man touching womans stomach with fingers in her jeans

FOREPLAY. Some people think it’s overrated. Some people prefer it to [their own ‘normative’] sex. Regardless, it’s a good topic to know about so if you choose to do it more, you know what it’s all about. And if you choose to skip it, you know what’s being missed. So…let’s know some stuff!


When you hear the term ‘foreplay,’ what most people associate as the definition is all the stuff that happens before the sex happens. Google supports that definition: sexual activity that precedes intercourse. I challenge that definition a tiny bit, only to think of foreplay in more broad terms. All the things that happen before sex happens are different activities that make someone feel turned on. Whether it’s kissing the neck or oral sex, foreplay arouses people and prepares you for intercourse (more on that later). I would go so far to say that masturbation can be put in that category as well! The things you do and think about while pleasuring yourself all help you learn what you like, become more intimate with your body, and those things can help create better foreplay in the future.


For me, one of the best ways to compare foreplay is to think about it like sports, or exercise. Whether you’re a professional or even just on the high school team, a critical part of playing ‘the sport’ is the warm up. In almost zero cases does a coach not instruct players to do some sort of warm up activity. Same thing with a trainer before beginning some sort of exercise. And why? Because it prepares you for the game/match/exercise. If you don’t warm up, you will underperform (or could hurt yourself). Foreplay can be viewed the same way! When you engage in foreplay, it helps you perform better during the big game.


You mean besides the fact that it feels incredible? Sure, I will gladly sell you on one of my favorite F-words…

There is a huge physical purpose to foreplay.

Men can think about sex and get hard in an instant. They tend to become aroused much more quickly than women, often in just a minute or two (it takes longer as they age). For women, it’s different. It takes women much longer to get fully aroused, so foreplay is critical to helping women reach their full arousal and increase chances of orgasm. The clitoris has the same characteristics as a penis. Blood flows into the clitoris, and in order for a woman to have an orgasm, there must be lubrication in the vagina, but also the clitoris must get erect. Stimulation is the key to achieving pleasure, and good foreplay stimulates the body for a pleasurable climax. Foreplay ensures that both partners are at their peak of arousal at the time of sexual intercourse.

But we’re more than just biology! There is an emotional purpose too.

All humans have feelings. Especially women as it relates to sex. The time and attention given during foreplay can communicate more than a “wham, bam, thank you, ma’am” approach to sex. The touching, caressing, squeezing, kissing and stimulating of the early phase of love-making are excitement-building efforts. When you stimulate the mind, you stimulate the body! Research shows that orgasms are about the mind just as much as the body, research shows. And foreplay creates the excitement and arousal necessary – not only in the body, but the mind as well.

Foreplay creates intimacy.

I’ve talked about this before, and I’ll talk about this again. Intimacy is such an important part of successful relationships. A relationship cannot healthily and happily be maintained without intimacy. And intimacy is intimidating! That’s because intimacy does not come without vulnerability – and that is something people continuously try to avoid. But it is what strengthens the bond of a relationship and builds closeness and trust! So, whenever there is an opportunity to build intimacy, it’s important to take it. Foreplay is one of those opportunities.

Foreplay heightens the bedroom experience and is a great way to connect with your partner. Foreplay especially is an opportunity to pay attention and respond to your partner’s signals. Positive ones like moaning and sighing, and other ones like quick jerking movement and negative vocal cues that might require some tweaking on your end.

Communication is the key to good foreplay, both before, during, and after the act itself. Communicating what you like and don’t like, what works and doesn’t work, is the difference between a mediocre and amazing foreplay experience. The more experience you have engaging in foreplay with your partner, the more you can learn what you and your partner like, and therefore continue to create better foreplay time as your relationship progresses! It takes checking in over time and learning the full list of what works/doesn’t work. Because different things work at different times.

“O”, that reason too…

Foreplay helps the clitoris fulfill its “o” so important role. Think about all the movies, TV shows, and books you’ve watched/read. What if all the buildup and anticipation were removed and you were just told the climax and end of the story? That would be a huge buzz kill and take away the appreciation of the story. The same can be said for sex: you can’t expect an amazing climax without working on the stuff that comes before it, the foreplay.


Foreplay doesn’t just have to be a precursor to sex – it can also be done/revisited during intercourse. Don’t forget about all the other body parts and erogenous zones you can enjoy while having sex. Prolong the sex by pausing on intercourse and going back to some oral stimulation. Mix things up!

Sex toys are an amazing way to add variation to foreplay. Depending on your experience, you can start with something small and simple like a bullet vibrator or use a more sophisticated toy like a wand or toy that can be enjoyed by both of you.

What matters most is that both partners are sexually satisfied because that will benefit the relationship as a whole. If one partner doesn’t dig foreplay, it’s okay to forego it sometimes to cater to their preferences. And if one person needs or wants it, it’s important to make sure you make foreplay a focus sometimes for them. Foreplay is fun, freaky, and leads to great sex – so I hope you get your “f” on!