Sex Tips

What to know about phone sex

Phone sex involves simulating sex over the phone, using either voice calls, video calls, or messaging services, such as texts. At least one person may masturbate during this activity.

Phone sex comes in many forms and can be as unique as the individuals who partake in it. As long as it is consensual, there is no right or wrong way to have phone sex.

Some people have phone sex with their partners when they cannot be together in person, such as in a long-distance relationship or when one of the participants is travelling. Other people may try phone sex when it is not safe or convenient to have sexual intercourse, such as when in quarantine due to COVID-19. In some cases, a person may pay someone for phone sex.

This article discusses what phone sex is and how it works. It looks at the benefits and risks and suggests some alternatives that people may wish to try.

What it is and how it works

Phone sex refers to simulating sex over the phone. People in committed or casual relationships may participate in this activity when they wish to connect with a partner and foster intimacy.

In some cases, people may choose to pay for sexual services online, such as over a webcam. Some people may also provide paid phone sex.

During phone sex, people may engage in:

* sharing fantasies or plans for future sexual activities over the phone
* talking explicitly about what they would like to do with the other person
* sending explicit messages or photos via text, known as sexting, or other messaging services

People may masturbate during this activity. However, in some cases, phone sex is a tool for fostering intimacy, and masturbation is either absent or secondary to the activity itself.

Benefits of phone sex

Phone sex offers several benefits, including:

Fewer sexual risks: Phone sex carries no risk of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Therefore, some people may use it as an alternative to physical sex in some circumstances.

Fostering intimacy across distance: An individual who is unable to meet others in person — potentially due to geographic distance, illness, or other barriers — can connect with them through phone sex.

Access to sex and intimacy: People who find it more difficult to form sexual relationships with others may engage in paid phone sex, or other types of paid sex, as an alternative.

Encouraging sexual communication: Phone sex might encourage people to communicate more clearly about their desires and fantasies. Some people may feel more comfortable discussing sex over the phone rather than in person.

Relationship satisfaction: A 2022 study involving 272 people aged 18–29 years found a correlation between sexting and increased scores of sexual satisfaction among those in monogamous relationships.

Risks and dangers

Phone sex also carries several risks and dangers, such as:

Privacy concerns: There is a danger that one or more people will share pictures and voice, text, or video messages without the sender’s consent.

Sexual coercion: A person may hear things they do not want to listen to or feel pressured into having phone sex. In some cases, people may send others unwanted sexual content in the form of videos, pictures, and messages.

Criminal issues: Phone sex and other forms of remote sex may be illegal in some circumstances. For example, minors may face child pornography charges for sending sexual images, even if those images are consensual. Find out more about each state’s sexting laws.

Catfishing: Catfishing is when a person pretends to be someone else online. People may end up engaging in phone sex with someone with an unexpected identity or with someone who intends to share the conversation with others.

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