Tanya Bass, a famous sexologist, stated foreplay is “the sexual behaviors before penetrative intercourse.” Sometimes, foreplay is also referred to as outercourse because it starts on the outside of clothing and leads to sex. Foreplay includes every action before sex that leads to sexual arousal. It would be best if you did not restrict it only to touch.
Therefore, foreplay in a relationship is the act of mentally and emotionally building up arousal, enabling couples to feel sexual tension before engaging in sex. It is a sexual act that creates desire between couples and increases pleasure before intercourse. Although foreplay is a pre-sex act, it goes beyond that. It offers many more benefits than putting people in the mood for sex.
WHAT IS FOREPLAY?
Foreplay describes all activities and gestures preceding sexual encounters which build up sexual arousal. In a relationship, lovers use foreplay to establish intimacy and make partners comfortable with each other. Foreplay allows both partners to progress at their own pace until they are ready for something more. Activities engaged during foreplay include kissing, intimate touching, physical stimulation, and sexually charged conversations.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO PERFORM FOREPLAY BEFORE SEX?
Sexual intercourse is not restricted to sex, as there is more to it. Foreplay is sexual activity and an essential part of sex that improves the entire sexual experience. However, the pleasure you get from foreplay is only a part of its benefits. A critical look at what foreplay offers will help you understand why it is essential for women and men before sex.
From a biological perspective, foreplay is an important act that influences the nature of stimulation in couples during and after sex. For example, unlike women, men get aroused easily and reach orgasm in a few minutes. It will take women more time to be stimulated for sex and reach orgasm during sex. Foreplay ensures that women reach their peak of arousal before sexual intercourse and achieve an orgasm during intercourse.
A study of the female anatomy shows that the erectile tissue of the vagina and the penis are similar.
However, it is less obvious, as it is stored chiefly internally for women. Therefore, it takes curious inspection and exploration during foreplay to give women maximum vagina pleasure. With sensual foreplay or other foreplay examples, women can easily get turned on, which causes blood to rush to the cells of the vagina. As a result, the cells in the vagina grow and expand, making her clitoris erect. This allows for greater stimulation during penetration.
Irrespective of how skilled you may be during sex, consider that women are primarily emotional, even with their physical connection. This plays a significant role in how they respond to sexual intercourse. Therefore, a woman’s inability to orgasm may not be because of her partner’s physical performance but of how prepared her mind and emotions were before the act. This is where foreplay becomes a game-changer. Engaging in different foreplay prepares women anatomically for sexual intercourse and gets them invested emotionally and mentally to enjoy sex and reach orgasm.
Once the mind is ready for sex, the body will have permission to go all in.
Understand that the brain is the biggest human sex organ, and stimulating it will help you prepare your body better for sex. During foreplay, the brain releases a hormone called oxytocin, which enables you to achieve sexual arousal faster. For example, when the nipple is caressed, sucked, or squeezed, it is stimulated, and oxytocin is released. This leads to a heightened sexual response and helps women reach a more intense orgasm. In men, it induces erection and helps maintain it. For example, when the penis or testicles are gently touched, brushed up against, or caressed, it leads to an erection. Oxytocin amplifies male sexual response and increases the intensity of an orgasm.
Emotionally, oxytocin causes couples to be more intimate and helps to build trust between them, especially during the early stage of their relationship. In addition, studies show that couples with high oxytocin levels are less likely to be attracted to the opposite sex outside their relationship, reducing their chances of cheating on their partner.
Besides preparing couples for sex and ensuring a great sex life, foreplay also helps them maintain physical and emotional intimacy. It helps them improve their relationship outside the bedroom, and the stronger the bond between couples, the more intimate they will be. This eventually will lead to a more enhanced and better pleasure between them. It also provides couples with several health and fitness benefits, making it an essential act couple should perform.
HOW DO YOU PERFORM FOREPLAY?
Most people believe that foreplay starts with physical touch; however, foreplay begins before physical contact. Thus, foreplay should start well before and lead up to sex. Since it is physical, you can use words, body language, eye contact, and even smell to start foreplay. The most important thing is that it spices up the urge to have sex. For example, foreplay could start with sweet and romantic words from a partner, dirty chats, naughty games, or eye flirting. The end game is to get the body and mind ready for sex.
