- To have great foreplay, be sure to slow it down and really focus on enjoying your partner’s body.
- You should also take time to feel sexy, which sometimes means ditching your baggy PJs.
- Sharing sexual fantasies can get you in the mood and learn more about what turns your partner on.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
In case you missed the memo, sex isn’t just about penetration. To many people, penetrative sex is the end-all be-all when it comes to intimacy, but why not expand your sexual horizons and focus a little more on foreplay. Great foreplay can make a huge difference in your sex life, building up arousal and increasing the likelihood of orgasms for both partners.
If you’ve simply been going through the motions and rushing through foreplay, you’re not alone, but it’s time to switch things up. Here are six sex-therapist-approved tips to help you have great foreplay.
1. Slow it down
Many people tend to rush through foreplay, engaging in the bare minimum so they can get to sex. However, by rushing through it, you’re missing out on a whole lot of pleasure.
“Instead of thinking of foreplay as an appetizer for the main event (penetrative sex and/or an attempt at mutual climax), explore sensual touch for its own merit,” says sex therapist Indigo Stray Conger, CST, a licensed marriage and family therapist who owns Mile High Psychotherapy.
Conger suggests taking time to really focus on both giving and receiving different types of touch and stimulation, taking turns giving and receiving. “Spend some quality time with parts of your body and your partner’s body that don’t often receive attention, instead of heading straight for well-known erogenous zones,” says Conger.
2. Take time to only kiss and caress
One way to help you slow things down is to set time aside where you’re only “allowed” to do one or two things. This way, not only will you be savoring your partner, but you’ll also be building up even more arousal.
You can do this by setting a timer for 10 minutes, and only allowing yourselves to kiss and caress each other during this time, says sex therapist Britney Blair, PsyD, who practices at The Clinic.
During this time, Blair says to make a conscious effort to use all your senses: notice how your lover looks, how they smell, and how they taste. Lastly, focus on the sensations of touch. “By learning to focus your attention on physical sensation, you can greatly increase your sexual pleasure and expand your sexual repertoire,” says Blair. After the ten minutes of kissing and touching, you can move on to enjoying other aspects of foreplay.
If you want to go all out with this technique, try sensate focus.
3. Feel sexy
If you’re feeling confident about yourself, you’re more likely to feel sexy. If you’re feeling sexy, you might find yourself being more willing to take things slow, own your sexuality, and savor foreplay. This is not just about looking good for your partner (although that’s a bonus). This is really about how you feel about yourself.
Wearing something that evokes sexuality can help. “You don’t have to don a cheesy French maid outfit or a leather gladiator kilt. Instead of choosing baggy PJs or old boxers, simply pick an outfit that feels comfortable but sensual,” says Conger.
Also, don’t get naked right away. “Jumping right to stripping naked can become a bad habit that eliminates the best moments of foreplay. Instead, undress each other slowly. You might use the friction of your clothes against erogenous zones to build arousal as you go,” says Conger.
3. Set the mood
Your environment can make or break a sex session. Set the mood and create a space that you want to spend intimate time in. Think of it as your sexual sanctuary.
“Experiment with creating an erotic space in your bedroom. Ensure it is free of clutter, is warm, and has sexy lighting. Consider a sexy playlist or some soft classical music to set the mood,” says Blair.
Your sexual santuary should also have everything you might need during foreplay and sex, such as condoms, lube, sex toys – you name it.
4. Share your fantasies
Taking turns sharing fantasies with your partner is one of the best ways to fuel your arousal during foreplay, Blair says. Ask your partner to share one of their biggest fantasies with you, and then you can return the favor and share one of yours. It’s important to remember that there’s no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to the fantasy world.
“Whatever turns you on in the confines of the mind is perfectly okay! It is likely that this is hot to your partner as well but, if not, celebrate your differences and create a safe space for your partner to share their sexiest fantasies,” says Blair.
This will amp up the desire for both of you, and could even lead the way into role playing or enacting the fantasies in one way or another. But even if you have no desire to actually play out the fantasy, Blair says it can still feel new, sexy, and maybe even taboo to share it with your partner.
5. Stop calling it foreplay
Blair suggests changing the way you view foreplay. Instead of calling it foreplay, she says you should call it “coreplay.” We often associate sex with some type of penetration, but you don’t have to fall in that rut. Sex is about so much more than that. “By thinking of foreplay as ‘coreplay,’ you can amp up the pleasure and intensity of orgasm regardless of how you typically experience sexual pleasure,” says Blair.
This is important especially for people with vulvas, since Blair says that they are less likely to experience orgasms from penetration alone, and require more direct clitorial stimulation. Coreplay is a great time to ensure that both partners get to have an orgasm.
Foreplay is a key part of intimacy, so you shouldn’t skimp on it. Quality foreplay will enhance your sexual experience, whether or not penetration is involved. Learn to slow down, get creative, and really relish in the pleasure that foreplay has to offer. These tips are a great place for you to start.