How To Perform Foreplay

Etching of a Reneissance-era man and woman laying in a field, kissing and touching each other

What is foreplay?

The dictionary defines foreplay as,

“erotic stimulation preceding sexual intercourse.”

Wikipedia defines foreplay as,

“a set of emotionally and physically intimate acts between two or more people meant to create sexual arousal and desire for sexual activity.”

Urban dictionary defines foreplay as,

“touching/kissing/licking each other in a stimulating manner, in order to become ‘turned on’ before having actual sex.”

Basically, these definitions say foreplay is stuff that happens before sex, but they don’t say what to do, how to do it, or why. To answer those questions, you have to understand a little about how the human body works.

Humans are basically brains connected to a mobile stimulation detector. The reality you experience is the sum product of a bowl full of chemicals in your skull. If you change the chemical composition in your brain bowl by adding a new chemical like L.S.D., you’ll change how you experience reality.

Every time your body experiences sensory stimulation, it changes the chemicals in your brain, which changes how you feel and what you want to do. When you get hurt, your brain produces endorphins that try to numb you. When you’re scared, it secretes adrenaline that sends you into a fight-or-flight panic. When you’re touched softly, it releases cortisol, which makes you relax. When you have sex, it produces oxytocin, which makes you feel high.

The more sexual stimulation your body experiences, the more sexual chemicals your brain releases. You have an orgasm when your chemical composition reaches a tipping point.

If foreplay is getting ready for sex, and people are bowls of chemicals attached to stimulation detectors, then my definition of foreplay is, “stimulating a person’s senses to produce the brain chemicals most conducive to sexual pleasure leading to orgasm.”

How long should foreplay last?

Redundant studies have found it takes men 1-11 minutes of sexual sensory stimulation to prime their body chemistry enough to give them an erection and be able to orgasm. It takes 10-20 minutes of stimulation for women’s bodies to complete the hormonal changes necessary to relax/moisten their vagina and get them sex-drunk on oxytocin.

Everyone’s biology is a little different, but apparently 10-20 minutes is a good amount of time to fool around before penetration. The consequence of not putting in the time is, you won’t have as strong of an orgasm as possible. If both partners are fine with this, and they just want to have sex and get to a quick boom at the end, that’s fine.

The more time you spend stimulating each other’s senses and minds, the stronger your orgasms will be. There’s an art to delayed sexual gratification. It’s called edging and/or tantric sex. Having nuclear orgasms is ideal when you have time to prepare them, but it’s not always necessary or practical to put that much time and effort into foreplay.

If you’re a high achiever, then aim for 30-40 minutes tops, but also consider how much chafing and boredom can happen in that time. 15-30 minutes is a much safer time frame.

However, mental and emotional foreplay can last all day though. If you stimulate your partner’s brain with positive words, sounds, smells, tastes, images, and physical stimulation throughout the day, you’ll pump sexual chemicals into their brain. So their arousal level will be higher than zero when you first touch them.

What do you do?

During foreplay, you should stimulate your partner with sights, sounds, smells and tastes. Common sense can tell you how to do that. Wear nice underwear, light some scented candles, turn on some mood music, and brush your teeth. What you might be having trouble understanding is, what to do with your body? Here’s a list of options:

Ask your partner what they want you to do

Everyone is different. What worked best on your last partner might not work at all on your next. The most consistently successful lovers aren’t the best at reading minds. They’re the best at asking their partners what they want.

If neither of you know what you like, then experiment with different techniques, modalities and fetishes. Afterwards, talk about what you did and didn’t like about them. This will help you discover each others’ passions and create new ones together. That will keep your sex life burning bright, but you won’t get anywhere if you don’t communicate.

Make out and dry hump for twenty minutes

If you have no idea what to do during foreplay, you’re overthinking it. You need to stimulate your partner’s skin so their brain will produce sexual chemicals and increase blood flow to their genitals. All you have to do to accomplish that, is make out and rub their genitals for a while. It may not be creative, but it’s intimate, and it gets the job done.

There’s no single right speed or intensity. The more you use your best technique, the more boring it will get. Alternate between being romantic and ravishing. All that matters is you’re in sync. So read your partner’s vibe, and go with the flow.

This advice applies to taking each other’s clothes off as well. How do you know if you should take your clothes off, or let them undress you? Should you undress them, or do you undress each other? Does one person go first, or do you do it together? Do you do it slowly or aggressively?

Do whatever the situation calls for. If you need help, then turn on some sexy music, and move your body with the tempo, like you’re dancing. If it’s slow music, go slowly. If it’s fast, be rougher. Don’t think. Just go with the flow and do what you feel.

Give your partner a full body erotic massage

The most effective way to prep your partner’s body for sex, is to give them a full body erotic massage. If you caress their entire body, you’ll stimulate all their nerve endings, and it’ll take at least twenty minutes. That covers everything you need to warm up their sexual engine to cruising speed.

You don’t have to be a massage expert to give a good sensual massage. Just use soft, flowing, rhythmic movements, and glide your hands all over their body. You don’t need to impress your partner’s mind with fancy techniques. You just need to stimulate all their nerve endings.

