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SSIS advice column

Welcome back to the SSIS (Student Sexuality Information Service) 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 our Facebook page. (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!)

How do you foster a welcoming, comfortable environment for students who might be nervous to come into SSIS?

Thank you for asking this great question! SSIS deals with plenty of sensitive issues that can be difficult for some people to talk about. 

One important aspect of SSIS is that we are completely confidential. That means that nothing you say in our space will leave the room. Students can rest assured that any and all information they choose to share will stay completely private. Nobody will even know you came in. 

During our office hours, there will usually be only two SSIS members in the office. Students who would feel more comfortable in a one-on-one session have every right to ask for this! At SSIS, we are happy to meet your needs to make you feel comfortable. 

Some students may fear judgment. This is a completely valid concern when talking about subjects that society often brands as taboo. It’s important to know that you are more than likely not alone in what you are experiencing. You’re not the only one! As SSIS members, we are here to support you through any questions and concerns you may be having about relationships, sexuality and gender, sexual pleasure, sexual health and more. We have been trained in educating about these topics, and how to offer the best support for Brandeis students. We are a 100 percent judgement free zone. 

Finally, the SSIS office is a super comforting atmosphere! When you first walk in, you are entering what we call the “outer office.” This is where you will find our library, which is full of helpful resources. Walking a bit further back, you’ll see a room which we call the “inner office.” Although we call it an office, it’s set up much more like a cozy living room. There are couches, calm lighting, and usually some music playing in the background. 

If you’d like to visit us at SSIS, come to SCC room 328 during our open office hours Mondays 11 a.m. to 5pm, Tuesday-Wednesday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

I want to try having phone sex with my boyfriend because it’s too far to walk across campus. Not sure how to initiate this conversation, should we FaceTime?

Phone sex can be an excellent addition to your and your boyfriend’s sex life, but trying new things can sometimes be hard to bring up. At SSIS, we recommend that communication be open, honest, early and often.

There are a few ways you could approach this conversation. Being direct can be a great way to put new ideas on the table and give your boyfriend the space to be open about his feelings as well. With this approach, it helps to be honest with your motivations for wanting to have phone sex. You can also address any fears that you anticipate he may have. If you’re feeling shy, you could take an indirect approach: maybe there is a movie or TV show in which two of the characters have phone sex that you could watch together. Then, ask him how he felt about that scene. This is a great way to get a feel for how he might respond before opening up about your desire. 

If your boyfriend isn’t interested, it’s important to respect his boundaries. If he is willing to continue the conversation, you can offer to talk through his reservations. It’s also important not to expect or push for an immediate answer. He may need time to think about what he wants and get back to you. 

If your boyfriend is interested, the next step is to talk about different types of phone sex and which one best suits both of your wants and boundaries. A great way to start is with sexting, which entails sending sexually explicit text messages. Sexting offers a way to get comfortable with dirty talk and discover what kinds of erotic messages do and do not turn you on. Exchanging nudes can be a fun addition to sexting! Just be sure that you trust your partner to keep them for their eyes only. Additionally, there is an added risk to sending nudes if you are not yet 18. 

Phone sex can be done over FaceTime or phone call and there are a lot of ways to do it. One way is to describe what you want to do to your partner or what you want them to do to you. If you are having trouble finding what to say, you can even call on memories of some of your best sexual experiences together and describe those in detail. Another fun thing to do is for one of you to take on a dominant role and dictate where and when the other partner can touch themselves. You can also try out roleplay! Assuming different characters of a favorite fantasy is a helpful way to remove awkwardness.

There are even toys designed specifically for phone sex! For example, there are vibrators that can be controlled by an app so your partner can control what you’re feeling. These can get pretty expensive, so if you want to incorporate toys without breaking the bank, there are other options! If you have a vagina, you can use a dildo or vibrator and pretend it’s your partner. If you have a penis, masturbation sleeves are a fun, sexy way to simulate your partner’s vagina or anus. 

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