10 Reasons Foreplay's the Key to a Fulfilling Sex Life
This year, while watching The Holiday, I noticed a line that had somehow flown under my radar throughout my adult life.
Graham (Jude Law): "How do you feel about foreplay?"
Amanda (Cameron Diaz): "I think it's overrated. Significantly overrated."
WHAT?! I spend a lot of time advocating for foreplay. I don’t think people are using it to its full potential.
I love talking about the erogenous zones of the body, why the definitions of ‘foreplay’ and ‘sex’ are a little blurry, and why differentiating between those things can be damaging for people and their sex lives.
Somehow, I never seem to talk about why people should spend more time doing it, and why it’s most definitely not overrated! So here goes:
1. Reaching peak arousal
The nature of the term ‘foreplay’ is the play that comes before the (implied) sex.
It’s the actions that warm the body up, arousing it, preparing it for relaxation or exciting stimulation. Getting all ready for that big ‘O’.
Foreplay can get you or your partner(s) to peak arousal, which can feel euphoric.
Being at peak arousal intensifies your satisfaction and can create a mind-blowing orgasm.
2. Multiple orgasms
With all that euphoria, an orgasm may just cum along.
But don’t fret! An orgasm doesn’t mean your play is over.
Keep it going, explore other parts of the body, take your foot off the accelerator for a moment and you might just cum again later.
3. Adds variety
My favourite thing about foreplay is that it can include anything you want it to. Some classic examples are kissing, stroking genitals, licking genitals and stripping.
But there's also erotic massage, tantra, role play, BDSM, sexting, food play...
Whatever you require to get aroused, that counts as foreplay too. The list of choices is endless! (even going through a list and picking a foreplay act can count as foreplay).
4. Switches things up
The variety that comes with foreplay also means that your play sessions can have a new twist every single time.
Routine sex can be fantastic. The familiarity of knowing your body and theirs to a tee, and hitting all the spots (in the right order) is so hot!
Sometimes, spicing things up is necessary, and the endless list of foreplay choices might just be the spark your sex life needs.
5. Brings confidence
Foreplay can include things like sexting, wearing lingerie or toys out of the house, dirty talk, etc. All of these things can continue throughout the day (or several days) with or without your partner.
Feeling aroused while you’re out and about can boost your confidence during the day.
The sexy secret that you’re holding onto can be a little distracting, but can help to build confidence during social interactions!
6. Calms us down
Acts of foreplay, like kissing for example, can trigger a release of chemicals in our brains, such as oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin.
This ideal cocktail lowers our stress hormone (cortisol) and increases feelings of happiness, euphoria, affection and bonding.
7. Increases sensitivity
The stimulation of the body or the brain can increase the blood flow to the genitals and the breasts.
It can cause the swelling of the breasts, labia, clitoris and erect the nipples and penis. It feels amazing, and increases the sensitivity of those areas.
8. Adds lubrication
Sometimes, reaching peak arousal can cause increased lubrication of the vaginal walls. This can make vaginal penetration more enjoyable and prevent pain.
Stress, hormonal changes and medication are all things that can impact the lubrication of the vagina, so don’t stress if natural lubrication doesn’t happen.
Lubricants are super handy to have just in case natural lubrication does not occur at peak arousal.
9. Helps us learn
Spending more time on foreplay can help us learn a whole lot about our own, and another’s body.
Start by exploring the erogenous zones and playing with different types of sensory objects in those areas to see how the person reacts. Here’s a list to get you started:
Scalp, Eyelids, Ears, Lips, Mouth
Neck, Armpits, Inner Arm
Navel, Lower Stomach, Small of Back
Inner Thigh, Behind the Knee, Soles of Feet, Toes
Breasts, Nipples, Mons Pubis, Clitoris, Vagina, Cervix
Glans, Frenulum, Foreskin, Scrotum, Prostate
10. Improves communication
Receiving consent to do something in a sexual space is ultra-important, particularly if you’re exploring something new. It doesn’t need to be un-sexy – I actually find it super sexy.
Use this template “I really want to (insert verb) your (insert body part), can I do that?” and you’re on the road to practising your communication skills.
I think the main thing about foreplay is that it doesn’t need to follow the narrative that people seem to think it does.
Foreplay doesn’t have to build up to the ‘important’ part of sex. It can be what’s most important – it can actually be the 'sex'.
Eleni is a health communications student from Sydney. Her favourite topics to communicate are sexual health, gender and sexuality; she spends her time smashing taboo topics everywhere she goes.
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