21 Things To Do & Say To Have Good Phone Sex

mbg Contributor By Ashley Uzer, MBA
mbg Contributor
Ashley Uzer, MBA, is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer focused on sex and relationships. She has a degree in Design & Merchandising from Drexel University and a Master’s in Business Administration from American University. Her writing has been published in Vice, DC Magazine, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and elsewhere.
Expert review by Kristie Overstreet, Ph.D., LPCC, LMHC, CST
Clinical Sexologist & Psychotherapist
Kristie Overstreet, Ph.D., LPCC, LMHC, CST, is a clinical sexologist and psychotherapist with 12 years of clinical experience. She is a licensed counselor in California, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana. She is also a certified sex therapist, certified addiction professional, and president of the Therapy Department, a private practice in Orange County that provides counseling services throughout the United States.
How To Have Great Phone Sex, Even If It's Not Usually Your Thing

Image by mbg Creative / Various, iStock

Despite the chance for awkward encounters (which are just as likely with face-to-face sex), phone sex can be an amazingly pleasurable experience for both parties—especially if you're trying to maintain connection in a long-distance relationship. Telling your partner your dirty thoughts and actions over the phone is surprisingly simple, but it's understandable that many of us aren't inherently comfortable with reciting all of our kinkiest fantasies aloud to our smartphone screen. Here's everything you need to know about phone sex, and how to try it with your partner. 

1. Get (and give) enthusiastic consent.

Before any sexual encounter, whether digital or physical, you want to obtain enthusiastic consent. Enthusiastic consent is more than a "yes"—it's a "hell, yes!" You can do this part over text if it feels safer. Here are some examples of texts you can send:

  • "I've been fantasizing about you a lot lately; can we find a time for me to tell you about my dirty thoughts over the phone?" 
  • "I miss having sex with you. Do you want to try having phone sex sometime this weekend?"
  • "I'm so turned on from that photo you sent me earlier. Can I call you and tell you what I'd do to you if you were here?" 
  • "Since we're not going to see each other for a while, I was thinking it could be fun to try having phone sex. Are you into that idea?"

If your partner is hesitant, feel free to ask them what about phone sex doesn't sound appealing to them, and see if you can find a way to adjust accordingly. For example, if your partner is worried their roommates will hear them, ask if they're comfortable sexting. If they're not confident in their words, video chat is a great option.

Additionally, even if your partner is game for phone sex one night, it doesn't necessarily mean they're open to it the following night. Be sure to get consent before each phone sex date. 

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2. Learn a little about their lovemaking language before the main event.

If you've been with your partner for some time, you may already know what words or fantasies turn them on, plus any names they like to be called during sex and how they refer to their intimate bits. If you're planning phone sex with a new (or even a virtual) partner, you may want to explore these waters before engaging in phone sex.

You can do this by straight-up asking. (For example: "Does it turn you on when I use the word 'tits,' or do you prefer another word?") Or, you can simply pay extra attention to how they speak sexually about themselves or about others. Another way you might learn about your partner's verbal preferences is to ask them if they've ever read any type of sexy story that particularly turned them on and if they wouldn't mind sharing it with you. (This is also great phone sex "foreplay," by the way.) 

3. Don't be afraid to practice a little.

I'm a sex writer, and I've been reading erotic fiction online for an embarrassingly long time, so I have no qualms about speaking sexually at the drop of a hat. However, you (and most people), might not be as comfortable. As with any other skill, practice makes perfect. Even if you don't have a partner to practice with yet, you can sexily study erotic audiobooks, erotic literature (Literotica and Bellesa are both great free resources), and even porn videos to naturally pick up on some sexier lingo.  

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4. Dress up like you would for an in-person date.

Sometimes it's hard to feel turned on when you're lying in your sweatpants after just having eaten your takeout on the couch. You may want to try getting yourself in the mood by taking your time and getting ready for phone sex the same way you would get ready for a date (even if your partner isn't going to see you at all). Oftentimes wearing lingerie or stripping all the way down can feel just as sexy for you as it is for those who see you.

5. Be sure to eliminate distractions.

Even if you're going to skip the primping, you should consider where you're going to take the call, if you have your headphones in (and charged), and more. "Your environment matters," Stella Harris, sex coach and author of Tongue Tied: Untangling Communication in Sex, Kink, and Relationships, tells mbg. "You may be in separate places, but both of you should be in sexy environments (bed, bathtub). Scents also help, lighting candles, etc."

You also should definitely turn your phone to Do Not Disturb mode—nothing kills the mood like receiving a work email in the middle of phone sex. 

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6. Take things slow.

