Foreplay often doesn’t get enough credit — not to mention time or attention. In one study of heterosexual couples published in the Journal of s*xual Research, both women and men reported that their ideal duration of foreplay was 20 minutes. Most participants, however, reported spending an average of only about half that much time on foreplay. This neglected step in your s*xual escapades can be the key to an even more explosive main course, though — whatever that may be. (“Main course” doesn’t have to mean intercourse!)
To celebrate the build-up to whichever activity is the star attraction of your s*xual encounters, we’re sharing people’s accounts of their favorite forms of foreplay. From oiled-up massages to dirty talk to PDA, these techniques set a sexy tone. They might even inspire you to up your own foreplay game. Light a massage candle and click through for the details; then, check back as we continue to update this story with fresh ideas.

“The key to good foreplay is actually doing it for long enough. However long you think you should spend on foreplay, double it at least.”

“I love when my partner takes a really long time to coax my b**bs out of my bra so that I’m begging for it . the time they’re fully exposed.”

“Lots of ear nuzzling and nibbling. It tweaks my whole nervous system.”

“I love talking! I have fought this idea for a long time, thinking it sounds ‘lame,’ but I feel I can now honestly say that a great, well-connected conversation with my husband opens up my entire body and spirit to him the way nothing else really does. Also, amazing music, which he is really great at curating — it’s one more thing that I fought for a while but realize now is huge for the mood factor. Physically speaking, though, I love a great make-out and a comfortable, cozy bed set-up. As I’m typing all of this out, I realize I like to feel really safe in every way, and that is my biggest turn-on.”

“I love it when my guy plays with my clit before s*x, but it can be almost painful when he touches it directly on the head. It feels much better when he rubs the hood or the side, then maybe licks it and sucks on it gently, then puts his fingers inside of me to give it a break before returning his attention to it. That builds up the sensation and keeps me from getting so sensitive that we have to stop.”

“. with my bosoms! Softly at first, and then pinch, bite, twist, and squeeze them. I like them to hurt a little bit. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you if it gets to be too much. Also, it feels really luxurious when my partner and I spend more than just a few minutes on foreplay — when we get up to 15 minutes of foreplay or more is when intercourse feels the best.”

“Do not be afraid to break out a vibrator with your partner! I love it when my boyfriend uses my Hitachi Magic Wand on me — and he really loves it when I use it on myself for him to watch.”

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“Honestly, the best foreplay might be just talking about what turns you on and what you want your partner to do to you. It sounds so obvious, and it is, but people don’t do it as much as they should, instead trying to figure everything out . trial and error. I’m not saying spontaneity isn’t sexy, but I love it when someone looks me in the eyes and asks what they can do to make me feel good.”

“I love to watch an Italian film called Come Undone. It tracks the lifespan of an adulterous relationship between two people: their meeting, their affair, and then (spoiler) their downfall and break-up. The s*x scenes themselves are pretty amazing. (Again, it’s an Italian film.) But I do have to say, I think that I also love this movie because cheating is one of those weird fantasies of mine. Not something I’d do in a healthy relationship, of course — but there’s something exciting in the thought of carrying on a sexy affair and always wondering if you’re going to get caught.”

“A little PDA — public making-out or over-the-pants stimulation — is so crazy-underrated.”

“I have this scented massage oil that feels like liquid jelly, minus the stickiness. I like to rub his shoulders and back with it. Usually, after a few minutes, he’ll get so turned on that he will flip me over, and we’ll start making out… It really turns me on, too — and I love the feeling of the oil on my body.”

.: Refinery

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