in a stained hoodie under your duvet to stripping down and pouting seductively into the webcam is a challenge. Like any other endurance sport, video sex is something you need to mentally prepare for.
“For webcam, I have to be in the right space to give the energy and attention,” says Vandella. “I will postpone shows if something comes up or I'm stressed or I'm not feeling 100 percent sexy. The right client knows it's worth the wait for something genuine and extraordinary.”
The same goes for non-client video sex. If you’re not in the mood to scrape the crumbs off your chest and body roll to Doja Cat, don’t force it. Let your video sex partner know you need the night off, but you’ll be back with a horny vengeance soon.
If you very much are in the mood, it’s still worth massaging the vibe beforehand. “Build up desire with texts, images, voice notes and pre-recorded videos. You don’t have to dive head first into live webcam sex,” says O’Reilly.
I personally like Instagram for daytime arousal building. You could DM them a post you find hot, or drop a subtle thirst trap – a flirty skirt riding just a little too far up your leg, grey jogging bottoms, an underwear photo – it’s all a good invitation to kick things off.
Of course, there’s nothing better than getting a flame reply from the person you were aiming for if the thirst trap goes on your IG story, but be aware that creepy replies from people you went to school with might come through too (in which case, block! And obvs report if it’s foul). Once you’re in the DMs, voice-noting something you’re fantasising about doing with them will be a delicious preview of the night ahead.
ENGAGE IN CONVERSATION
So you’re on webcam facing each other, blinking, when you realise you don’t know what to say. “Ask them what they want to do,” says O'Reilly. “What do they want to see? What do they want to hear? Listen, give positive feedback, and validate their desires with smiles, giggles, nods, 'ahhs', 'mm-hmms' and deep breaths. Ask specific questions to drill into the finer details of their desires. Share your desires too.”
Domination structures can also help you remove any awkward vibes. “You can play the role of director or pupil,” O'Reilly adds. “If you want to direct your partner, give specific instructions: 'Touch your nipple with your thumb'; 'suck your finger into your mouth'; 'can you blow me a kiss?'; 'taste yourself for me'.”
USE PROPS AND COSTUMES
You know how Zoom calls with friends and family are getting a bit awkward now because you’ve got nothing to talk about? Webcam sex without any props is a bit like that. A selection of sex toys, lube, and outfits will keep you and your voyeur engaged. “I have specific toys for my talents like deep throating, and I have toys that I use on my lady parts,” says Vandella. “And always have backups, because things fall, things slip, end up dirty, etc.”
And you don’t have to stick to your bedroom. “Use your bathroom, do a shower show," Vandella says. "Or do a sexy yoga show! Put on an apron, bend over your table, say, 'Honey your dinner's ready', and get into it. How many times can we use dildos on our couch?!”
Costumes don’t need to mean head-to-toe latex. If that’s what you enjoy, go for gold! For everyone else – look at your wardrobe. Kilt miniskirts are very effective for lifting up and slowly dragging lacy panties over your buttocks. Wearing a lot of layers will build anticipation as you slowly reveal yourself. That ridiculous slutty cat costume you wore for Halloween 2014? 😈. Having a laugh is a lot better than not knowing what to say to each other.
PLAY SOME MUSIC
Simple, really. Those weird panting pauses where you both don’t know what to say can be avoided by playing some sultry music. Just please not The Weeknd, too cringe.
As with all affairs of the heart and crotch, confidence will carry you. Give yourself permission to feel sexy, and take yourself seriously as an object of desire. Vandella adds: “It's important not to overthink it. When it comes to being vulnerable we're always going to be a bit judge-y towards ourselves, but people don't see us how we see us.”
VIDEO SEX DOESN'T HAVE TO MEAN WEBCAM
Okay, confession time – my favourite kind of video sex isn’t actually going on Skype. It’s exchanging clips on WhatsApp or Instagram in real time with that person. This gives you a chance to curate the vibe a bit more, control the angles, and work from reliable mobile data rather than panic about why the wifi has chosen that moment to cock block. So, check with your partner if you’re coming up blurry, and if they say yes, don’t sack it all off. If you rinse your data fucking someone through the internet, at least you’ll have an orgasm and some great memories to show for it.
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This article originally appeared on VICE UK.