top of page

Reframing Foreplay

Not Foreplay, but SexPlay

Foreplay isn’t something that happens before sex…it is sex!

Touching, kissing, stroking, cuddling, dirty talk, licking, oral, teasing, rubbing, finger play…these activities are typically thought of as “foreplay”. However, when we participate in these activities, they are part of our sexual repertoire. In fact, they are as important to our state of mind and body as any other part of a sexual encounter.

Often referred to as “outercourse”, the powerful benefits of the activities listed above are a prerequisite for getting your mind and your body tuned into your partner. Taking time to participate in these activities guarantees a boost in sexual arousal and mental stimulation, ingredients necessary for pleasure, connection and excitement.

As an added bonus, your body gets the biggest hit of all from these activities … with the release of all three “feel good hormones” – oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine – oh my! And there’s more…these activities cause an increase in blood flow to the genitals – helping him with erections and her with being fully aroused. Foreplay activities (aka: sexplay) , lubricate the vagina making intercourse more comfortable, they also cause a “tenting” of the vagina - creating more space in the vaginal canal and lessening the chance of pain with penetration.

I hope we can all agree that foreplay is not something you can take or leave before intercourse – it is sex, it’s sexplay! Author and veteran sex therapist, Bat Sheva Marcus, is candid about the matter in her new book Sex Points; Reclaim Your Sex Life with the Revolutionary Multi-Point System, she says, “Stop thinking of oral sex (using your mouth) and manual sex (using your hands) as foreplay. It’s not. It’s sex.”

SexPlay; Before & After

Hopefully we’re all on the same page, and see that our sexual activities, whether outercourse or intercourse, or both, provide a way of experiencing sexual pleasure that focuses on enjoyment and play, rather than just an end goal.

So how do you create the desire for sexplay before you ever step foot into the bedroom, and how do you keep it alive after a sexual encounter…I’m glad you asked.

Creating the desire for sexplay and keeping it alive is achieved with intention....and a little imagination.

Try one or all of these recommendations:

  • Go solo. Laura Berman, Ph.D. says before starting sexplay, take 30-seconds and 3 deep breathes to quiet your mind, take yourself out of your day, and place yourself in the present. By placing yourself in your body, you will put yourself in an empathetic, generous state of mind. A solid foundation for great sex.

  • Celebrate your relationship. Before getting close in the bedroom, take a look around the rest of the house at the photo’s of each other and your family – a reminder of your relationship at its best moments. “Celebrating your relationship will make sex more of a celebratory act”, says Ian Kerner, Ph.D.

  • Touch every day! Touching, cuddling and embracing all release oxytocin – which increases feelings of intimacy and bonding. Building up oxytocin over time can help ignite desire, even when the mood is just so-so. Bank on it!

Now it’s your turn.

Turn Insight into Action:

  1. Ask your partner what type of “outercourse” activities does he/she like and doesn’t like.

  2. Discuss the option of having a sexual encounter where “intercourse” is NOT part of the encounter…and let the night heat up.

  3. Sext! Before a planned sexual encounter (planning is the best – everyone’s on the same page) tell your partner exactly what you want to do to them, or what you wish they would do to you. H – O - T


bottom of page