My one suggestion would be to not focus too much on stimulating their genitals. Brush by them every once and a while, but don’t focus on them. Waiting and teasing will result in delayed gratification. It’ll make your partner want you to get to the sex, and the more they think about it, the more their body will respond by producing those sexual chemicals and increasing blood flow to their genitals.

There are tons of books, sites and videos on the internet about the art of sensual, erotic, tantric massages. The more you teach yourself, the more confident you’ll feel when giving a massage. Then your partner will feel your confidence through your touch.

Particularly in women’s brain chemistry, safety equals sexy. When a man demonstrates he’s confident having sex with her, then her body will feel more comfortable having sex with him and send messages to her vagina to relax and get wet. If a man demonstrates insecurity and awkwardness leading up to sex, then her nerve endings report that to her brain, which may respond by chemically inducing feelings of insecurity in her, which can cause her body to shut down sexually to the point it won’t allow her vagina to get wet. So do your homework. Proper preparation prevents poor performance.

Caress each other

In foreplay, you need to stimulate your partner’s skin, but you don’t need a full body massage. You don’t even need to take your clothes off. Just reach your hand over, touch them, and move your hand around softly. You can caress them lightly, tracing your fingers up and down their body. Or you can hold and squeeze them. If you focus on impressing them with technical proficiency, then your touch is going to feel mechanical, impersonal, and self-indulgent. Your partner doesn’t want to be impressed by your technical skills. They want to feel needed. So touch them in a way that communicates desire.

If you want to spice things up a little more, you can caress them with something that feels good to the touch, like a feather tickler or rose. You can take this to the next level by caressing them with ice or drip melted wax on them. If that’s too intense or scary, find something that’s silky smooth. Then put it in the freezer or the microwave long enough to make it tantalizingly cool or warm.

Practice tantric sex

If/when you want to have foreplay that lasts a really long time, you can use tantric sex. There are lots of instructional books and websites. You should read, share and discuss them with your partner.

It’s ironic that so much has been said about tantric sex, because the point of it, is you don’t do anything. Just sit in the yab yum position, and nuzzle your partner for an insanely long time.

Buy a sex game

If you constantly worry that you’re doing foreplay wrong, then try not being in control. Instead, buy a sex game that tells you what to do by picking cards, spinning wheels or rolling dice. This way, you don’t have to make any decisions. You’ll both have fun. Plus you’ll be able to practice foreplay techniques and learn what your partner likes.

Watch a sexy and/or scary movie

Watching a movie about a person accomplishing a goal stimulates the same regions of your brain as experiencing real world success. In the same way, watching a sexy movie stimulates the sexual regions of your brain.

Since movies last longer than twenty minutes, you know your partner’s brain will have a lot of time to pump their veins full of sex hormones. If you caress each other and make out a little during the movie, you’ll accomplish everything you’re supposed to during foreplay. At that point you can jump straight into sex, or pick another technique from this list to do for a while. If you’re both already pretty warmed up, you don’t have to worry about foreplay lasting a whole twenty minutes.

It might seem counter-intuitive to watch a scary movie to get someone in the mood, but there’s a logical reason why it can help you get laid. When you experience fear, your body produces adrenaline, which heightens your senses and makes you feel the need to fight or flight. You get a big rush of motivation to do something to release the tension. Your brain’s reaction to fear, is to find safety and protection. If you hold your partner in your arms while they’re scared, their body chemistry will naturally respond to the fear by associating you with protection and comfort. That will make them feel good inside, and their body will want more of that positive feedback, which will make them want more of your touch.

This doesn’t always work, and it’s guaranteed to fail if you watch something gross and disturbing like “The Human Centipede.” For the best chances of success, pick a show that’s sexy and scary, like a slutty vampire flick.

Practice BDSM

If watching scary movies makes your brain produce adrenaline that can be rolled over into sexual excitation, then it stands to reason that you can accomplish the same affect by scaring your partner in real life.

There’s an art form to BDSM that takes years to master, and you shouldn’t attempt it without reading several instructional books, websites and watching videos. You can start by reading my blog, “Advice to men on sexual domination and submissiveness.” If you really want to jump into the world of BDSM, then make a profile on fetlife.com and talk to some real aficionados.

The idea behind BDSM, is that one person pretends to be domineering, and the other pretends to be submissive. The “Dom” tells the “Sub” to do things like, “Take off your clothes.” “Kneel.” “Touch yourself.” “Touch me.” etc. When the Sub does something they’re not supposed to, the Dom punishes them with light amounts of pain by spanking, whipping, pinning, pushing, choking, scratching, burning , etc.

The point isn’t to be cruel. It’s to build trust. You begin by caressing the part of their body where you’re going to inflict pain. Then you administer a very tiny amount, followed by caressing the same spot. You alternate stimulating emotions of fear and comfort, which opens Pandora’s box of sexual chemistry. Then, after the BDSM session is over, you engage in aftercare, which means you snuggle lovingly for as long as it takes to confirm the Sub is with a Dom who truly cares about them and isn’t just a selfish, sadistic jerk.