Some foreplay tips you can use to make your sex experience with your partner spicier include:
- Leaving a romantic note for your partner
- Preparing a romantic dinner
- Having dirty talks, including sexting and telling your partners your fantasies
- Caressing and stroking your partner’s face down to their hair
- Nibbling your partner’s earlobes
- Passionate kissing
- Sucking and biting their neck
- Licking and sucking your partner’s nipples
- Gently massaging and squeezing their breasts
- Caressing your partner’s clitoris or stroking and sucking their penis and testicles
- Licking and kissing their anal area
- Softly caressing and massaging your partner’s body
- Fingering their anus or vagina,
- Spanking your partner’s butt
- Silent and aggressive moaning
- Telling them how much you want them or not to stop
Ideally, there is no stipulated time frame for foreplay before sex; however, many ladies prefer foreplay to last for ten to twenty minutes before moving to sex. It is foreplay that keeps most women interested during sex, as many could be impatient during sex. The beauty of foreplay is that you can start it even through a chat and begin anywhere, even in a restaurant. The most important thing is that everyone involved consent to the act. Also, you both must enjoy yourself in whatever way you choose to engage in foreplay.
HOW TO USE FOREPLAY TO OVERCOME SEXUAL PERFORMANCE ANXIETY
Sexual problems can be a very negative influence on healthy sex life or even completely prevent the existence of one. Sexual problems come in a variety of forms and can have different underlying physical or emotional causes. Regardless of the reason, all sexual problems place a dampener on sexual relations. The ensuing interference with typical sexual performance can cause frustration, lowered self-esteem, and high-stress levels.
Sexual performance anxiety is one of many sexual problems that affect both men and women worldwide.
It is a feeling of dread, nervousness, or emotional distress which occurs before or during sexual activity. The negative emotions put the body in a state of stress, to which the body responds by releasing the stress hormone epinephrine. Negative thoughts can increase heart rate and blood pressure, making it more difficult to relax during sex. The distress caused by the heightened physical condition can alter the normal sexual response, resulting in an inability to engage in sex or reduced satisfaction.
A poor self-perception causes body image issues. Concern about not “measuring up” can lead to emotional discomfort before or after engaging with a partner. These feelings can originate because of fears of height, body shape, penis size, etc.
Addressing the underlying cause is the most effective means of combating sexual performance disorder, and for some, it might be the only way. Others with milder causative factors might employ specific techniques to overcome the uneasiness causing the problem. One such method is by engaging in foreplay.
SEXUAL PERFORMANCE DISORDERS
Sexual performance disorders are aberrances that cause an inability to achieve some aspect of normal sexual behavior. It includes a partial or total failure to engage in sexual relations; or a failure to get any or complete satisfaction from sexual activities. Men and women of different ages can be affected by these conditions to varying degrees. For some, the condition can be utterly debilitating, while for others, it might make up occasional distress. Sexual performance disorders can have a variety of underlying causes, which can be physical or psychological. The reason may differ for each person, and thus, the treatments are usually specialized. Sexual performance disorders include:
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is an inability to attain and maintain a firm enough erection for intercourse. This can occur as a total inability to manifest an erection even when aroused or unable to keep the erection gained long enough to complete sexual interaction. Erectile dysfunction is most prevalent in older men, usually above 50 years of age. A rare form of ED can exist from birth, but ED usually sets in as age advances. In addition, diseases influence erectile dysfunction such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, narrowing of blood vessels, obesity, hormonal disorders, medication, and injury.
Anorgasmia is a sexual disorder in which an individual cannot achieve orgasm even after adequate sexual stimulation. It includes activities such as intercourse or masturbation. This condition is most prevalent in females, though it can also affect men. Anorgasmia can have both psychological and physical causes, and each case is unique to the individual. Health conditions such as multiple sclerosis, genital mutilation, pelvic trauma, spinal cord injury, and hormonal imbalances can cause anorgasmia. Certain drugs, such as anti-depressants and opiates, can also induce anorgasmia.
Dyspareunia is the persistent recurrence of pain in the genital or pelvic area during or after intercourse. This disorder is most prevalent in women than in men. Physical factors cause dyspareunia, which creates conditions that make painless sex difficult or impossible. The causes include vaginal dryness, prior pelvic injury, urinary tract infections, inflammation of the vagina, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Hypoactive sexual desire disorder:
Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is the persistence of diminished desire to engage in sexual intercourse for an extended period. A significant level of stress characterizes HSDD in the sufferer because of the lack of appetite. HSDD causes a lack of sexual fantasy, decreased response to sexual stimulation, and motivation to start sexual contact. Very little is still understood about the causes of HSDD.
