Foreplay 101: Expert Tips To Spice Up Your Sex Life

Good foreplay can do so much for your sex life. From why you should kiss like you mean it, to why pleasure is so important, we went to three sex experts to find out more…
VLADIMIR TSARKOV/STOCKSY

You Always Want It To Last Longer

“A survey in 2017 found British people spend on average ten minutes on foreplay and nine minutes having sex (i.e. penetration). While foreplay seems to last slightly longer, various reports and studies conducted on foreplay suggest women would prefer to spend longer on foreplay than they currently are. This isn’t surprising when you consider the majority of women need external stimulation to climax. If penetrative sex is not the most pleasurable part of sex for a lot of vulva-owners than it makes sense that they would want to spend more time on the others parts of sex, and not just at the beginning. Remember foreplay is essentially all play that isn’t penetration; this can be anything from kissing, to oral sex, to roleplay or BDSM practices.” – Marlena Segar, sex and relationships educator at Healthy Pleasure Group

It’s Important Psychologically 

“Spending time on foreplay makes sex more pleasurable, as there are many different areas of the body that full sex doesn’t usually reach. Emotionally it feels more intimate as, through it, you engage more with your partner. With extended foreplay you are more likely to feel both desired and satisfied. For many women foreplay is one of the most important parts of the sexual experience. The more time you spend teasing and building yourselves up before you’ve even touched each other, the more it will increase the pleasure of the sexual experience. Foreplay should last for at least 15 minutes.” – Emma Davey, narcissistic abuse recovery coach and founder of MyTraumaTherapy.co.uk

You Should Kiss Like You Mean It

“Kissing is such a passionate and intimate part of foreplay and in long-term relationships, it’s something that’s often forgotten. Spend time kissing your other half, look in each other’s eyes and run your hands through their hair. You don’t have to stick to the lips, either – work your way from there to the sensitive spots. Men have erogenous points around the neck area, which can be extremely sensitive, so try kissing them here – it’s usually over the collarbone or around the hairline.” – Emma

Self-Pleasure Isn’t To Be Ignored

“Incorporating toys into foreplay can make foreplay even more exciting. Watching each other pleasuring yourselves using toys can be a huge turn on for some people. Masturbation gives your partner an idea of how you like it done as well as giving them a real-life sex show, just for them. If you haven’t used a sex toy before, consider starting with a magic wand, currently a very popular sex toy (the head is designed to stimulate the entire vulva, leading to an intense orgasm).” – Emma

Knowing How To Arouse Him Is Key

“Foreplay is a process of arousing and awakening the whole body to a deeper quality of presence and arousal. Start by knowing most men don’t want as much whole-body touch as women do, but you may find that concentrating on a small area, such as the nipples is arousing. The most important thing to say about improving foreplay for men is that efficiency isn’t the answer – it’s not just about getting him as hard as possible. Glide over his genitals (gently brushing them awakens anticipation), and kiss, suck and tease with touch; and try playing with the penis with different kinds of touch, pressing your palm onto the tip and circling it, stroking with two fingers in a V-shape up and down the shaft, twisting gently as if you were wringing out a towel. When you spend time loving his penis without worrying whether he is hard or not, you transmit a sense of relaxation and acceptance. Love him for what he is and you’ll take some of the pressure off getting to a goal. Just remember that you don’t need to do things you don’t want to do just in order to please him.” – Jan Day, relationships expert 

It’s Important To Learn What You Like

“Every woman (and man) is different – what one likes another might not, and what anyone likes can change dramatically depending on their state of arousal. For example, some men love to have their balls cradled and sucked, but not all do. Some women love their nipples to be sucked (some strongly and others prefer it lightly) but some women don’t feel it at all. Some women love their nipples to be sucked at the beginning but find it is far too intense once they are aroused or close to orgasm.” – Jan

Spending time on foreplay makes sex more pleasurable, as there are many different areas of the body that full sex doesn’t usually reach.
Emma Davey

When In Doubt, Be Vocal

“Communication is key when it comes to good foreplay. Try using the ‘yes, no, please’ method – have one of you touching the other while the other receives. The one being touched simply responds with a ‘yes’ if they like what they are receiving, a ‘no’ if they don’t like it, and ‘please’ if they like it a lot. Be generous with the ‘pleases’ and be honest with the ‘no’. Knowing your partner is honest builds trust and encourages further explorations into the unknown. Take turns to show how you pleasure the other and concentrate on being with your partner, letting go of any goal.” – Jan 

It's Time To Forget What You Know

“Misleadingly named, foreplay is often incorporated into the bedroom as the part that happens before the ‘main event’ - i.e. penetration – and this act alone is seen as sex. While there’s nothing wrong with sex ending in penetration, the idea that foreplay only takes place beforehand means too often sex becomes about chronology rather than pleasure. The best way to approach foreplay is to see it as play – it is no less or more important than penetration, it’s about what you enjoy and how you and your partner want to have sex. There is no pre-determined hierarchy of sex acts and sex doesn’t have to be linear or last a certain amount of time.” – Marlena

Ditching Penetration Entirely Is Worth It

“Often the fun gets taken out of foreplay because it’s seen as something you have to do before actually having sex. So why not take penetration off the table entirely. It might seem a bit extreme, especially if penetration is always what you do with your partner, but decide together to have a night where penetration isn’t an option and see what happens. Knowing you don’t have the option will encourage you to get creative and also pay more attention to what you’re doing rather than going through the motions. Plus, knowing there is something you can’t do may only make you want it more.” – Marlena 

Always Go Slow

“Better foreplay involves taking the time to explore your body. Our bodies are always changing so there are always new sensations to experience. The key is to be patient and kind to yourself. Holding expectations about how you should respond to something or how fast you should orgasm (if at all) can create mental blocks that stop you from relaxing and experiencing pleasure. Taking things slowly can be really helpful. Whatever it is you’re doing, whether it’s kissing, oral or using your hands, try not to see it as one step in a line of acts you want to do that night. Appreciate it as its own experience. This doesn’t mean you have to do it forever or even for very long, but rather that you listen to your body and how it is responding, instead of wondering about how much time has passed.” – Marlena

Try Thinking About Extra Stimulus

“Playing audio erotica, such as Femtasy, can help build a sensual atmosphere. Sending your partner an audio erotica story to listen to on their journey to see you lets them know not only that you’re in the mood, but more specifically what you’re in the mood for. If you want to start using toys, keep it simple with a small vibrator. Try using a vibrator against your partner’s nipples, along their thighs and over their external genitals and see how they respond. You can always make a show of it and have your partner watch you use your favourite toy on yourself, or watch them enjoy themselves and note how they are using it. If a mechanical toy seems a bit intimidating or just not for you, you can always try sensory toys such as blindfolds or feathers.” – Marlena 

Creativity Counts

“Try writing a ‘Want, Will, Won’t’ list to explore the different things you can do together. Each write out different kinds of play you want to do (want), ones you are up for trying (will) and ones you know you don’t want to do (won’t). Share these lists with each other and start with one that is on both of your ‘want’ lists. This way, spending more time on foreplay isn’t about what you’re not doing but rather about trying something new.” – Marlena
 

For more information visit WeAreHPG.com, MyTraumaTherapy.co.uk and JanDay.com

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