If your 2018 was anything like mine, it was a year of learning and growth. For me, combatting second-semester senioritis (after studying abroad), securing a job post-grad, and moving to a new city made it a year of intense transformation. I decided that if 2018 was the year of learning how to adult, then 2019 will be a year of self-love and creative healing. So, I tried out the Desire app as a part of my resolution to have a sexier 2019. Because what better way to improve your life than by resolving to have better sex?
Basically, the way Desire works is that you and your partner send dares back and forth. The appeal of the app — which launched in 2014 and is available in the iTunes App Store and on Google Play, bless up — is that some dares are sweet and others are spicy. The more dares you complete, the more trophies you gain and the more potential you have for unlocking more advanced dares.
Even as a couple that is— at the very least — not vanilla, my girlfriend and I find ourselves slipping into a bedroom routine as everyone does now and again. While investing in new sex toys and exploring different kinks are on deck for 2019, I decided to cross this little digital nudge off the list first.
So, one night when both my girlfriend and I were free and in the mood, we downloaded app and created our profiles. Aren't we cute?
Then, came the dares. Most activities on the app are from Desire's developers, although some are user-generated. Desire's categories cover a wide range of moods and situations. With the aid of this app, you and bae can thrive sexually outside the bedroom, in the great outdoors, with a role-play moment, at work, via video chat, and through sexy dress-up — with daily and seasonal dares for that extra dash of excitement.
The roleplay category involved classic fantasies, like a student-teacher scenario. Then there were some that were a bit off the beaten path, like the cowboy one (Bradley Cooper's scruff and drawl in "A Star is Born" really did it for me, so I guess I'm into the cowboy thing now). The dress-up ones were particularly indulgent requests, like asking your partner to wear a certain outfit that you gets you going or no underwear when the two of you go out to eat.
For our trial run, Genna and I decided to send each other two dares each. The first dare I sent was the very scandalous provocation to re-create our first kiss.
Don't let my PVC- and mesh-bound form fool you: I am a soft-hearted Libra to my core. Our first kiss happened when we were in the same summer internship program. After our second date. I had been laying in bed in the dorm, just chit-chatting with my roommate, when Genna texted me that she had been debating whether to kiss me when she dropped me off. I asked her what she wanted to do about that, and not five minutes later, I heard a knock at my door.
So, safe to say our first dare was wholesome. But things heated up once Genna sent her first dare. When you're on the receiving end on Desire, the dare comes to you as a scratch-off card.
It may seem like a quirky choice by Desire's developers, but I liked the suspense of discovering what my partner picked next.
The dare read, "You'll be mine for 10 minutes. During that time, I can ask you to do whatever I want (within reason, of course). Should we start the stopwatch?" I'm sure you can use your imagination as to what happened next, and for all that would entail between you and your partner.
This is where the importance of asking for consent during sex can not be stressed enough. Even if an act seems "within reason," it's crucial that you get your partner's affirmative consent and that they feel comfortable speaking up! My girlfriend and I have established a safe word to say during sex, which is always super helpful. We also have a touch system to communicate during sex. For us, it's tapping. This comes in handy when our mouths or throats are pre-occupied.
The second dare I picked said, "I love how you look at me and how you touch me. Let's see if you can turning me on without touching me, though." And then Genna's final dare was, "Leave sweet little bites in just the right places. Kiss me and you lose. Can you handle it?"
To be honest, I'm almost couldn't. While neither of these dares were particularly X-rated or kinky, they were challenging. For example, a dare like the first one is a great opportunity to try out some dirty talk. The second one was an exercise in attentiveness and mindfulness. I would say the second set of dares pushed us to up our game and, in a sense, think creatively.
By the end of our trial run with Desire, we had definitely enjoyed ourselves and were satisfied with the app.
It did make my girlfriend and I salty, because our first thoughts were, "Where was Desire when we were in an long-distance relationship for a year and a half?" It definitely would have been a fun addition to our sexting habits in the tortuous two-month intervals apart. Desire just added a long-distance category, too, so that added insult to injury.
It's funny to think about how we're now "distance closed," and yet we tried this app in bed together from start to finish. I feel like laying side-by-side on our phones as a means of facilitating sex means we've hit peak millennial couple.
Overall, I recommend Desire for any couple or set of sexual partners that are busy or working. One feature of the Desire app that we didn't need to use this time around is the ability to add time to dares. You can give your partner a few hours or 30 days to complete your assigned task.
Imagine being in a mind-numbing staff meeting and getting a notification that your partner just sent you a dare on Desire. Or just think about how lit your partner is going to be when they're dragging themselves to the class they're dreading this spring and see you've slid a dare their way.
Plans to brighten up your sex life in the new year can look different from person to person. For some, that means embracing untapped sexual desires or twerking to Cardi B as self-care. It can also mean being unafraid of awkward moments during sex and being free to laugh at them when they happen. Or, the most important one of them all: leaving fake orgasms behind in 2018.
I can't say that I'll use it every day this year, but I will definitely keep the Desire app up my sleeve for a sexier 2019.