Sexual arousal disorder:
Sexual arousal disorder is the lack of responsiveness to sexual stimulation in a situation that would ordinarily cause sexual arousal. It can be apparent by an inability to become physically aroused or excited during sexual activity. The causes of sexual arousal disorder are often psychologically stemming from factors such as depression and stress. Sexual arousal disorder can also be by a lack of interest in the current partner.
MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR SEXUAL PERFORMANCE DISORDERS
Several treatments are available for correcting sexual performance disorders and restoring the quality of life of those affected. As unique factors cause sexual disorders in each individual, the treatment for each person may differ. Most medical treatments for sexual performance disorders target the underlying cause of the problem. For example, illnesses caused by psychological factors may require psychiatric intervention. Physical characteristics can, however, be corrected using physical treatments such as:
Hormone therapy is the introduction of specific hormones into the body to effect a physiological change. Hormones are organic compounds naturally secreted by tissues in the body. Upon release, the compounds can cause some physical change in the body. The hormones include estrogen and testosterone.
Hormone therapy is useable to prevent the impact of a particular hormone. The technique is by introducing substances that either counteract the hormone’s effect or limit its production. Hormone therapy effectively treats sexual performance disorders, such as sexual arousal, hypoactive sexual desire, and anorgasmia.
Hormone therapy is also effective for treating dyspareunia if the underlying cause is low estrogen levels. A hormone therapist, a medical expert, treats balance sex hormones in the body. Many older men and women turn to hormone therapists to stay or get sexually active. Sometimes younger men and women whose hormones don’t work correctly seek the help of hormone therapy to improve their sex lives.
Pharmaceutically active substances are also an alternative to correcting sexual performance disorders. They alter the body’s chemistry by inhibiting or promoting specific responses. For example, hypoactive sexual desire disorder is treatable using a non-hormonal drug called flibanserin to increase sexual desire. Dyspareunia is treatable using antibiotics if the cause is a urinary tract infection. Erectile dysfunction is treatable using drugs, with the most common being Viagra.
What Roles Does Foreplay Have In A Relationship?
Foreplay is a sexual activity that plays a significant role in relationships. This sexual act mostly precedes intercourse, and its purpose is to help the couple set the mood right for intercourse. Foreplay helps prepare the mind and body for sex while adding more excitement and pleasure to the entire act. For women, foreplay increases vaginal lubrication and allows them to enjoy penetration more.
It includes different things, such as kissing, caressing, touching each other’s genitals, sharing fantasies, and many more. Thanks to its importance in having an extraordinary sexual experience, it is believed that foreplay adds excellent value to relationships. It not only improves a couple’s sexual life, but it also has a significant effect on their emotional intimacy, health, and even self-esteem. In addition, couples who have problems reaching orgasm through sex can use foreplay to reach orgasm.
According to Debby Herbenick, a research scientist, sex educator, and American author, one essence of foreplay is “about building an emotional connection and getting some excitement going.”
This means that foreplay can help build a better relationship, as couples can get more intimate in their relationships and build a stronger bond.
Outercourse is another act that is almost the same as foreplay, because they both add to sexual pleasures and excitement. Outercourse helps give pleasure as a form of birth control and avoiding sex. The good thing about foreplay is that it enables you to learn more about your partner’s body.
The more frequently you both engage in foreplay, the more you learn about your partner’s desires. This helps you think of new ways to arouse your partner, pleasure them, and stay intimate. Foreplay is essential in all relationships, especially for new ones and relationships going through rocky waters. The reason for this is that learning more about your partner through foreplay helps you value your partner better, and you can both build a better relationship. In addition, foreplay enables you to build trust by sharing your most intimate secrets with someone who encourages, not judges, you.
How Does Foreplay Affect Your Health And Fitness?
Foreplay not only improves the sexual life and intimacy of a couple, but it also affects their health and fitness. Several scientific studies have highlighted some potential health benefits of foreplay. In addition, some research shows that foreplay can boost several aspects of one’s physical health and well-being. However, some of these potential benefits derived from foreplay may not apply to everyone.
Some of these benefits include the ability to reduce stress, preserve heart health, boost immunity, and reduce blood pressure. In addition, foreplay plays a significant role in reducing prostate cancer risk. The prostate’s primary function is to produce the fluid nourishing and transporting sperm (seminal fluid) to the penis. Keeping your prostate active also helps your prostate to stay healthy. When men enjoy sex and orgasm more often, their chances of having prostate cancer reduces.