Oral sex

You don’t need to have oral sex every time you have foreplay, and you don’t need to bring your partner to climax every time you go down on them. When should you do it, and for how long? There’s no wrong answer. Just do whatever feels good.

Having said that, there are some guidelines to consider. First, oral sex is one of the fastest ways to stimulate blood flow to your partner’s genitals. So it might seem like a good place to start, but that’s like starting a car engine and then slamming the gas pedal to the floor. This would be effective when you know you don’t have a lot of time, and want to get to the sex quickly, but oral sex is most pleasurable when your sex organ is already throbbing with passion, particularly for women.

During the first 1-10 minutes of foreplay, a blowjob is a great way to rev up a man’s engine, and for women who enjoy giving head, it warms them up as well. Once a man is fired up, he’s not going to lose his momentum if you switch to something less stimulating.

For women, the best way to prime their body for orgasm, is to start your foreplay session soft and slow, then build up speed and intensity to a crescendo without ever losing momentum. If you start fast and heavy, then slow down and speed up, over and over again, then she’ll ride a wave of hormones towards orgasm, then lose it and have to build it back up again. The more times she has to start over, the more frustrated she’ll become until her body just gives up. So, you might not want to play your strongest hand first.

It’s typically not a good idea to fellate a man all the way to orgasm before sex, because he’ll need to take a break for at least five minutes before he can get hard again, if at all. With women, it depends on her mood. Sometimes she’d rather get her orgasm first, so she can sit back and enjoy sex without having to wonder if she’ll get an orgasm today. Other times, they prefer saving the orgasm until during or after sex, so it releases all the tension from foreplay and fucking at once. The best way to know which kind of orgasm she wants, is to ask. Though, guys wouldn’t have to, if girls would just tell men what they want.

PIcture of Willy Wonka smiling sarcastically and saying, "Oh, your boyfriend doesn't know how to make you cum. Tell me more about why you didn't just say what you want, but it's still his fault you didn't get it?"

For a basic foreplay session, try making out and caressing each other for 10-15 minutes, then go down on each other. You can do it one at a time, or in the 69 position. Sometimes foreplay should be about both people pleasing each other, but it’s also good to take turns making it all about your partner. When you’re having a worshiping session, go down on your partner and then proceed to the sex without expecting anything in return.

For more information on oral sex, read these two blogs:

How to go down on a girl

How to go down on a guy

Manual genital stimulation

Hand jobs and fingering follow slightly different rules. Penises usually aren’t overly sensitive when they’re flaccid. So it’s okay to begin foreplay by stroking his cock. It’s a fast and effective way to get him in the mood and stoke his desire for you.

Before a woman has been properly aroused for at least ten minutes, her vagina will probably be sensitive, dry and tight. So if the first thing you do in a foreplay session, is cram a bunch of fingers inside her, you’re going to hurt her and trigger her body’s defense mechanisms.

Fingering a woman after she’s been warmed up, is a good way to loosen her up a little bit more and make her body want deeper penetration. There are women out there with fingering fetishes, who enjoy getting finger banged for 5-10 minutes straight. Most often, when women are turned on and yearning for penetration, she’s hungry for cock. Fingering is just teasing, which is erotic, but only in small doses. If you’re a virgin and don’t know anything about vaginas, don’t finger bang them at all. You’ll probably do more damage than good.

When fingering a woman, start slow, and penetrate her deeper gradually. Don’t push in until she’s wet enough for your finger to slip in fluidly. Virgins who assume all women love big cocks, also assume the more fingers you can cram in a vagina, the better it will feel. There are some girls who like getting fisted, but 99 times out of 100, women would rather you just use one, or two fingers at most.

A vagina is a sex organ, and the best way to stimulate a sex organ, is to massage the part with the most nerve endings. On a woman, that’s the clit, which is outside the vagina. So you should be stimulating that with your tongue, a toy or your other hand, while you’re fingering her.

On the surface, the clitoris looks like a tiny nub, but it extends inside the woman’s body another inch or so, right above the roof of the vaginal canal. If you push up on the roof, you can stimulate the clitoris from the inside. This area is known as the G-spot. Every girl likes their clit internally massaged differently. Ask her, and experiment, but understand that less is usually more. The simplest way to hit the G-spot, is to stick your finger all the way in, press it against the roof, and draw it all the way out, slowly. This will guarantee you hit as much of it as possible. Just keep doing that rhythmically, and it will have a positive effect.

Self-stimulation

Instead of stimulating each other, you and your partner can watch each other stimulate yourselves. It may seem awkward and embarrassing at first glance, but that’s exactly why you should do it. You get to see a side of each other most people won’t. You get to share yourself laid bare, while simultaneously experience the rush of voyeurism.

Your partner knows you feel vulnerable. That’s part of what makes masturbating in front of them so hot. It shows courage and trust. Plus, seeing you experience pleasure stimulates the same regions of their brain as when they experience pleasure. You’re basically mind fucking them, and they love it. Best of all, it shows them how you like to be pleasured.

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