Phone foreplay is just as important as regular foreplay.

"Dip your toes in first," dating coach Adam LoDolce tells mbg. "Don't feel that you need to go from 'Hello' to 'I wanna tie you up and spank you' in two minutes." Take your time arousing yourself and your partner the way you would during regular sex.

You don't even have to start the actual dirty talk right away if you're shy, suggests sexologist Jess O'Reilly, Ph.D. She recommends simply tossing in a few words like "Yes!," "More!," "Fuck yeah!," or whatever comes naturally to you to ease things in—you don't need to try to emulate your favorite porn star.

7. Try strolling down memory lane. 

"You don't need to try role-play or any fancy scenarios," Harris says. "In fact, you don't need to use your imagination at all if you don't want to. Simply recount a sexy memory you have with the person."

Harris suggests saying something like, "Remember that time you pushed me up against the wall at our favorite bar? That was so hot." Then, the other person can chime in with their own memories, or ask you to keep going with your memory, and things should flow pretty easily. 

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8. Explain what you're doing (or what you wish you could be doing).

Another direction to take phone sex is to tell your partner what you want to do to them. Harris suggests saying, "You know what I'd do if you were here right now?" And then simply describing the kind of sex you'd like to have. Alternatively, you can ask your partner what they would like to do to you if you don't think they'll feel put on the spot. 

9. Tell your partner what you love (and miss) about their body or their actions.

Everybody likes compliments, so if you're struggling with what to say during phone sex, this is a great way to fill in any awkward silences (if not, moans are great too). Tell your partner how you miss their perfect butt or the way they scratch your back. You can even describe a noise or facial expression they make in bed that you love. Build on this by telling them what part of their body you miss, and what you'd like to do to that part of their body. Or what noise they make in bed that you miss, and what you'd like to do to get them to make that noise if you were together. 

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10. When in doubt, add details and make things personal. 

In addition to the compliments, remember that your partner wants to feel special. So, whether you're giving compliments or describing sexual acts, don't hesitate to make things as personal to your relationship as possible. For example, instead of saying, "I wish I could kiss you all over right now." Say something like, "I wish we could be snuggled up on the couch in your living room after watching our show, and I could start kissing you all the way from your cute shoulder dimples to your ticklish little feet."

Harris recommends thinking about all of your senses when crafting your words. "What do you feel, smell, hear, see? Describe it all."

11. Don't shoot your partner down if they say something you're not into.

Most of us feel a little awkward or nervous about saying the "wrong" thing during phone sex. So, if your partner starts describing a fantasy that doesn't turn you on, try not to abruptly shoot them down. This might make them feel rejected or embarrassed and ruin the mood. "Keep an open mind and have the mentality of 'Yes, and...,'" says LoDolce. "If someone says something a bit off, just roll with it and add to it." 

For example, if your partner starts describing a fantasy about introducing a third lover into the bedroom and you're not into it, you can say something like, "Once I see you with another person I get too turned on and have to have you to myself again, so we break off into the bathroom and start having our own fun..." Of course, if your partner has certain fantasies that you haven't previously discussed and/or you don't share them, this is something you might want to talk about in another setting. You may also want to consider whether you can find a way to enjoy talking about it with them, even if you have no intention of having a threesome IRL. 

12. If something really killed the mood, be honest (but gentle).

If something really killed the mood and you don't think you can reignite the spark—whether your dad keeps ringing your other line or your partner is continually asking for you to send a nude photo despite your resistance—let your partner know so you can pick things back up more successfully another time. Here are some things you can say:

  • "I'm so sorry, but my dad keeps trying to reach me and it's totally killing my mood even though you had me super turned on before—can we try this again tomorrow night?"
  • "I'm loving having phone sex with you, but you continually asking me for photos is making me feel uncomfortable and is turning me off. Can we try this another time and discuss our limits beforehand?" 
  • "You're so amazing with your words, and normally I'd be so turned on right now, but I think I'm still anxious about my big interview tomorrow. Can we plan to do this another time when I'm not as stressed?" 

13. Feel free to fantasize about things you may never want to try in real life.

Going off of No. 11, just because your partner may get aroused talking about a threesome may not mean they want to have one in real life. "Some folks find they're willing to discuss fantasies over the phone that they might not address in person, as there is less pressure to act on them or follow through in the moment," says O'Reilly. "The distance of phone sex can attenuate feelings of undue pressure, and you can explore it simply as a fantasy." Consider using this dynamic to bring out a freaky side you may not normally exhibit, and discuss fantasies you may not normally share with your partner. 

