SSIS Quarantine Advice Column

April 17, 2020

Welcome back to the SSIS column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email ssis@brandeis.edu or leave a question in the Google Form link on the Student Sexuality Information Service Facebook page. Any and all questions are welcome: there are no bad, stupid or weird questions! 

(Note: These answers are good-faith attempts by SSIS to be helpful to the Brandeis community, and are by no means exhaustive or to be taken as universal. If these answers don’t resonate with you, either pay them no mind, or reach out to us with suggestions for improvement!)

Guide to Long Distance Relationships (LDRs)

Here are some communication tips:

  • Communication is best when it’s open, honest, early and often.
  • Try to use “I feel” statements in order to avoid feelings of accusation (for instance, saying “I don’t feel listened to” instead of “you’re not listening”).
  • Periodically re-evaluate if what you are doing is working and talk to your partner about how things could improve.

Some helpful LDR apps include:

  • Between is a version of social media for just you and your partner to share photos and videos, keep track of birthdays and anniversaries, and upload your schedule so your partner knows when you’re busy.
  • WhatsApp: An app that uses wifi for messaging, calls and video call. This app is particularly useful if your partner lives in a different country.
  • Rave: An app that lets you Netflix and chill even when you’re miles apart. You and your partner can watch Netflix, Youtube, Reddit and more together in perfect synchronization and text or talk while you watch.

Options for LDR dates:

  • Do online quizzes together. You can compare answers or try to guess each other’s.
  • Go on a long walk while on the phone/FaceTime.
  • Go back and forth showing each other your favorite songs.

Find more information and tips for long distance relationships at tinyurl.com/SSISguideLDR.

Sexting

Sexting and phone sex can be a great way to feel connected to a partner(s) during a time of separation. Here are some tips for navigating sexting and phone sex, while having a safe and sexy time!

  1. Establish Boundaries and Desires: Sharing your “wills, wants and won’ts” can be an effective way to start a conversation on what you find sexy and what you’re not interested in. Talking through physical and topic boundaries can guide the interaction in a productive and enjoyable direction.
  2. Maintaining Safety Online: Figuring out what you and your partner(s) are comfortable with sharing online can be helpful in maintaining consent, trust and feelings of safety. Some ways to keep sexting and phone sex safer is by avoiding recording material that includes your face or any identifiable parts of your body and utilizing apps made for sexting.
  3. Figuring Out What to Say: It can be helpful to utilize compliments, descriptions, body parts and actions as puzzle pieces that create a sexy phrase. “Compliments” are phrases that can make a partner feel good and help you feel connected while “descriptions” are details that can help create a more realistic mental image or make the experience feel more intimate. Mentioning specific “body parts” can also help paint a realistic/intimate mental image during sexting or phone sex. Lastly, describing “actions” you would like to do to your partner or actions you might like to have done to you can help you transition from setting the scene to picturing specific actions and interactions.
  4. Deciding How to Say It: Since sexting can be intimidating, it can be helpful to build things up gradually by utilizing details. Building up from mild, medium, to spicy phrases can be helpful in setting a mood and to ease into it.
  5. Utilizing Toys: Utilizing toys during phone sex can be a fun way to feel connected with your partner(s) and a way to explore your own sexual wants. There are a wide variety of toys you can use, including teledildonics, sex toys that sync with each other to emulate the sensation of being with a partner!

Find more information about sexting and phone sex here

Tips for Sending Nudes

  • Set the Mood: The best selfies happen when you’re feeling most confident! Play some music and wear whatever makes you feel empowered!
  • Lighting: Usually natural light that is directly facing you will tend to be the most flattering. 
  • Experiment: Have fun with it! Try different clothing or angles to get results you’re happy with! Maybe try taking a video for more options for a great selfie.
  • Consent: Before sending a nude, it is crucial to make sure the recipient wants to receive them.
  • Be a Tease: Sometimes the suggestion of nudity is just as erotic as a full nude.

Find more information about taking nudes and keeping them safe here.

Masturbation and Pornography

Benefits of pornography:

  • Porn can help increase sexual satisfaction.
  • Porn can encourage masturbation, which is healthy!
  • Porn is a form of safe sex.
  • Porn helps normalize desires.
  • Porn can help you figure out what turns you on.

Some Queer and Sex Positive Porn Sites:

  • Pink and White Productions is dedicated to producing sexy and exciting images of many genders and sexualities, as well as diverse ethnicities, body types and abilities and experiences (such as amateur or professional). They collaborate with performers to shoot based on how they’d like to be presented. If you see a sex act on the site, it’s because the performers wanted to do it and the crew consented to film it.
  • Blue Artichoke is a site that shows real chemistry by helping each actor/actress find a perfect partner whom they like and are genuinely very attracted to. They want to help performers enjoy themselves. Safer sex is shown, and the actors decide what makes them feel sexiest and most comfortable, barriers or no. “Blue Artichoke” makes it clear to their performers that they can opt out at any time. 

Some sex toy stores:

  • Eden Fantasy:
    • Key Features:
      • “How To’s”
      • Comprehensive product reviews
      • Frequent sales
      • Discreet shipping
  • Pink Cherry:
    • Key Features:
      • Frequent sales
      • Extensive selection
  • Good Vibrations: 
    • Key Features: 
      • “How To’s” on how to choose the right toy for you 
      • Discreet shipping
      • Frequent sales

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