Sexy Skype for Valentine's Day?

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Sgt. Courtlandt Savageau uses Skype to talk to his family while awaiting deployment to Africa in 2015. (Holguin/DVIDS)

In honor of Valentine's Day, a recent consumer poll conducted for Skype found that 29 percent of those surveyed have used the Skype platform for a “naughty” call.

Military families know Skype as that faithful internet video chat platform that we use during deployment for downrange calls. But do we use it for sexy messaging on Valentine’s Day or otherwise?

We usually keep things completely G-rated around here. But with Valentine's Day coming up, we wanted to stop for a minute to talk about love and deployment.

Skype’s survey, which gathered responses from about 1,500 people in January, did not look specifically at military users. But they were able to gather some data on how people living near military bases use the service on and around Valentine’s Day.

For example, they found that video calls to and from the areas around military bases increased by 8 percent on Valentine’s Day, 2013 when compared to the rest of the year. The area around Fort Bragg, N.C. had the biggest increase recorded – 23.7 percent. And the folks around Camp Lejeune, N.C. were the chattiest that day. The average call length there increased by 31.84 percent.

But what about these “naughty” calls? Sure, that might be a way for the average civilian couple to spice things up long distance. But military members are often using Skype in a not-so-private environment. The MWR tent with a bunch of dudes walking by you and your dearly beloved’s conversation isn’t exactly the best time to take it off, if you get my drift.

We had the chance to chat with relationships expert Andrea Syrtash about ways we can help our military marriages when deployment and distance get in the way. She suggested some creative and practical ways we can use video chatting and messaging even with people walking by.

First, she said, the key is to be creative in how you use it. Skype, for example, also supports video message recording. Instead of waiting for your spouse to be around for a live chat, you can record something in advance for him (or her) to watch when they have a chance. If it’s on the spicy side, include a warning in their message and suggestion that they make sure they have some privacy.

“I really think we have to think out of the box and we have to find creative ways to spice things up and court each other and continuing to pursue each other,” she said. “So the Skype video message is a really great way to inject a little fun. Literally it might take you a minute of your time to record one, and it’s a wonderful keepsake.”

Syrtash suggested users use the message to record a bit of home, an ‘I love you’ message or just something to let them know you’re thinking of them.

She also suggested using Skype as a date night. If you and your servicemember are able to schedule a time that she will be available to call, use it as a chance to dress up a little or even share a meal. Look at what one friend of ours did for her anniversary dinner with her deployed husband. Since they didn't have Skype available at the time they just sent each other photos. But you could easily do this over video chat:

As for the saucier side of video chat, Syrtash said choosing whether to “naughty” Skype is a matter of personal preference.

“If it’s something that feels awkward and not like you, by all means don't do it,” she said. “If you’ve flirted with the idea and want to try … My rule in a relationship is that it’s normal if it works for both of you, and it won’t work if doesn’t work for one of you.”

If you do decide to take it to the next level, Syrtash suggests you use caution so that you aren’t spicing things up for every fella overseas as well.

“That’s where Skype video message or instant messager comes into play,” she said. "For a person that’s deployed you don’t want an audience -- you’ll never live that down. Pick your moments when you have privacy on both ends. But if you don’t get that privacy stick to the video message or IM to share something saucy.”

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