Even though we live in the Information Age where a message or a call can reach just about anyone, anywhere on the planet in seconds, the world can, sadly, feel immensely vast for those separated from their lovers or partners. And that distance can feel even more extreme - and so much sadder - when the relationship involves consensual power exchange.

The good news is that there are some techniques and technologies available that, while not the same as face-to-face (or hand-to-ass!) experiences, can still allow kinky people to play as well as maintain a good and healthy BDSM relationship - no matter the distance.

No Geographic Limits to Safety

Before we leap into this, though, we have to talk about the three linchpins of BDSM: to always play safely, sanely, and consensually. True, when you are playing remotely some of these might seem kind of unnecessary, but it's still important to keep them in mind.

For example, before you establish a long-distance BDSM relationship you should never forget to negotiate. Putting dominant and submissive roles aside, talk to each other (or exchange detailed messages) about what each of you wants to do, might want to do (if turned on enough) and what should never happen.

This is especially important when working on scheduling. It’s easy to say that those involved want to have a play session each and every night for an hour, but realistically, this is close to impossible. It's much better to create a more flexible structure that can accommodate everyone's schedules as well as one that's open to change.

Read: 13 Things Couples Do in Long-Distance Relationships

Know Your Communication Styles

One thing about long distance play is the need to work on a mutual understanding of communication styles and timing. Example: some people might be chatty email and text people, writing hundreds or thousands of words at a time, while others might find this uncomfortable or intimidating. The latter will often respond to a text or email with “OK” or just an emoji.

The thing is, if an understanding of styles isn’t there, it’s easy for a someone who likes long messages to think that the other, more terse partner is hiding something important or might be angry with them. Conversely, a short-message person might feel a lot of pressure to write more than they feel comfortable doing. Similarly, some people love texts or emails while others prefer Skype or phone calls. Others still might like FaceTime, or communicating over an app like those that come with some app-controlled sex toys. See what I mean?

Enter the need for both negotiation and understanding. Before starting anything, you should both explain to each other how you like to communicate and how often. Be sure to build in methods of reassurance and ask important questions.

Understand Limitations

Physical safety might not seem like something that needs to be negotiated in a long distance BDSM relationship. After all, you won't even be touching each other! Even so, it should still be addressed.

A good reason for this is that some people still have illusions that a lot of BDSM can be done without a partner. The reality is that very little can really be done safely without someone else being present. This is especially true for ANYTHING involving electricity or bondage.

That said, there are quite a few fun things can be done safely: like clothes pins, nipple clamps, the use of cock rings, or playing with app-controlled sex toys like those from Kiiroo.

The rule here could best be described as “don’t do anything by yourself that is already risky with a partner.” Believe me, the last thing you want is for the submissive partner to be ordered to do something risky and then need help when their dominant is miles away.

Read: 10 Life-Saving Tips for People in Long-Distance Relationships

Welcome to the Future!

In addition to allowing us near-instantaneous communication, our current technology wizardry is also really cool when it comes to long distance BDSM play. There are a number of sex toys that can now be controlled with a compatible app and an internet connection. There are even a few - like the Kiiroo Titan and Pearl II - that can interact with each other, bringing long-distance partners ever closer to interactive virtual sex.

As for how to use them, it doesn’t take a huge leap of imagination to envision integrating one or more of these devices with edgeplay, the domination of a submissive by getting them close to orgasm. By using app-controlled sex toys, a dom can create a remote sexual experience with their submissive - or just switch everything off and leave their partner hanging.

Read: 5 High-Tech Ways to Enjoy Mutual Masturbation

Be Erotically Imaginative

Domination, of course, doesn’t have to be a physical activity. Let’s say that a dominant wants a nice breakfast each and every morning from their submissive. When they are together, this is just a matter of combining eggs with a hot pan, maybe adding some toast. But what about when there are hundreds of miles between them?

The answer could be anything from a set of colorful breakfast emojis that should be sent at an EXACT time each morning, or a detailed written description of the imagined preparation. Miss the deadline and the sub could then receive a punishment, which could include anything from not being allowed to orgasm to having to do an intense physical workout.

Distance Can Be a Turn On

The main thing with having a long distance BDSM relationship is to embrace what can be done and not dwell on what can’t be done.

You can work together to find activities that aren’t stopgaps but are actually sexually and emotionally enjoyable in and of themselves. That way, long distance separations won’t be a negative. Instead, they'll be a wonderfully arousing positive.

With careful and conscientious negotiation, an ever-vigilant eye toward emotional and physical safety, a heaping does of imagination, and a willingness to experiment and play, being separated from your playmates won’t be a time of sadness and frustration, but rather a whole new dimension of BDSM play.