4 Ways to Spice Up Your Sex Life With Foreplay
“Quickies” can be a fun and spontaneous treat, but couples who continuously skip foreplay are passing up a great way to connect emotionally and physically. “Foreplay is critical, elemental, and absolutely necessary,” says Pepper Schwartz, PhD, endowed professor at the University of Minnesota and sexual health expert and researcher.
While foreplay is essential, Schwartz says the term needs to be reframed. “The whole idea of foreplay is antiquated in the sense that it assumes that the real play is elsewhere. [That] this is just sort of priming the pump, as opposed to an integral part of making love,” she says.
That said, foreplay can bring couples closer whether it serves as the starting line or the destination. Read on to discover the physical and emotional benefits of foreplay, plus how to incorporate more of it into your sexual routine.
The Perks of Foreplay
Doing anything that’s sexually arousing can help lubricate your vagina or help you maintain an erection. For people with penises, foreplay can extend an erection and even prevent premature ejaculation, according to StatPearls.
When aroused, the female body pulls the uterus up, lengthening the vagina. Called uterine tenting, this process also creates a little bit of a pool area for semen, per a review. “It’s part of the reproductive sophistication of our machinery,” Dr. Schwartz says. And as those muscles relax, the nerve endings start to get stimulated, according to Midwifery and Sexuality, paving the way for a more pleasurable experience.
“When we open our minds to experiencing different types of pleasure, including kissing, touching, rubbing, and oral sex, we allow our minds and bodies many different ways of building intimacy and pleasure,” says Lyndsey Harper, MD, clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Texas A&M School of Medicine in Bryan, Texas.
Tell Your Partner What You Want
If you want more action in bed, you have to let your partner know what you want. But talking about sex can be easier said than done for some. “Sexual communication can sometimes be difficult because most of us have not had adequate education or modeling of how to have these types of conversations,” Dr. Harper says.
Harper recommends two sentence starters to try when expressing sexual desire to your partner:
“I want you to …”
“It feels so good when you …”
If it makes you more comfortable, you can bring up your sexual needs outside of the bedroom, Harper says. If you don’t know how to bring it up, she suggests starting the conversation with something like, “Our sex life is really important, and I’d love for us to feel open talking about things. Would it be okay for me to share with you some things I really like?”
Communication comfort is closely linked to trust, says Schwartz. To experience true intimacy and fun foreplay, trusting each other is essential, especially since our needs constantly change. “You’ve got to be able to express all those things to deal with today’s body, which was not yesterday’s body and might not be tomorrow’s,” Schwartz says.
“You’re creating a choreography that is unique between the two of you. You are specific lovers to each other, and it’s your dance that you have to create. That requires honesty and communication,” Schwartz says.
4 Ways to Turn Up the Heat
Foreplay is just that: play. You and your partner can play however you want. “Generally speaking, it takes about 20 minutes of arousal for women to become fully lubricated and ready for penetrative sex. However, it is best to abolish the idea of “foreplay” and the “main event” of penetrative sex and work together with your partner to create a fun and intimate sexual life together where everyone’s needs are being met,” Harper says.
Your foreplay can be the main event itself! As long as you both enjoy yourselves and connect emotionally, foreplay can be a fun appetizer or entree. Whether you want to get your minds and bodies warmed up for sex, or just have some fun together, Schwartz suggests these ways to incorporate foreplay into your routine:
Take Your Time With Touch
Caress your partner’s face, run your fingers through their hair, and gently touch the insides of their arms, stomach, and thighs. Rub against each other or lightly tickle — whatever feels good.
2. Talk Dirty
Say what you’re feeling, what you want your partner to do, and what you’re thinking. Get as explicit as you’re both comfortable with.
3. Be a Cheerleader
We’re not talking about a sexy costume here, although if you both want to try that, go for it! Cheer on your partner for what they’re doing well. Make them feel like a great lover, and their confidence will make both your experiences richer.
4. Use All 5 Senses
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. Shop for perfume or cologne together for a scent that enhances your encounter even more.