We Must Play. What Is Foreplay?

Foreplay is a general term that refers to any activity done before sex.

It is a way in which two people can connect and establish a line of communication before moving on to the main event of sexual contact. 

The meaning of Foreplay is to be fun and connective — sometimes it can be so fun that it becomes the main event. 

What Is Foreplay?

Do you know how sometimes you need to stick your toe in when you draw a hot bath before fully submerging your whole body?

Foreplay can act in a very similar way.

what is a Foreplay

Sometimes, you might think, "oh, this water is too hot for me today." Sometimes you might think, "Wow, perfect temp!" Still, other times you might be content just soaking your feet. All are great options.

Foreplay is just like that. 

It's a time for you and your partner to come together and ease your way into having sex — or not.

Read: Perfect Foreplay Sex Toys

Are There Mental Benefits To Foreplay?

Definitely, whenever you have sex with a partner, having an open channel of communication is crucial — it lets you establish that everyone is enjoying themselves. 

Foreplay is a great way to check in and see where your partner is physically and emotionally and to better understand their sexual energy. 

For some people, sex can be stressful. An added mental benefit of Foreplay is that it lets everyone relax and calm down. Instead of just diving in headfirst, you get a chance to catch your breath and look around.

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Are There Physical Benefits To Foreplay?

Definitely, Foreplay prepares your body to have sex in tangible ways.

Some normal physical reactions that you might experience include:

  • Increasing blood flow to the genitals
  • Causing the vagina to self-lubricate
  • Hard nipples
  • Quickened heartbeat
  • Erect penis

How Might People Define Foreplay Differently?

Foreplay during sex

Foreplay is a super loose term. 

Some people consider intense massage or kissing to be Foreplay. Maybe even just talking in a sexy way to your partner, giving a lap dance, or a romantic message could get the party started. 

For men or people with penises and women or people with vaginas, Foreplay can look different. 

People With Penises

For people with penises, Foreplay can be about getting erect. It can involve a blowjob, rim job, or handjob. Their partner (or partners...) can caress their body, whisper sweet nothings, or light a candle while twerking — pretty much anything that might take them from flaccid to complex or challenging to more challenging. 

Some people with penises actually fear Foreplay. 

There is a pressure that can happen when they feel like they might lose their erection or stem from some other type of intimacy-related anxiety. There is no answer for mentally and physically synching up with your partner except that communication is critical — let your partner know where you are. 

Clear communication is the only practical solution that will work for everyone!

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People With Vaginas

In her book, Come As You Are, Emily Nagoski discusses female sexuality: "arousal is not just the process of turning on the one, it's also turning off the offs." 

Nagoski writes a lot about how vaginas have a sexual brake and a sexual accelerator. This means that you could be at once turned on and deeply turned off.  

Foreplay is a great way to sync up your body and mind slowly. It's also essential for the vagina to be lubricated before being penetrated. Your partner can eat you out, whip out the lube, or massage down there. 

Foreplay could also be all about nipple play — your partner touching your breasts or sucking on your nipples. It could be general caresses or kinky bites. Stimulation of other erogenous zones, like the neck or the upper legs, is also great! 

For people with vaginas, Foreplay can be crucial physically and emotionally. It's much harder physically to feel pleasure from being abruptly penetrated. You and your partner's (or partners'...) mutual pleasure will be maximized if you are good and ready.

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Is Foreplay Important In a Relationship and Why?

foreplay and sex toys

There really is no one answer to this question. There are so many types of "relationships" and understandings that we all can come to with our partners today in 2021. In general, however, Foreplay can be important in a relationship. 

Foreplay extends sexual intercourse. 

Extending the intercourse means you spend a lot more intimate time together to connect. You get to have more space to explore your and your parent's sexuality. It can be great to physically spend more time being close with someone else. 

As well as being something physical, Foreplay can take on a whole other meaning in a relationship. It can become a dance between you and your partner. A look that says "should we or shouldn't we?" or a bold comment whispered at a dinner party. 

Foreplay can be a way to re-introduce seduction, longing, and fantasy into a committed partnership's everyday life.

