You’re away on business, you don’t know a soul in this town, you’re holed up in your hotel room alone and lonely (read: horny), and because you are not a cheating scumbag and this isn’t “Up in the Air,” you pick up the phone to call your honey at home in the hopes of a little cellular nookie. But it goes something like this: “I just called, to say, I … um … uh, I was thinking that we could, you know … oh, never mind. How’s the weather where you are?” There’s nothing like phone sex to make you feel like a gawky teen all over again.

The person on the other end of the line could be fully clothed and watching “American Idol” on mute for all you know. Without being in the same room together, performance anxiety is practically inevitable. So here’s how to reach out and touch someone successfully:

1 Plug in your headset to free up your hands and avoid neck cramps.

2 Once you’ve dialed the digits, use the “I wish you were here” line as your “in.”

3 Dead air during phone sex can dampen the mood, but some heavy breathing, the occasional moan, or whispering his or her name can fill the awkward silences. Whatever you do, make some noise! Otherwise your partner will think you’re watching TV or doodling on the hotel notepad.

Don’t worry about creative vocabulary, at least not at first. Once you become more fluent in the language of love, you can get more colorful.

5 If you’d like to graduate to full sentences but don’t know where to start, try reading something sexy over the phone. Tell your partner, “I read this today and thought of you.” Then start articulating your desire. The most basic approach is to think of this articulation as narration: You’re simply talking about what you’d like to do to your partner or what you’re doing to yourself while you’re doing it.

6 To get your partner in on the action, ask what he or she is doing. Ask exactly how it feels. Ask what he or she would do to you if you weren’t a thousand miles away. If your partner is shy, get him or her talking with a few yes or no questions.

7 Whatever you do, don’t laugh at anything your partner says, ever; not only will it ruin the mood, it will make him or her forever self-conscious.


Em & Lo’s latest book is “SEX: How to Do Everything.” Visit for your

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