Dear MKE SEX,
I’ve recently met someone who I really connected with, but she lives out of state. We’re excited enough about each other to want to explore it further, but with the distance (and the resulting expenses, time apart, completely separate lives, etc.) and COVID still being “in the air,” it’s hard to know how much energy to give and when to consider it more than a sexuationship.
Help me get lucky and stay lucky, Lucky!
I’m going to start by saying that I love the word “sexuationship,” and will be adding it to my connection descriptors (alongside flirtationship and situationship). Thank you for this wonderful word gift! I love that we’re putting new words to relationships that have existed for millennia. I think it really helps people figure out what they want without shame, and that’s important.
I also want to say congratulations on finding a connection that excites you during this very challenging COVID season. It’s been a long pandemic which has really taken a toll on many folks’ mental health. Being excited about this (or anything, really!) must feel really good. Assuming that you are both maintaining similar COVID safety protocols, I can see this being a wonderful experience for you both during a difficult time.
Figuring out how to manage the sexuationship will rely on honest and clear communication between the two of you. Discussing your individual comfort with COVID safety is one place to start. Are you both vaccinated (and boosted), and if your vax statuses don’t match is that okay with you? Do you plan to quarantine before each visit? Or test before you see each other? These are some of the details you’ll want to be clear about.
You’ll also want to talk about whether you’re exclusively dating each other or if you’re each open to having other romantic or sexual relationships concurrently. If you are going to be seeing other folks, then you should discuss using barriers for your sexy times as well as relevant STI testing (and agree on appropriate intervals for that).
How much capacity do each of you have for travel? Will you try to alternate who visits whom? Or does one of you have more flexibility in your life making cross country trips easier to accommodate? Consider how much connection you’d like between visits as well. Daily texts? Checking in a couple of times per week? Phone dates so you can hear each other’s voices? Video calls can also be a great help with this. If you’ll be getting sexy at a distance, consider using an app like Signal which is encrypted and includes phone calls and video chatting.
Your answers to the questions in the previous paragraphs will probably give you an idea of whether you want to keep things in the sexuationship category or whether you’d like step things up and move into a more committed relationship. If all of this sounds like too much work for something that will only happen every few months, then maybe you should just make the most of the moments you have together and not worry much about the next steps. On the other hand, if you spend several months exploring this new adventure, and find yourselves still wanting more time together or a deeper level of connection, it might be time to consider taking another step to something more.
I caution you not to move too quickly, however. When we’re first dating a new person, we’re often flooded with a euphoric rush known as NRE (new relationship energy) which compels us to spend more time together and even make rash decisions about our lives. NRE typically lasts six months to a year. While it’s a hell of a rush with a lot of great feelings, it’s not always indicative of whether folks are compatible in the long term. Uprooting a life and moving several states away may not turn out like you envision when you’re in the thrall of NRE. Give the relationship some time to settle before making big changes like that.
For now, concentrate on getting to know each other, setting up a good structure for open communication, and having a great time!
Curious about cunnilingus? Anxious about anal? Do you have questions about queefs or problems with your prostate? Lucky Tomaszek is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee’s only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Send her an email at [email protected] and she’ll get back to you with an answer.