Foreplay, like sex, can mean a lot of different things to different people. It can include a variety of activities, or few at all, depending on the preference of the couple or individual. Foreplay is all the erotic stimulation prior to sex.
Most heterosexual couples define it more narrowly and see it as all sexual activity up to intercourse. In this view of foreplay, this can include other types of sex such as oral or fingering. What foreplay means to you will really depend on what you classify as the “main event” in your sexy time. This will not be intercourse for all people, particularly LGBTQ2S* couples. Some people actually feel that the term “foreplay” is actually too heteronormative because of the strong association to intercourse so foreplay can also be referred to as “arousal activities”.
What’s Included in Arousal Activities?
What’s included, or not included, in foreplay will vary from couple to couple. It will depend on their likes, dislikes, and comfort levels. While there are common activities, there is no set and definitive guide on what foreplay activities should be included or in what order. Part of the appeal of arousal activities is mixing things up to keep things fresh and suit the mood of the people involved.
Common activities that are often seen as foreplay include
- Making out
- Dirty talk
- Back massages
- Oral sex
There are plenty more activities than others on this list. This list just includes some basic ideas. Other activities could include BDSM activities as well. What kinds of activities can be included really come down to, what does someone find sexy? If a person finds a specific activity sexy then it can be included in the sensual foreplay category.
Why is Foreplay Important?
Foreplay can add a lot to a sexual experience. When we take the time to engage in activities that increase our arousal, we can actually achieve a more intense orgasm. Most foreplay activity draws our attention to our erotic areas. These areas are often neglected in day to day living. When they are given special attention, they tune our body in and help set the mood. They can also increase the feelings of connection to our partner. Sex is ALWAYS better when we are in the mood and in tune with our partner.
Arousal activities also give a better chance for each person to be able to orgasm. People who have vulvas, actually require more stimulation and can take longer to achieve orgasm. This is a big piece of why foreplay is so crucial. The more time those with vulvas are given to relax, get into the experience, and enjoy themselves the more likely they are to actually achieve orgasm during their sexy time. If there isn’t a proper level of arousal before intercourse, then sex can end up being boring or painful. That’s never good! Everyone should have a chance to orgasm and enjoy sex! If someone thinks otherwise, there’s a good chance they would not be someone fun to be intimate with.
Why Do Men Often Struggle with Foreplay?
It’s a common complaint in heterosexual couples that cis-gendered men often overlook foreplay or rush past it. They don’t give their partners enough stimulation before jumping into intercourse. One of the reasons this can happen is ignorance. A lot of people are don’t receive good sex education, and this includes cis-gendered men. A lot of young men learn about sex from watching porn. Unfortunately, porn is not an accurate depiction of sex or mean to be for sex education. It focuses too much on fantasy and as most porn caters to cis-gendered heterosexual men, female pleasure or arousal is often left out. So many men try to emulate what they see in porn not realizing that it’s often just catered to their own fantasies and has little to do with what their partners actually desire.
Another common reason men may overlook foreplay is erectile dysfunction. Any men experiencing issues around arousal usually also experience anxiety and shame about it. When they get their arousal they may rush to initiate intercourse in fear that the erection may not last through foreplay. They fear disappointing their partner by not being able to perform.
So how can we make sure that arousal activities aren’t missed? The first step to sexual satisfaction is always calm and frank conversation with our partner. By opening conversation, we can start to determine why foreplay is being overlooked or rushed through. Once you have a better understanding of the cause, you and your partner can work together to find a solution that satisfies both of you.
Everyone Desires Pleasure During Sex
If we don’t experience pleasure in sex, there won’t be much motivation to connect intimately with our partner. Ensuring that both you and your partner achieve sexual satisfaction is a key ingredient in developing a fulfilling sex life. Developing your foreplay skills can be key in delivering that sexual satisfaction.
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