hello operator.

I can recall a specific late night in my sterile (lots of white and beige) corporate housing, a few weeks after I moved to Philadelphia. I was buried under the white down comforter, talking on the phone with my newly-long distance boyfriend. This was nothing new. I was so sad and homesick, multiple calls from him each night were required to make me feel sane and loved. This particular evening we were discussing how much we couldn’t wait to see one another in LA in a few weeks…and then the conversation took a turn…a twist I should have predicted, considering previous unsubtle hints from him…oh yes, it was phone sex.

My actual participation in this conversation was minimal. Lots of “oh yeah” and “yes, yes” on my part. He handled most of the dialogue. And it worked, as far as I can tell. I mean, what would he have to gain from faking an orgasm during mostly one-sided phone sex?

Last night Janelle and I concluded that we would rather let somebody pee on us than participate in phone sex. At least it happens fast…all you have to worry about is keeping your eyes and mouth closed…and then you can just run into the nearest shower. Sexy telecommunication could take anywhere from 5 to 35 minutes! Or god forbid, more. It’s probably best to wait until after 9 pm for those unlimited off-peak minutes.

It’s not that I’m a prude. I’m generally down for whatever, as long as it’s not going to lead to pain, weird skin infections, or arrest. And on occasion, I definitely have a foul mouth. Furthermore, I’m really into the idea of dirty talk during sex, as long as it’s in context. It has to start organically. No weird “you’re so naughty/it’s so big” nonsense. I think that one of the best parts of sex with my ex-boyfriend was the filthy conversation. But even then, there were times when I just wanted to be quiet so I could focus on the other sensations of the moment.

Part of my issue with phone sex is the disconnect of it all. I have a pretty keen imagination, but I have a hard time pretending that what is being discussed on the telephone is actually happening. So it’s really difficult for me to feel genuine saying things that would feel natural if the other party was actually there in bed with me. And so, I clam up. I can’t think of ANYTHING to say. Imagine heavy breathing on the other end of the line, followed by me saying “So…um…how are things going?”

One of my friends in college received an email from her boyfriend–in Canada–detailing exactly what she should say in their upcoming phone sex call. A cliche-riddled one act play! My first response was “You should be grateful that he is making it so easy for you.” But when I actually read it–one more bit of proof that you should never, ever email someone anything too private/potentially mortifying, because they can and will forward it to their friends–I was embarrassed for both of them. I won’t share too many details here, but I will say that his script involved a pink garter belt (why pink?), several lines regarding the sheer enormity of his genitalia, and some kind of “teasing” situation with a feather. This guy was in veterinarian school, but I think he could have had a great future as part of the writing team for Red Shoe Diaries.

Lest you think I am completely against the utilization of the cell phone in one’s sex life…I must admit this: in the past, I have been known to exchange naked-ish cameraphone photos with someone living on the opposite side of the country. This may have involved a picture of me wearing only a pair of Mickey Mouse ears. Or maybe not.

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