Cyber sex

Mother of Goo

Illustration by Gabrielle Funk

Cyber sex is an entirely different buffet selection than in-person canoodling. There’s the pixely web camera, the awkward lighting and, god forbid, the time delay. Cyber sex encompasses many virtual formats of sex, including sexting, phone sex and sex via video call. This article is going to delve into on-screen video-call sex.

I’ve had my fair share of long-distance lovers, both while I’ve been away on travels, or now, when I’m across the country for school. Sexual intimacy is really important in relationships, and with a libido like mine, I’ve had to figure out ways to ... make it work.

So how do I help myself feel exceptionally hot while on screen? And how can I actually be IN the moment, instead of falling into just performing sexually for my special viewer? (FYI, there is nothing wrong with being performative if that’s your preference in the given situation.)

In my early 20s, I wasn’t exposing myself to the wide array of feminist porn that I am now. I felt the need to look like a mainstream porn artist, and it took away from my ability to relax. It was difficult to be in the moment when virtually making love, and I could never climax on screen.

You may have heard the phrase “you are what you eat,” and this concept also applies to what media we expose ourselves to. I take care to engage with social-media accounts, pornography and publications that commit to anti-oppression, body positivity and acknowledging the malevolent strategies of capitalism.

It’s not by accident that we learn to dislike our bodies, and this is a difficult and painful thing to unpack. This can especially be the case for folks who, unlike myself, face multiple intersections of oppression, such as ableism, racism and fatphobia, among others.

Entering into the end of my 20s has changed my sex life in many ways. Primarily, I am in a place now where I’m much more comfortable with my body. I’ve learned the importance of the media I choose to consume and the type of standards I have for those I choose to date or engage with sexually. I realize now my worth in a way I had not been able to before. In general, I give less fucks.

The same things that used to make me nervous or insecure about long-distance virtual sex are what I find titillating now: the vulnerability of someone seeing me up close – in-grown hairs, belly folds, stretch marks visible and all.

I am a human woman in all my glory. Whoever is witnessing this is lucky to be here, and the right partner(s) will know this. I allow myself to take the time to find an angle where I like what I see of myself and ask my partner if it works for them. And then I take a deep breath, relax and remember my own pleasure.

Madeline Rae, a University of Winnipeg alum, is a sex educator and writer living in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people. She holds a BFA in performative sculpture, a BA in psychology and is studying her master’s of clinical social work at Dalhousie University

Published in Volume 77, Number 04 of The Uniter (September 29, 2022)

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