This was originally published in my column for www.ieatgrass.com.
In my own sexcapades and all of the hours (and hours and hours) I have spent talking about sex, and writing about sex, I have found a common theme: Most of us don’t spend enough time on foreplay.
Foreplay involves (at least!) two people, so EVERYONE would probably appreciate some more pre-game TLC. But women take an average of 45 minutes to get fully aroused. Men take much, much less time. So when you rush right into penetrative sex, it’s usually the women who are getting stiffed.
Let me put it this way:
Your friend invites you over for dinner. You’re very excited, because you know your friend makes amazing food. You show up at their house, ring the doorbell, and when they answer you barrel past them into the dining room. Okay okay wait, maybe you’re not THAT rude. You give them a hug hello. Maybe you even thank them for inviting you and breathe heavily on their neck while caressing one or both of their breasts! THEN you barrel past them into the dining room where you plant your face directly in their serving platter of eggplant parm.
No, you wouldn’t do that, would you? Because that’s rude. It isn’t socially acceptable. And skipping foreplay to dive right into insertion before both parties are fully ready is rude. It isn’t sexually acceptable. It usually even hurts a bit on the lady’s end. And not in the “hurt so good” way. So calm down on the whole quest for inevitable insertion and let things marinate.
When your friend invites you over for dinner, greet them, thank them for having you, make small talk, ask if you can help with anything in the kitchen, sip on your glass of wine, and THEN sit down to enjoy your meal. And use your utensils.
Live in the moment! Let things ripen. Say it with me: More foreplay. And when you wait for full arousal, the sex will be better. The orgasms will come easier. Everyone will be happier. Plus, foreplay is fun! So why not spend more time on it?
If you need another reason, this study showed that women who are aroused feel less disgust than women who are not aroused. This means when we’re turned on, we’re more likely to (enthusiastically) engage in behaviors that we would normally pass on. I am not saying that if you get your girlfriend turned on she will be more likely to say “yes” to something she previously said “no” to. Sexual pressure is for creeps. What I am saying is wait for full arousal before you get down to business, because we’re in general less inhibited, and inhibition during sex = no fun. Okay, not AS much fun.
Last year I read Ian Kerner’s “She Comes First.” Personally, I like to come second. But I still liked this book because he asks us to completely redesign our habit of viewing sex as a before, during, and after activity. He asks us to relabel “foreplay” as “coreplay,” and spends the entire book relaying one central message: “Good Lovers Go Down. And Down. And Down and Down and Down.” Every man should read this book, but also women should read it too. Sometimes Kerner gets a bit cheesy, and I don’t know who would actually use the oral sex diagrams in the back (talk about a mood-killer), but in general, it’s a good read if only to expand your view on foreplay. Er, coreplay.
There are certain times when foreplay is not the best thing. When you rush your boyf into a bar bathroom for a quickie, you don’t want him to be all “but let me lovingly caress your labia for 35 minutes while a mob of angry drunks with full bladders mob the door.”
But in general, taking more time with foreplay is usually a great idea. Everyone likes different things in bed, so figure out what gets your partner juiced up, and then do that. Also, don’t be afraid to ASK them. They want to tell you. Trust. Dudes, if you’re having trouble getting it in, it’s because it’s not time to get it in! Vaginas birth babies. They can fit your dick no problem when they’re properly aroused.
This brings me to another subject: Lube.
I don’t like lube. I LOVE it. I think it makes every sexual situation better. I keep bottles in my purse, my car, by my bed, by my boyfriend’s bed…I would probably keep it at my desk at work if it was appropriate.
But sometimes, lube can be a crutch. A woman’s state of wetness is often (but not always) a great indicator of how turned on she is. This is pretty basic info, but for some reason, many of us ignore it.
Some women have trouble self-lubricating, and in those cases, lube is your best bitch. But for those of us who have no trouble getting slippery when the man-hours are applied, but still layer on the lube first thing, then we are using it as a crutch. We are using it so we can speed things along, because we’re just SO excited, or tired or anxious or want to watch something really great on TV in twenty minutes. We are focusing too much on what comes next (insertion?) that we aren’t focusing on all of the feel-good things that are happening, or can be happening, right now. I am guilty of this too. Let’s all stop doing this, please! Be present! Slow down and just touch each other for a while, or put on those six inch heels and walk on each other’s backs, or role play, or get out the plastic sheets, or whatever kinky foreplay shit you’re into. Be weird! No judgements! After wetness is achieved naturally, THEN reach for the lube if you want, because lube is great and enhances sensation.
I know you all have New Year’s resolutions! But how many of them are sexy? Commitments to your sex life are more fun because you actually enjoy fulfilling them, like if your resolutions were “I will eat more cake,” and “I will sleep in every day.” Easy peasy.
So let’s all make a commitment to foreplay this year. And maybe lay off the lube if it’s acting as a crutch instead of an aid.
Okay, tell me your thoughts about foreplay! Or lube! Or quickies in bar bathrooms! Go.