14. Pay attention to your partner's cues.

Just as you would during sex, you want to check in with your partner to ensure they're enjoying phone sex. You may be able to discern this simply from the noises they are making (or visuals they may be sending, if you're including photo or video elements). Regardless, it's never bad to do a verbal check-in. "Use a few simple lines to develop greater comfort as you explore," suggests O'Reilly. She recommends trying some of the following phrases:

  • "Do you like that?" 
  • "What can I do for you?" 
  • "Tell me how you like it." 

15. Consider sending over some additional entertainment.

If you're nervous about how to have phone sex, or you're simply not very comfortable with dirty talk, you may want to consider sending over a pornographic video or sexy story that you and your partner can read or watch together. Commenting on things you'd like to try from the movie or story may feel a little safer than completely being in charge of the dialogue. And this way, you can feel more comfortable with "awkward" silences that may be filled by the movie's audio or by both of you reading the story.

16. Don't pressure your partner to do anything they're not comfortable with.

Before getting into phone sex, you may want to consider having a chat with your partner about their limits when it comes to digital desire. Are they comfortable sending photos, videos, or voice notes? Are they comfortable FaceTiming while they pleasure themselves? If they're not and you ask them to send you a photo mid phone sex, this might turn them off (especially if you continually ask them). While it's understandable that you may want to see your partner naked while you converse, boundaries are an important way to ensure everyone enjoys themselves during sex—whether over the phone or in real life. If your partner likes a little pressure and cajoling, consider discussing a safe word they can use when they'd actually like you to stop asking them to do something.

17. Try taking turns so the onus to carry the conversation isn't on your partner (unless they prefer it that way). 

If you're nervous about how to have phone sex, chances are your partner is too, so you want to put in an even amount of effort like you would with traditional sex.

If you think it may be more fun for you to narrate an entire fantasy during one phone sex session and have it be your partner's turn the next time, this is also something you may want to discuss beforehand and/or when establishing consent. For example, you could say, "I have been replaying this fantasy about you, and I want to tell you about it over the phone. No pressure to respond, but if it does turn you on, feel free to play with yourself."

Otherwise, try to take turns speaking just like you would in a normal conversation so neither partner feels pressure rather than pleasure. 

18. When you can't find words, use sounds (or images).

"Audio-only sex leaves more to the imagination, and many people are highly aroused by sounds," says O'Reilly. "Research suggests that the sound of a lover's voice can be a turn-on resulting in increased electrical activity in the skin." She says the sound of a lover's voice, moans and groans, and the sound of movement between the sheets can go a long way. So, even if you're not comfortable stringing together a full dirty-talk sentence, you can totally still have awesome phone sex. Likewise, if you're more comfortable sending a photo or watching each other pleasure yourselves via Skype or FaceTime, this can be equally great. I've had pleasurable FaceTime sex where my partner and I didn't say a word; we simply touched ourselves on camera and moaned. 

19. Remember that your partner wants to have phone sex with you—so be yourself!

In all kinds of sex, we may put pressure on ourselves to perform like a porn star or like someone we may have seen in a movie that exudes sexual confidence. While it's not a horrible idea to channel a more confident persona to combat your shyness, don't forget that your partner wants to have phone sex with you, not Dita Von Teese or Usher. Be yourself as best you can, and be honest about your fantasies and what turns you on

20. Feel free to acknowledge any awkwardness. 

"As you integrate dirty talk into your sexual repertoire, remember that it is OK to giggle a little," says O'Reilly. "Obviously you don't want to laugh at your lover, but having a healthy sense of humor will help to ease the tension when you are experimenting with new language, tone, and subject matter." In fact, O'Reilly says that intentionally using a bit of humor and playfulness might be the ideal approach if dirty talk doesn't come naturally to you.

21. Touch yourself when you're ready — or don't!

Of course, the main objective of phone sex is for you and your partner to find pleasure together. If you're game, definitely feel free to use whatever methods you need to get there—including your favorite toys within arm's reach. "You can focus on both bodies or simply take turns getting one another off with your words," says O'Reilly.

That said, there are many other benefits to phone sex, such as the simple connection and intimacy you get from a partner that isn't physically near. You also shouldn't feel pressured to get off if you're not in the mood. Maybe you need a little more phone foreplay, or maybe you don't feel you have adequate privacy to truly enjoy yourself. While you certainly shouldn't feel obligated to get your partner off if you're not in the mood, maybe you can enjoy helping your partner masturbate (via a story, a photo, or even a steamy audio note) even if you're not going to do the same.

With more and more practice (and fun), you'll likely grow more comfortable touching yourself to the sound of your partner's voice—and using your voice to tell your partner exactly what you're doing to yourself in great detail.

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