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The Tech You Need to Keep That Long-Distance Relationship Hot & Steamy

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but what about the genitals?

One of the most challenging factors of maintaining a long-distance relationship is the lack of sex. For millennia, couples wrote beautiful prose to one another from across the world, and then in the 1990s, email became a household fixture, textually closing the gap between cities, states, countries and continents. From expensive long-distance phone calls, we’ve moved on to quick connections over free internet-based call services, not to mention texting and video chats. In mere seconds, we can send a photo to a sweetie in Fiji. Phone sex, sexting and cam sex are all excellent recent inventions and have helped to shape the way we think about sex in modern society.

So what’s the next frontier?

“Over the next little while,” says We-Vibe brand manager Stephanie Keating, “I see more and more interactive features being added and giving couples a closer connection even while being separated.”

We-Vibe, a company well-known for its hands-free vibrators, is at the forefront of the current teledildonics boom and is meeting the demand for sex toys that bring couples closer together, one megabyte at a time. Through their app We-Connect, users can tether several of the company’s vibrators via a Bluetooth connection and send an invite to whomever they want to take control.

Once a connection is made over Wi-Fi or a 3G/LTE network, the vibrator becomes a vessel for the controller’s customizable pattern and intensity settings, and partners can connect over secure video, voice, or text chat. Currently, We-Vibe offers a variety of app-ready toys for vaginal, penile and anal use, and the app has recently expanded to include two-way play. If each partner has an app-compatible toy, they can both connect within one session.

More: Why The Pleasure Gap Is a Gender Equality Issue

Features like these aren’t just futuristic, they’re tangibly making a difference in many couples’ sex lives, near and far.

“When we first launched We-Connect, we heard from a couple that were completely thrilled as they exclaimed that they had successfully had sex across the Atlantic,” Keating says. “And, an elderly gentleman told us how having the app on an iPad allowed him to finally see and know what he was doing when pleasuring his wife because he could see the controls on the large iPad screen.”

More: Orgasms Are More Illusive for Straight Women

While using app-enabled toys with an in-town date can be thrilling, couples in long-distance relationships are especially able to reap tactile benefits from innovations like these.

“One of the hardest things in a long-distance relationship it maintaining the intimacy,” says Keating. “We-Connect is not a replacement for that, but it offers couples a fun way to explore pleasing each other when [partners] are not in the same place. And it gets couples talking about their pleasure and that intimate connection they may feel they are missing.”

Dr. Tina B. Tessina, psychotherapist and author of 13 titles, including The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Close While You’re Far Apart, says that those conversations paired with new experiences can actually give your relationship an edge.??

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“You are forced to learn to communicate clearly. Being apart can even deepen your relationship because of the effort you need to make to stay connected,” she says. “The problems, of course, are that you are spending a lot of time apart, and keeping your connection and intimacy feeling fresh is not easy. If [a product] is easy enough to use and you make good agreements about it, it can be fun.”

Long-distance couples find success when they’re invested in the quality of their relationship, but being apart can be an incredible emotional challenge for even the truest romantic. With app-enabled toys becoming more common in the sex industry, more couples are able to have a whole new sex life no matter where they’re located.

Looking for a few tips to keep your long-distance love alive?

1. Surprise your sweetie with a package of goodies?

Sending a care package with something sure to produce pleasure is a great way to send the message that you seriously care about your partner’s satisfaction.

?2. Get matchy-matchy

While shopping for a treat for your love, pick up something for yourself –– you deserve to feel the love too!??

3. Wait for the phone call, then get to work

Once your partner receives their package, get on the phone and use your products together, in-app or otherwise. Talk about the sensations, what you like and what you can’t wait to show them the next time they’re in town.

It can be a lot of work to be in a long-distance relationship, but with technological advancements rolling out at record-breaking speed, we’re getting a little closer every day to the people we love to love.

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