By Rebecca Reid
I’ve been with my husband for almost five years, and while I still get butterflies when I see his name pop up on my phone, let’s be really honest: Long-term sex doesn’t elicit that same instantaneous, gotta-have-'em-right-now excitement that sex with a new partner does. It's comfortable, fun—it can even be adventurous—but in long-term relationships, consistently great sex takes work.
And since I have an app on my phone for everything from cooking (Yummly) to doing laundry (Cleanly) I figured there had to be something in the App Store (Screwly?!) that would revolutionize my sex life. Rather than a car service app, it'd be a, how shall I put it, personal service app. That's a thing, right?
Of course it is! There are, in fact, a lot of sex apps: Apps to find sex, apps to watch people having sex, apps to let people watch you have sex. To determine which ones are worth the space on your phone, I downloaded every sex app I could find (or, at least the ones that didn't seem creepy), told my husband we were in for a busy week, and embarked on my quest: Could a sex app could do for my relationship what Uber did for my commute?
Out of everything we tried (in total we gave 11 a go—some of which really don’t deserve their spot in the App store!), these are the five apps that had the most impressive effect on our sex life.
The iPassion app is beautifully designed and user-friendly, with a premise like The Newlywed Game, but for your deepest and sexiest secrets. You answer questions about your sexual preferences, your partner does the same, and then you try to answer questions about each other.
It’s competitive, which is always fun, and you learn about your person's innermost desires with questions like, "Do you prefer your partner clean-shaven, or with stubble?" and "Which look is hottest: School Girl, Business Woman, Teacher, or Biker Chick?”
After half-a-decade of romantic bliss, I thought I was done with surprises about my husband. I was wrong. Turns out, he’s more interested in me wearing pigtails than I realized, and he didn’t know how much I love his second-day stubble. For anyone who feels a little shy about admitting what they want in the bedroom (which is perfectly normal), doing so from behind a screen can be easier than saying it out loud.
The only issue: I morphed into Monica from Friends, gunning to finish the game so that I could win, rather than get it on….
Watching porn together can be really sexy, but it can also be kind of intense. A lot of mainstream porn is graphic, and unless you pay for porn from a reputable site, like XConfessions (from feminist pornographer Erika Lust), it’s hard to know whether or not the people in it were exploited.
For me, reading erotica is the perfect compromise. The Sex Stories app gives you access to all sorts of exciting, sexually-charged tales from writers around the world. The flavor varies from characters who have sweet, vanilla sex, to more hardcore subject matter, like BDSM.
Hubby and I found that reading stories privately, then sending each other links to the ones that turned us on was seriously hot. And more than that, it gave us a whole new way to communicate our desires. I’ve always had fantasies about being with another woman, but I was worried sharing them with my husband might make him feel insecure. After he read a story about a couple having a threesome, he told me how much he would love to watch me get it on with another lady.
While I don’t know if we’ll ever make that a reality, being able to share the fantasy led to bed-breakingly great sex and left me way more open to discussing my desires.
Awkward name syntax aside, this is a perfect early-relationship game—like an icebreaker for new couples. It's set up in the classic truth-or dare-format: Enter your own name and the name of your partner (you can include more than two players, which is very forward-thinking of the developers) and get the option of a task to perform or a secret to divulge.
I consider myself pretty adventurous, but even the most Charlotte-y among us might find the questions here pretty tame. The app asked us questions like, "Have you ever been to sex shops?" and, "Have you ever masturbated?" (Is there a sizable part of the population that could actually say no to that one?) Still, if you’ve only been on a few dates, are super shy, or are struggling to get to know a new partner, Dirty Couple Game could be a jumping-off point.
The dares, unfortunately, aren’t much wilder, with suggestions like "give a compliment" or "kiss your partner’s hips." If you pay $8.99 for a full upgrade you can graduate to more "extreme" suggestions, like describing sexual fantasies or creating your own dares. Reviews in the App Store complain that it’s pretty focused on male pleasure, and I found myself agreeing. My husband, surprisingly enough, didn’t seem to mind.
Okay, so this is a little bit of a cheat because YONO isn’t technically a sex app: It’s a menstrual tracker. But I’ve learned that understanding your menstrual cycle is the most active step you can take towards improving your sex life.
While planning sex might not sound that exciting, a woman looks most attractive (from an objective, evolutionary perspective) and feels horniest around the time that she ovulates (regardless of whether or not you want kids, nature is pulling for you to have them). Using a fertility tracker allows you to not only be extra careful with your contraception, but also plan trips and date nights around the times you’ll be most turned on. Why hello, hot vacation sex.
I tracked my period for a few months (the app requires a few cycles' worth of data to get super accurate), then planned a romantic weekend away with my husband—something we try to do a couple of times a year—for when I was ovulating.
In the past on vacation I've put pressure on myself to want sex all the time—something to do with paying for the hotel room, I think. But this trip, because I was ovulating, there was no stress, just a whole lot of "let’s skip the breakfast we already paid for and stay in bed" sex. We usually have sex three or four times a week, but on this trip we were doing it at least four times a day.
Here’s the thing about trying a new position: It doesn't have that much to do with the actual position. Instead, it's about doing something new and getting to experience each other’s bodies in a different way. Even just the act of trying to get into a pretzel formation can bring you and your partner closer.
When you’ve been together awhile, it’s tempting to go for the "routine:" the little sexual sequence you develop that doesn’t take too long, gives you both an orgasm, and means you’re asleep by 11 on a weeknight. (Like, say, five minutes of foreplay, missionary sex, and then finishing with girl on top.) Nice to have, but not always exciting.
That's where 69 Positions comes in (no pun intended). It's straightforward: It's an app that demonstrates how to try different sex moves. The illustrations are clear and easy to follow and they’re all things that you could achieve without having a background in Bikram. Plus, if you've exhausted all the built-in options, you can use in-app purchasing to unlock more complicated and exotic positions—$1.99 for the whole menu.
Apart from one slightly-strained thigh muscle thanks to our attempt at The Acrobat, this app lead to a fun evening together. Will we be trying The Wheelbarrow every night? Probably not. But it's nice to change things up, and this app certainly did that.
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