Words by Lola Phoenix
I’m the type of person that laughs in the middle of kissing because it’s such a strange thing to do. I don’t think I’m bad at communicating, but sometimes romantic and sexual things can feel a bit awkward, and that’s okay! There’s no harm in getting a bit of help for it.
I happened upon the app Pillow Play by chance. It works on iOS so it can work on your iPhone or iPad and I was able to download it quickly and easily. When I asked the founder Darren about expanding to other operating systems like Android, he was hopeful they’d be able to do so in the future.
Pillow Play is essentially a series of episodes you can listen to with your partner, where a voice you can choose, guides you through a series of intimacy building exercises. That might sound clinical on the outside, but I found that when it got down to it, the experience was far from robotic.
After downloading the app, I settled in with my partner and lots of awkward laughs. We decided going for the one where one partner closed their eyes or was blindfolded was preferable, since trying something new is always slightly awkward and sometimes having your partner’s eyes shut can be helpful.
I’d advise newcomers to the app to think about where a partner is positioned before you start. In my haste, I must’ve ignored instructions on where my partner should be lying down and whether or not they were covered with a blanket and it made the part of the episode where I was to lift a blanket a bit awkward.
But otherwise, I found that after some of my awkward giggles died down, the experience was heartwarming and worthwhile, only comparable to the time when I tried to calm my partner with a mix of meditation and massage – but a bit less physically arduous for me!
Sometimes being the one who leads in any activity can be distressing and difficult and I’m much more of a follower in those cases. The good thing about the Pillow Play app and the episode we tried is that you don’t have to worry about making all of the decisions for once. You can lead without it being nearly as stressful.
I found as well that the voice that leads you through the episode isn’t hokey or over the top. Many people checking out this type of app might worry that, although it’s an app about intimacy for couples, an app maker could easily misinterpret “intimacy” as being automatically hypersexual, but this app isn’t like that. In fact, I think that partners who are one or both asexual may find that these episodes can be really useful for building intimacy with partners. I’d definitely recommend it for any partners, asexual or not, who are struggling to do something intimate and romantic that isn’t necessarily sexual.
So if you’ve got iOS on a device, give the Pillow Play app a try with a partner and enjoy the closeness that comes from building intimacy with each other.