Your Guide to Having Phone Sex (Without Feeling Awkward)

Press send with confidence with these tips.
telephone on pink background
Photo: Jorg Greuel / Getty
Hayley Folk
by
Hayley Folk
Hayley Folk
Hayley Folk
The Knot Contributor
  • Hayley writes articles on a freelance basis for The Knot Worldwide, with a specialty in sex and relationships.
  • Her work has appeared in The Knot, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and more.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Hayley was a full-time editor at a business publication.
Updated Nov 29, 2023

Long gone are seemingly the days of sending erotic letters by mail only for them to arrive to lovers weeks later, after the heat of the moment has gone. Nowadays, if you're far from your partner and feeling extra spicy, phone sex is here to save the day. But how do you pull of the sexy act without feeling awkward? We have some advice below.

If you're curious about how to have phone sex, how to initiate phone sex, tips for phone sex or how to feel less awkward and more confident while pressing send on that naughty text, you've come to the right place.

Scroll on for the best sex phone tips, straight from the experts.

Meet the Experts:

  • Holly Wood, is an AASECT-certified sex therapist, board-certified clinical sexologist and sex researcher with years of experience as a sex educator. They create a sex-positive, trauma-informed, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, BDSM/kink, polyam, sex-worker and neurodivergent affirming space for folks in need.
  • Dr. Tara, (a.k.a. Dr. Tara Suwinyattichaiporn), is a Los Angeles-based sex and relationship coach, tenured professor of Sexual and Relational Communication at California State University Fullerton and among the most popular sex educators on TikTok.

In this article:

What Is Phone Sex?

No, you're not living under a rock if you don't know what phone sex is. Remember: Everyone is on their own sexual journey, and if you're unfamiliar with the concept of phone sex, it's A-OK.

"Phone sex is when partners engage in mediated sexual encounters through the phone," Dr. Tara tells The Knot. "[This] can involve voice calls and video calls. It can include mutual masturbation, one-sided or at the same time."

Through mutual masturbation and verbal guidance, phone sex uses words to elicit arousal and guide someone toward orgasm by blending mental and physical stimulation.

It's important to note though that phone sex doesn't just look one way versus another. According to Wood, one's approach to having intimacy over the phone can vary widely. For example, some folks find comfort in articulating explicit sexual desires, while others favor the allure of sexual storytelling and others opt for more ambiguity.

It's all about what works and feels good for both you and your partner, and respecting what the other consents to.

Why Do People Have Phone Sex?

There are many different reasons one might engage in having phone sex. Both Wood and Dr. Tara agree that these are some of the motivators below:

It provides connection when you're physically distant

As Wood explains, "Engaging in phone sex is a great way to connect to your partner if you don't have the immediate opportunity to be physically close to each other."

It encourages insight into what the other likes

It's a great way to learn about your partner's sexual preferences, fantasies and intimate thoughts. Engaging in phone sex is a great way to connect to your partner on a deeper level sexually, and continue to grow in how you approach new sexy ideas with them.

It breeds novelty and excitement

"It brings sexual excitement and novelty to the relationship," says Dr. Tara. "Most couples also do this because they're in long-distance relationships, or when one

partner is away traveling."

How to Initiate Phone Sex with Your Partner

The idea of phone sex might be, well, sexy, to you. But it can sometimes be hard to know how to initiate phone sex, especially if it feels out of your realm. But with a few simple tips, you'll be sexting in no time.

It's always crucial to make sure that no one is doing anything they don't enjoy

or feels comfortable with. That's why you should always approach your partner about it first and establish consent, instead of diving in head-first on your next phone call.

Start with suggestive texts

Before jumping into sending a naughty photo, it can be very helpful to gauge interest with a few flirty or suggestive messages. If the response is positive, you can gradually heat things up.

Schedule time

If your partner is interested, it can be helpful (and just as sexy) to schedule a time that's good for both of you to have phone sex. "A good amount of time that I recommend is

15-30 minutes," Dr. Tara says. "If the length is too short, it might not be enough to build

up the mood; while if it is too long it will feel too drawn out."

"Never try unsolicited non-consensual phone sex," Dr. Tara reminds.

Communicate intentions

"Outline your expectations," recommends Wood. "Do you want to share new fantasies with your partner? Do you want to guide them through self-pleasure? Do you want to hear them moaning over the phone?"

"When introducing new things to your sexual arena, it can be a good idea to be clear and provide some examples so your partner knows what exactly you're suggesting," Wood adds.

How to Have Phone Sex Without Feeling Awkward

If you go into phone sex thinking it's going to feel awkward, chances are, it will be. But with these simple, sex-positive tips from Dr. Tara and Wood, you can go from awkward to confident in no time.

Set the stage for comfort

No one wants to be interrupted or overheard while they're having phone sex. If you're worried about that, you won't feel cool and confident.

"It's essential to create a comfortable environment for yourself. Find a private space where you won't be interrupted or overheard," Wood suggests. "This could be your bedroom or any place where you feel relaxed and secure. Dim the lights, maybe light a candle or two—anything that helps you feel at ease and in the mood."

Relax and be yourself

Remember that phone sex is a consensual and shared experience. Relax, be

yourself and encourage your partner to do the same.

Start slow

Slow and steady wins the race. "Begin with gentle and teasing language," Wood says. "Gradually escalating the intensity as both partners become more comfortable."

Practice meditation beforehand

"Try sexual meditation prior to the phone sex session to regulate your

nerves and feel more confident," Dr. Tara suggests.

Embrace imagination

Remember, phone sex (and all sex for that matter) can be made ever better when you use your imagination. "Start the conversation with something light and gradually steer it towards more sensual topics," explains Wood.

"Share what you're thinking, feeling and wishing you could do if you were together. Be descriptive—the more details, the better. Describe how you're touching yourself, how you imagine touching them and how you feel about it."

Read erotica for practice

"You can also practice reading erotica so you feel more confident in engaging in dirty talk," Dr. Tara says. "And remember to focus on your pleasure because when you are having a pleasurable time, your expression speaks for itself."

Listen

According to Wood, a significant part of phone sex is listening to your partner. "Pay attention to their breathing, their moans and the words they use," they say. "This will give you cues on what they enjoy and what they might want more of."

"Respond to their cues with your own sounds and words. This back-and-forth, this feedback loop, is a huge part of the intimate connection you're achieving together."

Remember that awkwardness is normal

When it comes to phone sex, it's only natural to feel a bit awkward or self-conscious initially. If you stumble over your words or find yourself at a loss, it's okay: It's a part of being a human in sexual situations.

As Wood recommends, "You can always say something like, 'I'm a bit new to this, but I'm really enjoying it.' Often, just acknowledging the awkwardness can help dissipate it."

"Remember, this is a shared experience and, chances are, your partner might be feeling the same way. Laughing together at any awkward moments can help ease the tension."

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