It's a Guy Thing

Redefining Foreplay

By Catriona Boffard, Clinical Sexologist & Psychotherapist

 The word foreplay usually brings to mind sexual experiences such as touching, kissing, stroking, caressing, teasing, getting a blow job or going down on her, using toys, or using your hands and fingers to excite and arouse each other. It seems that the idea of foreplay for most people generally revolves around stimulating sexual acts that all happen before sexual intercourse. And these sexual acts more often than not focus on two or three areas of the body: mostly our privates or breasts and chests! What this means is that parts of your partner’s body, or your own, are often skipped over or rushed passed. So let’s take a look at redefining foreplay in a way that only brings up more excitement and arousal for sex from both partners.

Most couples have a particular script that they follow when they start on each individual experience that leads into having sex: maybe a bit of kissing, touching, a little oral sex and then straight down to actually doing the dirty deed. However, adequate foreplay is crucial in the build-up to sex, not just because it increases the bond between two people, but because it is especially important for women to get aroused – physically and mentally… and women need more time than men in order to be on the same page during a sexual experience! Unlike men, women generally also need more emotional connection to get turned on, whereas men generally like immediate stimulation. Most women tend to prefer a slower, more hands-on seduction, but also the type of foreplay that starts outside of the bedroom. Because men and women often have different sexual needs, focusing on each other’s bodies during foreplay can have positive effects on the emotional bond that you share, and enhance the sexual experience for you both. It takes the pressure off performing during sex, and shifts the focus to pleasure.

The idea of foreplay that you’re likely holding is one that is similar to what was mentioned at the start of this article. But foreplay should actually be conceptualized as anything that two people experience in or outside of the bedroom. Think about the following scenario: you’re on a date with a woman you find incredibly sexy. Complimenting her and subtly indicating your interest in her is a form of foreplay. Think of it as a building block to sexual desire and arousal. In another scenario, if your partner has had a long day, and you offer to give them a massage [free of the expectation or demand of sex!], the likelihood that they will feel appreciated and cared for by you is high, and thus they are likely to feel more connected and therefore more interested in being sexual at some other time. Start focusing on foreplay as something that two people share outside of the bedroom, and you’ll notice that things inside the bedroom may improve sexually! When couples shift their focus to showing each other care, appreciation and desire in situations where there’s no expectation for sex to happen, it helps create anticipation and builds excitement between you. Knowing that your partner finds you sexy or that you cannot wait to simply cuddle on the couch with them later could all be considered foreplay.

When it comes to actual touch, so many parts of the body that create intense sexual stimulation are often overlooked. Known as our erogenous zones, the one’s we tend to go straight for are the lips, neck and nipples, but we usually forget about the back of the knees, hands, the inner thigh or our partner’s back. Foreplay should take touch and exploring each other to the next level, and should be slow and sensual in the build up to sex. Think sensual or erotic massages, running an ice cube seductively over your partner’s skin, or using a feather to lightly tickle every inch of them while you watch their reactions. Foreplay does not need to be a standard procedure, a rushed event… It needs to be slow, sexy and seductive. Use touch to explore each other’s bodies before you have sex; use it as a means of learning about your partner’s body and their sensitive spots; or use it simply to lie with one another and caress each other’s bodies. Women actually need quite a fair bit more stimulation than men do before penetration happens! So if you’re able to work on the building blocks for desire in and outside of the bedroom, you may find that you and your partner both have a much more satisfying experience.

Foreplay can take many forms. It should not just be about what you and your partner are doing to each other when you start to have a sexual experience. You could also experiment with your surroundings, with foods like strawberries and chocolate, or with flavored lubricants, and not just your touch. Take foreplay out of the bedroom and let it start before you’re even together in the same room. Foreplay should also include underwear or outfits you might wear to impress and tease one another, the way in which you might light candles and dim the lights, a sexy email telling your partner you can’t wait to see them, or even you insisting your partner relax while you clean up the kitchen. The latter might not seem like foreplay, but any act that shows your partner appreciation and care can go a long way in adding a building block to the desire and arousal for sex.