Trapped in Quarantine, Friends Can’t Stop Sharing Their Nudes With Each Other

Sometimes it’s a morale booster. Sometimes it’s sexual. But mostly, it’s a new way to connect in these particularly uncertain times

Not since 2011, when almost-identical FWB rom-coms Friends With Benefits and No Strings Attached were released back-to-back to confused audiences, has sexy times with friends been more in the horny zeitgeist. People are in quarantine, and they aren’t letting the lack of a romantic relationship stop them from sharing a particularly good pic of their boxer-clad hard-on. As the corny old 1980s song says, “that’s what friends are for” — and people are here for it.

I myself recently sent a pic of my inviting peach of an ass to a friend under the premise of “fuck it, the world is probably ending,” and it left me with a new kind of feeling: I’m horny for human connection. Having my ass praised without feeling like I was promising to one day let him paint it with jizz felt like the hug I so desperately needed. I gave someone a little boost, and he gave one to me — no harm, no foul, just a nice moment between hot friends. After all, people love self-care, and what could be a bigger morale booster than “frexting”?

“My girl friends and I have started sending each other our nudes for approval and suggestions before we send them to our guy friends, and I encourage all women out there to do the same,” says Jennifer, a 29-year-old in L.A. If anything, she thinks taking naked pics is the key to maintaining sanity. “We’ve got to combat feeling lonely to get through this,” she continues. “Right now is a time when nudes should be very much scrutiny-free in regards to what they mean. We’re all anticipating serious loneliness if we’re not feeling it already. Maybe sexting and nudes should just be a free-for-all at the moment — when you have consent, of course.”

Morgan, a 24-year-old in Washington, D.C., agrees. “In the past I’ve very rarely taken nudes because I’ve been so insecure about my body,” she tells me. “However, since this whole quarantine has begun, I’ve been taking so many more in my spare time, and it’s helped me to love my body more. I’ve even started sending videos to one friend. I never thought I’d feel the confidence to be so bold, but I’m truly loving it, especially the reactions I’m getting.”

Mike, a 45-year-old in Syracuse, has started texting an old friend in the last few weeks as well. “Because we’re sexting and not in person, we’ve been more open about things we like sexually, if that makes sense. I took a video of myself and sent it to my sexting partner at her request. I wouldn’t normally do that.“

Eloise, a 34-year-old in L.A., considers the sexting relationship she’s developed with a longtime friend to be a life saver. “We’ve been casually sending a few pics back and forth, but not just nudes of ourselves — he likes to send porn GIFs of women who look like me, and I like to write filthy bits of personalized erotica about what he’s gonna do to me… ‘someday,’” she confides. “It’s perfect because there’s no drama or uncertainty; we’re good friends, and there’s no concern about emotional attachment on either side. If I didn’t have such a fulfilling outlet for receiving compliments on my tits and talking about cum, I’m sure I’d be going more than a little crazy.” 

You don’t have to convince me!

Everyone is clear, though, about the importance of communicating what the situation is before frexting — to make sure all parties are on the same page. This is especially important when there’s a previous romantic relationship to consider, something that Morgan has definitely been concerned about since she hasn’t clarified things with some of the guys she’s talking to. “One guy I was messaging with was an ex, and I’ve been thinking I need to tell him that we can only be friends after this ends,” she tells me. “In general with every guy, it’s fun in the moment, but afterwards I’m left thinking, ‘I hope they don’t expect much when quarantine ends.’”

A lot of people are revisiting past relationships, in fact. Chad, a 46-year-old in Colorado, has recently started sexting his ex-wife. During the day, it’s business as usual with zero flirting as they co-parent their child, but at night, Chad will text her erotic stories to get her off. But he’s definitely having some complicated feelings about it. “In all honesty,” he says, “I wish the End Times vibe would escalate things. I’d love to have real deal sex. But it’s not just the fucking, I really want to hold her and kiss her when I’m freaked out about the virus.” 

Despite his desires, though, he knows his ex-wife doesn’t want more and that once the quarantine is lifted, things will go back to the way they were. “She and I will revert to being partners in raising our child,” he says. “We will act professionally. For her, I don’t think it means much more than some release, which is fine.”

Most attempts at moving from friend to something more aren’t successful. For instance, Sebastian, a 46-year-old in NYC, made a move that turned things awkward with a work friend. “It was the wrong thing to do and I feel bad about it, but one night when we said goodnight in a DM, I asked, ‘Soft kiss on the cheek?’ There was no reply for a while but then she declined. She didn’t want to hurt my feelings, but for her it was unexpected. She said she just thought of me as a friend. I apologized and we agreed to keep talking, but things haven’t been the same at all. I mostly feel bad about having crossed the line professionally, not hurt or rejected.”

Others, meanwhile, are taking things super old school. Jennifer has one friend she’s sexted with who’s super into vintage photography and lingerie, and she has an elaborate plan to send him an envelope full of Polaroids with a sexy retro vibe. The only flaw in her plan is that she wants it to be a surprise and doesn’t know his exact apartment number. She worries then that the sweet 60-year-old woman who lives in his building might accidentally get an eyeful of her corset-busting cleavage. 

Personally, I love the idea of an old-school photo shoot; it’s the sexting equivalent of everyone making sourdough bread from scratch.

The best story I hear, however, is from a 32-year-old blind man named Brian. He has a group of friends who are also blind that have made an arrangement I’d never considered. “Some friends and I write erotic (read: fucking) stories and record them for each other,” he says. 

The lesson here: Thank fucking god for our horny friends during these troubling times — for both serving as a sounding board during our panic attacks and for being enthusiastic receivers of our smut. 

Is this hope for humanity that I’m feeling? 

Maybe we can get through this if we all — *clears throat* — cum together. 

The After-Dark Guide to Life in Quarantine