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We already use our phones for everything from ordering pizzas, to stalking our exes, to taking mirror-selfies. So why not use it for sex as well? That’s right, we’re talking about the time-honored tradition of phone sex.

It sounds intimidating, but it really isn’t. People are afraid to hop aboard the dirty talk train because they feel they’ll be bad at it or that it’ll be super awkward. Introducing a potentially cringe worthy experience into your sex routine warrants some apprehension. But when done right, it can be incredible.

Phone sex is a powerful bonding exercise and is particularly important for maintaining intimacy in an LDR (long distance relationship). When your partner’s pleasure zones are out of reach, you can always count on it to stroke the imagination. But even if you aren’t masturbating tons of miles apart, phone sex is a steller way to elevate your sex life in general.

And don’t worry about feeling awkward. It’s natural. These 17 tips will help you have orgasmic phone sex without any painful conversation lulls.

Initiate

There are tons of convenient ways to proposition your significant other. You can be straightforward and say, “Babe, I’ve been thinking about phone sex!” or you can be a bit more sly and try, “My friend told me she tried phone sex and loved it… what do you think?” The conversation will likely lead to some tantalizing anticipation, which will enhance the experience when it finally happens!

Keep an open mind

Like any new experience, it might be a little bumpy at first. Professional phone sex operator Cassandra Dunne says, “It’s normal for couples to fumble a little. Just remember that with practice, your skills will improve tremendously.”

Discuss your fantasies

Talking through your fantasies beforehand will set the stage for a seamless convo. Brainstorm some scenarios with your partner that turn you both on. Where do your sexual minds intersect? If you need help getting the ball rolling, there’s no shame in Googling “sex fantasies.” Here are a few of our favorites: BDSM, bondage, stripteases, roleplaying, voyeurism, and anal sex.

Familiarize yourself with sexy lingo

Not a dirty talk pro? No biggie! There are various ways that you can brush up on your filthy mouth vocabulary. Try reading erotica or watching porn *not* on mute. This will help you get more familiar and comfortable with the lingo!

Begin with a sext

Starting with the call itself may feel like diving into a shark-infested deep end. Ease your nerves by dipping your toes in first, with a short sext exchange (note: don’t just send a dick pick. Get creative!). Sexting is the foreplay of phone sex and will give you both a chance to get all hot n’ bothered before you plunge into sexy talk.You can also send nudes,” Dunne adds, “the visual aids will help your partner get into the right mindset.”

Set the mood

Even though your partner can’t see you, setting the mood will help you feel more comfortable and ultimately make the phone sex better. Do you feel sexiest when nude in a steamy bubble bath? Do candles get you tingling? Perhaps sultry silk panties do the trick! Whatever makes you feel comfortable, but also horny, is how you should set the mood.

Are you dominant or submissive?

Most couples naturally fall into a power dynamic in the bedroom. What is the give-and-take like between you and your partner? Knowing your organic role in the sexual relationship will help you navigate the conversation. Are you more into telling your partner what to do or being told? If you are naturally submissive, maybe you want to drive the conversation with questions like, “Where would you want me to touch you next?”

Speak naturally

You don’t need to alter your voice to have good phone sex. In other words, maintain the cadence, volume, and tone of your natural speaking voice. Nobody expects you to turn into a bombastic pornstar for the sake of the call. What’s worse is that in attempting to monitor your voice, you might end up sounding like you’re giving a business presentation. Keep the office out of the bedroom, unless you’re roleplaying a boss/intern fantasy!

Use your memory bank

“Remember when…” is a foolproof way to blow past awkward lulls. Try reminiscing about your orgasmic past with your partner.

Why does it work? It brings the chat to a level playing field by thinking about a sexy moment you shared together.

Roleplay

Sometimes playing a character can help us step outside our comfort zones. It’s why so many couples turn to roleplay when they want to try something new. Dunne agrees: “Creating an alter-ego might make you and your partner feel less silly and more comfortable engaging in phone sex.”

Need inspiration? How about teacher/student, cheating lovers, officer/criminal, celebrity couples, or fictional characters?

Try toys

Phone sex requires masturbation, but you’ve only got two hands! You’re like a sexy circus clown, juggling the dirty talk, the phone itself, and attempting to reach an orgasm. Help yourself out by using adult toys! You can also tell your partner what the toy is doing to you/how it’s making you feel. Let your partner listen to the buzzing and lube against your skin as you moan your way to ecstasy.

Heavy-breathing and moaning? Yes.

Speaking of moaning… yes. Just yes. Remember, this is an auditory sexual adventure. Moaning is sexy even when you are bumpin’ and grindin’ in person. On the phone, it’s even hotter. There’s so much left to the imagination that the sounds you make help paint a clearer picture of your arousal.

Listen

The biggest mistake people make is failing to listen to their partners. They either attempt to stick to a script or miss important cues because nerves get in the way. If your partner moans or tells you to keep going, take that as a sign that you’re headed in the right direction. If they attempt to shift gears, let them!

Use it as foreplay

Phone sex isn’t a dish reserved for long-distance relationships. It can be used as foreplay for in-person activity. For example, you can have a raunchy chat with your partner on your way home from work to set the mood. Then, when you get home, rip each other’s clothes off, and do it right there in the kitchen or entrance hallway!

Pillow talk is important

Whenever you try something new with your partner, you should talk about it afterward. Discuss what worked and what didn’t to make the next time better! Also, chatting after orgasms can strengthen the emotional bond between you and your partner.

An awkward silence? Use these phrases to steer the conversation back on track!

A lull can happen for a handful of reasons, but don’t take it personally. Your partner might be feeling self-conscious. If you need a line, feel free to borrow one of these:

“I wish you were here right now, there are so many places I’d want to touch, kiss, and lick.”

“Remember that night we did it three times? It drove me wild.”

“I can’t stop thinking about how soft your skin is.”

“Here is how I am touching myself…”

“I get the most turned on when I think about _______.”

“Let’s roleplay. I’ll be the teacher, you can be the student.”

“What’s something you’ve always wanted to try in bed?”

“What kind of porn do you like to watch?”

“What turns you on the most?”

What if phone sex isn’t your jam?

Like any sexual encounter, consent should be enthusiastic and explicit. If at any point you start to feel uneasy or change your mind, let your partner know and end the call. You might also find yourself in a position where you want to continue but you don’t like the direction of the conversation. Pausing to shift gears is not going to kill the mood. In fact, it will do the exact opposite. If your partner continues to push you in an uncomfortable direction, hang up immediately.

Ultimately, trying something bold and different within your relationship is going to inspire a new level of closeness. Will it go perfectly the first time? Maybe, but probably not. Perhaps it’s something you really enjoyed, or something you giggle about later. As Dunne says, “Sex is never going to be how it’s portrayed in porn. It’s raw, human, emotional, and fun. Perfection just isn’t the name of the game. But with practice and follow through, it can be great.” So, put these tips to practice, and have some incredible phone sex!