Studies show that a high frequency of orgasm or ejaculation in men could lower the risk of prostate cancer.
Researchers examined 30,000 men to see how often they ejaculated at different points in their lives. The conclusion was that men who ejaculated over 21 times monthly had a lower risk of having prostate cancer than men who ejaculated between four to seven times monthly. Scientists extended the research for another ten years to confirm the initial findings, and after that duration, this remains true.
Hormones released during foreplay may also help reduce stress, improve sleep, and reduce anxiety. For example, during foreplay, oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins pass into the bloodstream, which helps stimulate relief. Also, another hormone called prolactin flows into the bloodstream after orgasm. This hormone induces a feeling of relaxation and satisfaction, which allows you to sleep soundly.
Foreplay can also improve one’s mood and mental well-being and has a protective effect on cardiovascular health, especially for women.
Research has shown that women who are more sexually active are at a lower risk of cardiac events, which can also be related to foreplay, since people can even reach sexual climax more with foreplay.
It implies that men are exposed to an increased risk of cardiovascular events with high levels of foreplay, as this is the same for men’s high levels of sexual activity. Therefore, to prevent any complications and potential strain on the heart, people with heart problems should follow their doctor’s advice on sex and other strenuous activities.
With foreplay or sex in a relationship, both men and women want more confident partners in the act.
Men prefer partners that are slightly more confident and expressive than they are. If a man can please such a partner sexually through foreplay and intercourse, it boosts his self-esteem and confidence when with other people. The same applies to women, only that women prefer partners who have more self-confidence than themselves.
Also, foreplay involves physical touch, which is critical in building closeness and intimacy with your partner. This act automatically increases your partner’s confidence about your feelings for her and would allow her to relax more and release her inhibitions.
Foreplay is an act that some men may neglect, but it is essential for women. Foreplay is more than just physical intimacy for women, but also about emotional intimacy. It helps them connect more and prepares them for an initial or another sexual encounter with their partner. Therefore, women love not only foreplay; they need it.
HOW FOREPLAY AFFECTS YOUR HEALTH AND FITNESS
During the Great Depression, the government recovered through pump priming. Pump priming was the remedy for stimulating an economy through tax reductions and other government interventions—bored already? You are not a cockerel that lunges into sex whenever the urge arrives.
Foreplay is a cocktail of physical and mental sexual activity done to stimulate sexual desires. It does not always lead to sex, but it’s enough to achieve sexual enjoyment and release. Foreplay is great for overall sexual health, as it serves both emotional and physical benefits. Some benefits include the following;
- For many women, orgasm may prove difficult. With foreplay, the probability of orgasm increases significantly. Although it’s usually faster for blood to flow to the male sexual organ for erection, sometimes, it might need extra stimulation to sustain the erection longer. Female sexual organs need the extra push to get blood flow to the clitoris for wetness.
- It makes the sexual experience more enjoyable and painless by eliciting wetness in the vagina.
- It creates a bond and feeling of closeness even in the presence of physical distance between partners and, for the one-night stands, makes it easier to have sex.
- Sensual foreplay sets the mood for what is coming and helps to shed shyness or reservations.
- Couple foreplay revives and refreshes the sexual journey of the partners; freshen things up.
- By using different foreplay ideas, partners can gain stress reduction, sleep improvement, self-esteem increase.
Foreplay is one of the three stages of sex; foreplay, sexual intercourse, and cuddling.
The three stages of sex are foreplay, sex, and cuddling. Cuddling or pillow talk is intimate and usually occurs after sex; it as well could happen before. Pillow talk comes with vulnerability and honesty to strengthen the bond between partners. Cuddling is the “cherry on top,” and research has shown that it contributes significantly to sexual satisfaction. So, yes, spooning is excellent for your relationship.
These three stages are like a three-course meal and jointly contribute to a healthy sexual diet. Therefore, completing the three stages is essential for a complete healthy sexual journey, enjoyment, and lasting relationship.
The key to any relationship is communication and trust. So, talk with your partner about what you are thinking and feeling. Foreplay is an often overlooked but crucial part of sex. It can improve sexual health and performance depending on how it’s done simply by understanding that foreplay doesn’t always have to lead up to the act itself.
There are several ways you might want your partner or spouse to engage in foreplay with you before getting down and dirty, so discuss with them some techniques for enhancing pleasure during intercourse. What has been your experience with foreplay? Let us know in the comments.