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What Type of Foreplay Do Women Enjoy Most?

There is no one type of Foreplay that all women like the most. Some women have a larger clitoris, some love anal play, and some have penises. If you want to please the woman in your life via Foreplay, you should ask her what she likes the most.

Read: The Anal Vibrator Guide

Some good places to start might be slowly caressing her hips, making your way up to the breasts, and giving a gentle yet playful breast/nipple massage. It could be biting her ear lobe or kissing her neck. Start slowly to make sure your partner is as into it as you are. 

After a while, you might want to try to move down to her nether region and stimulate her with your hands, mouth, or even a luxury sex toy.

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What Type of Foreplay Do Men Enjoy Most?

Foreplay in mens

Some men enjoy bananas more than apples, but some men want apples more than bananas. There might be a man out there who doesn't like fruit at all. The same goes for Foreplay. 

You might have a partner who freaks out if you tickle the sensitive insides of an arm or a partner who goes wild if you gently grab his groin when you kiss him. Perhaps your partner is interested in a blowjob or a handjob.

Maybe just telling him what you want to do with him is enough, or using a sexy lingerie.

Again, communicate, communicate, communicate!

Introducing Foreplay Into a Relationship

Chances are, you are already doing some Foreplay with your partner. 

Maybe you want to mix it up or try and get a little wild with it?

Talk to your partner and tell them that you want to spend some time with them before intercourse. 

Lead by telling them what you want, for example, "I want to spend much time making you feel good by doing this, this, and this." 

If you want them to do something, you can say, "I love it when you touch me here" or "I love it when you take your time touching my body."

Initiating Foreplay in the Moment

If you're in the mood, maybe start caressing your partner or telling them how great they look. Start slowly and gently. Then perhaps move into heavier touching. 

Maybe that's not the mood, and you can start hot by heavily making out and showing your partner how much you want them.

In the Moment Foreplay Techniques

At the moment, you should be connected with your partner. It would be best to think about them, your pleasure, and how you can click the best. 

There is no single answer for what "techniques" to try. 

Although Foreplay was once thought of as simply oral sex or below-the-belt play, now it has a much broader definition. A few ideas for Foreplay could be:

  • Gently nibbling your partner's ears
  • Sucking on one of their fingers
  • Whispering sexy things to them 
  • Giving them an erotic massage

How to Use Sex Massage Candles? Read this article and choose your next Foreplay move.





What Can You Do If Your Partner Isn't Into Foreplay?

foreplay for couples

It has been scientifically shown that most human beings need at least some sort of engagement to produce orgasm during intercourse. Chances are you are already doing some Foreplay, even if you might not think of it as such. 

If your partner wants to make your Foreplay shorter than you would like, you should have a conversation with them in a setting that isn't the one where you are intimate. You should both have an honest discussion about intimately what you need/want. 

Sex is the most fun and pleasurable when the two partners meet each other in the middle, and everyone is having fun. Always remember that your requests and needs are just as valid as your partner's. 

If you aren't having fun, chances are they aren't either. 

How Long Should Foreplay Last?

However long you and your partner want it too! 

You make the rules, no one else! 

How Much Foreplay Do Men and Women Need / Want?

It is reductive to think of it as men or women needing or wanting one thing or another. The word gender itself can have so many meanings in this day and age. Just remember that different people need and enjoy other things. 

The best practice is consent and communication, no matter who your partner is. Foreplay is a great way to start slowly and build on that. 

In The End...

Foreplay is an excellent start to intercourse, or it can be the main event. The key to good Foreplay is good communication and being attuned to one another.

Foreplay is also a fantastic opportunity to get to know someone's preferences before moving to heavier petting. It can build trust connection and amplify everyone's pleasure! 


38 Things to Know About Sex and Foreplay. (August 2019). Healthline.com.

Foreplay That Can Save Your Relationship. (March 2017). HuffPost

What is Foreplay? (October 2010). Planned Parenthood.

7 Sex Education Lessons From Emily Nagoski's "Come As You Are". (March 2015). Radio Boston.

Sexual Foreplay: What's In It for Men? (August 2007). Webmd. 

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