There is always a time and place for a “quickie.” Busy schedules and lives can leave little time left for those intimate moments between you and your lover. However, couples that continuously skip foreplay are missing out on not just better sex, but also emotional and physical bonding that improves their relationship and connection.
Physiologically, experts agree that foreplay is an important part of sexual health. In fact, a recent Australian study found that the majority of women are more aroused by the idea of foreplay than sex itself. So if you are shrugging off foreplay here are some of the benefits of including it into your sex routine.
How Foreplay Helps Your Relationship
“Foreplay is crucial for good sex. It’s not just an old wives’ tale that foreplay is something that people should spend more time doing,” says Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., MPH, associate director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, in Bloomington.
“When a woman’s body becomes aroused, the muscles actually pull the uterus up a little bit, and it makes more room in the vagina,” says Dr. Herbenick. This process, called vaginal tenting, creates more space, which makes sex more comfortable and more pleasurable. “If this doesn’t happen, sex can become more uncomfortable,” she says.
Doing anything that’s sexually exciting or arousing helps a woman to lubricate, which in turn helps a man get and maintain an erection. You can even introduce products such as Alura Lux during your foreplay routine to increase arousal and lubrication thus improving sexual response. Herbenick says that when a man is having difficulty achieving climax, he may find it easier if he and his partner have engaged in foreplay before sex.
Foreplay also goes well beyond what it does to improve sex. It helps couples feel closer and more intimate. Through the increase in intimacy, couples feel more connected which also helps improve arousal. It is really “about building an emotional connection and getting some excitement going,” Herbenick says. Kissing is an important part to help stimulate all of those physical and emotional responses. (see 5 Kissing Secrets for Exceptional Intimacy and Sex for more on kissing tips)
Fantasies or dirty talk can also help get the physical sexual response going. Couples who are aroused by a little dirty talk or have a certain sexual fantasy can incorporate that into their sex life as well.
How to Incorporate Foreplay into Your Sexual Routine
Great news – there is no right or wrong way to do this. Don’t put pressure on yourself or your partner on how or what you have to do. There is no need to spend hours cuddling, stroking, and kissing before you can move on to sex. Having some foreplay is better than none, and you and your partner will discover what works best for you.
“Foreplay should last at least 10 minutes to give people’s bodies enough time to warm up,” Herbenick suggests. What’s important is to “focus on the stomach and inner thighs and breasts and kissing, but not to dive in too quickly to the genitals,” says Herbenick.
In addition, once you get started and find what you like, it becomes effortless. If you are drawing a blank for what to do here are some suggestions for your foreplay routine.
- Play a game. Have fun with cards, dice, and other sex games that offer tips and rules on what to do to each other.
- Talk dirty. Say what you’re feeling, what you want your partner to do, and what you’re thinking.
- Be together. You can dance together or shower together, but touch, hold, and enjoy.
- Use oils and flavored products on the skin. Give each other back, foot, or full body massages with an oil or lotion. Pour chocolate, whipped cream, or other tasty delights on your partner’s skin, and take your time licking it off.
- Touch each other. Caress your partner’s face, run your fingers through the hair and gently tickle the insides of the arms, the stomach, and the thighs. Rub against each other or lightly tickle — whatever feels good.
Figuring Out Foreplay
One of the main reasons couples don’t know what their partner likes is that they don’t ask. Not knowing adds additional pressure while in the act because you don’t want to disappoint your partner. Alleviate the pressure and stress by talking about it.
“People don’t spend enough time just talking to each other when they’re not having sex,” says Herbenick. So, ask your partner questions about how they want to be touched, stroked, kissed, and caressed, but talk about it outside of the bedroom.
“Getting very specific information about how they want their bodies touched when they’re in foreplay is very helpful, but it’s easier to have those conversations when you’re not about to have sex,” says Herbenick.
Foreplay is fun, hence the reason why the wordplay is part of it. It should not be something both of you dread doing and of course, it should feel pleasurable. It will bring you closer emotionally and physically and improve your sex life. Use these tips to explore and learn what most effective and fun foreplay in your bedroom.