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foreplay, sex after 50A reader wrote me complaining about her boyfriend’s version of foreplay. She doesn’t think he takes long enough to set the mood before plunging in. Today’s article is less a response to her question than it is to examine how we define foreplay.

The average male takes 4-5 minutes to reach orgasm, maybe longer when adjusting for age. For a woman it can take 20 minutes or more. We are not built for quickies! So, when a guy rushes in, gives you a quick kiss or two, gropes a breast and proceeds with intercourse, chances are you’re still dry—not aroused and possibly frustrated.

We need a little more warming up, particularly if we’ve had a stressful day or our head’s just not in that place. We need transition. We need foreplay.

What is foreplay?

“A set of intimate psychological and physical acts between two or more people meant to create desire for sexual activity and sexual arousal.” (Princeton University)

Foreplay is a vehicle for creating or increasing arousal. We need to think more expansively about how we build and sustain arousal. It’s a mistake to think that a few minutes of touching and kissing is sufficient for us as women. Arousal involves getting our mind engaged as well as our body. We may not be in the mood, but through foreplay that could change. More of us would be having sex if we, women and men, understood that concept.

How long is enough? 10 minutes? An hour? How about foreplay as something that exists between couples throughout the day? A state of mind paired with specific actions designed to elicit response in a partner. Or in ourselves—because we share responsibility for creating a sexually receptive mood.

Men are not in charge of our sexuality.

We can participate in, and initiate, the kind of sexual play necessary for arousal. What might that look like for a woman? Because we’re different from men, it takes us a little longer and we’re less likely to be aroused simply by visuals. Give your hubby or boyfriend a quick peek at your tantalizing cleavage over dinner and he’ll be raring to go.  It doesn’t work quite the same way for most of us.

These earlier articles offer ways to get you and your partner in the mood.

Consider everything you do in anticipation of a date or sexy evening as foreplay. You take a shower before dressing for the evening; your fingers glide across soapy breasts. Feel your curves and enjoy the sensations. You imagine his fingers doing the same. Your touch becomes his touch. That is foreplay.

After dinner, reading books together on the sofa or watching a movie–your feet nestled against his thigh. He reaches over to stroke your hair or massage your shoulder. An unexpected kiss. A caress. Foreplay.

Foreplay can be an intentional part of the sex act or it can be woven into your day. It should not be a means to an end. It is not just about getting penis in vagina. That’s like flipping a switch—on for 10 minutes of sex and off for the rest of the week. When you think of foreplay as an extended state of arousal you’ll find yourself approaching sex with a higher level of desire.  Good foreplay is about excitement—mutual arousal. It is about building intimate connections and stoking passions.

Let’s abandon the word foreplay and focus on creating an atmosphere of juicy anticipation and desire.

What perfect scenario would get you in the mood?

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Warm Me Up Baby: More Foreplay Equals Better Sex was last modified: by

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