Foreplay is not just a warm up
When you start to really understand and implement part one of this series, you will probably wonder what it is that you’re supposed to do during sex if it’s not all about getting to the goal of ejaculation. This is where you learn to embrace the ‘play’ part of foreplay. Being in a state of playfulness, the very act of playing, is an evolutionary tool that helps our brains and bodies learn, adapt and grow. As adults, in our ‘serious lives’ we don’t really give ourselves the opportunity to play very often. Play requires us to genuinely let go of the outcome – to enter into a mindset of experimentation, curiosity and willingness to make mistakes. For a lot of guys this is a real challenge in the realm of sex because of deeply ingrained beliefs, and the emotionally vulnerable nature of intimacy. Most men that I work with have masses of stressful performance anxiety related to sex: the idea of potential ‘failure’ (not getting hard, not doing a ‘good job’, not lasting long enough, not having a big enough cock etc) is terrifying! This fear and pressure cuts you off from being able to play, try things out, get things wrong, ask questions, learn and generally be relaxed about sex. Add into the mix the damage that porn does in skewing the understanding of what real life sex is actually like, and it’s really not surprising that most men are walking around with a unhealthy dose of insecurity and paranoia about how to be intimate with a woman!
Play boosts oxytocin, a vital ingredient in female pleasure
If you are overly focussed on the goal of getting your partner to orgasm, doggedly rubbing her clit or pumping away with your cock with a mental eye on that finish line, you are putting a lot of pressure and expectation on her (and yourself). You might be bringing too much of an ‘achievement’ and ‘work’ mindset to the matter. If you only approach sex with that narrow bandwidth of understanding that it ‘should’ involve penetration and then a neat little orgasm, then you’re missing out on the playfulness, the goal-less experience that is true, deep feminine pleasure. The female body and ‘orgasmic profile’ are quite different to the male experience. Most women need a lot more full-body, oxytocin-releasing touch to become aroused than they’re getting from you guys. Oxytocin is a hormone that promotes a sense of bonding and connection. This is vital for most women when it comes to feeling relaxed and safe enough to truly ‘let go’ into orgasm. As an example, when a woman comes for a session with me, I spend a good 45 – 60 minutes massaging and attending to her whole body before I go anywhere near her genitals. By the time we get to that level of intimacy she has often let go of layers of physical tension (sometimes emotional tension) and dropped into a deep, gooey, oxytocin fuelled space where she can discover her arousal and let go.
Explore the foreplay menu
If you don’t know what else to do when it comes to sex other than perhaps fiddle with her clitoris a bit and then put your cock inside her, you’re limiting your partner’s capacity for sensation and pleasure. Let go of your ego, let go of the goal-oriented mindset and learn to play. Experiment, make mistakes, try things out, not because you are trying to achieve orgasm, but to see how it feels to explore and discover. I guarantee this will bring more relaxation, more playfulness, more trust and more full-bodied orgasmic sensations to the table. Short on ideas for what ‘play’ means in a sexual context? Here’s a list to get you started – it’s by no means exhaustive and you can definitely add your own options!
Roll around and play fight a little bit
- This is a fun way to create polarity, it gets you moving your bodies and can bring out a totally different (more primal) energy in you both. Let yourself be little lion cubs, or a wolf and it’s prey; let yourselves growl, grab, nibble, and nuzzle.
Try out massage and pleasure mapping
- Get some inspiration and guidance from my online courses in intimate massage. Sensual massage can be an amazing form of foreplay or a totally delicious stand-alone sexual experience that isn’t at all focussed on penetration.
- Remember when you were a teenager and you would ‘snog’ and ‘make out’ for what seemed like hours? Enjoying an evening of ‘oral’ sex, clothes on, just focussing on the sensations and intimacy of your lip-to-lip connection can be beautifully vulnerable or intensely horny. It builds anticipation, it can connect you with your younger self and the heady days of your adolescent libido. Your lips contain even more nerve endings that your genitals, so pucker up and tune into all that delicious sensation.
Sit naked in intimate, loving, eye-connection and simply breathe together
- This is a foundation practice in Tantra. It’s one of the first things I get couples to explore in my coaching sessions. Focus on your partner’s left eye, sync up your breathing and allow yourselves to be 100% present.
Try out some Shibari or sensation play
Do all these things and more without any attachment to what sex ‘should’ look like. By taking the lead in this play you will be giving your partner space to let go of pressure, tension and expectations so she can tune into her body, relax and feel the depth of your presence to her pleasure.
As always, if you have questions, or this blog sparks your curiosity, you can get in touch to book virtual or in-person sessions on firstname.lastname@example.org