Some people are all about foreplay when it comes to their sexual encounters. Others would rather cut straight to the chase. Still more aren’t even completely sure what foreplay actually is. One thing’s for certain though. If you think back to the most satisfying sexual experiences you’ve ever had, the chances are pretty good that foreplay was a huge part of the equation whether you realize it or not.

In other words, foreplay is critical if you’re serious about having the type of sex both you and your partner deserve to be having. Here we’ll go over the reasons why it’s important. We’ll cover a few tips for engaging in better foreplay as well. You’ll be blowing each other’s minds before you know it.

What Is Foreplay and Why Is It Important?

Think back to the last time you hopped into your car to go to work or head out on a road trip. You probably didn’t just hit the gas and go, right? In all likelihood, you waited for the engine to warm up a little bit first because you knew the car would run better if you did, especially if it also happened to be a cold day.

Foreplay is actually important for similar reasons. Can you skip it if you’re really in a rush? Of course, but it’s a lot better not to. The term itself collectively refers to everything you do to get in the mood” for sex. The touching, sucking, licking, and kissing is definitely all included, but flirting and sexy talk can be part of it too. Really, anything arousing or sexually stimulating that comes prior to intercourse fits the bill.

Foreplay is important for many reasons. Physically speaking, it gives blood a chance to flow to the genitals, for nerve endings to awaken, and for both partners (especially the woman) to reach the level of arousal needed for orgasm. It gives the mind and emotions a chance to prepare for sex as well. In other words, foreplay gives you and your partner adequate opportunity to connect to each other in every way you need to if you really want the sex to be good.

How to Have Better Foreplay

Of course, knowing what foreplay is and understanding the role it plays in the quality of your sex life is one thing. Knowing what makes the difference between adequate foreplay and great foreplay is another. The following are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re serious about upping your game.

  1. Focus on your partner

A person that’s awesome at foreplay doesn’t spend their time and energy focusing on what’s happening with their own body. They’re focused completely on their partner. Let your partner focus on making sure you’re getting properly stimulated and aroused. It can’t help but lead to good things.

  1. Don’t rush the process

Don’t view foreplay as a race. It’ll be time for sex soon enough and foreplay really does ensure it’s as good as it can possibly be for both of you. (Remember the analogy of warming up your car!) Foreplay shouldn’t end until both of you can hardly stand the idea of not having sex right then and there. Remember how much you used to enjoy making out and exploring a partner’s body in high school? Great foreplay can and should be just like that.

  1. When in doubt, just ask

If you’re not sure whether something you’re doing is really working for your partner, it’s not only OK to ask, but advisable. Ask them what they’d like you to do to them. They’re horny too, so they’ll sure to give you some suggestions. All you have to do is listen and follow instructions.

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  1. Try some dirty talk

Not everyone is into seriously graphic dirty talk, but the great majority of people love hearing a little something spicy here and there. (Think “I want to be inside you” or “that feels so good”.) Whisper it into their ear as you touch each other. If you’re not big on talk or find yourself at a loss for words, a moan or two can work just as well when it comes to letting your partner know how into things you are.

  1. Put your tongue to good use

A little well-played tongue action can elevate nearly any foreplay move from kissing, to oral, and beyond. In fact, a sensual flick of the tongue can feel amazing when applied to pretty much any sensitive area (i.e. the earlobes), so feel free to get creative. Just be careful not to overdo things or let things get overly wet or noisy.

  1. Try a little public foreplay

There’s definitely no rule on the books that dictates foreplay has to start in the bedroom. In fact, sometimes it’s best to get the ball rolling earlier while you’re still out in public, especially if you’re hoping sex will be on the menu later. We’re not necessarily talking about graphic PDA either. You’d be surprised how far some hand-holding, a well-timed caress, or a few soft kisses can go when it comes to getting your partner excited about coming attractions.

  1. Explore sensory deprivation

The great majority of human beings have five senses. Remove one from the equation and the others heighten naturally, a fact that can definitely be used to your advantage when it  comes to next-level foreplay. Try restricting your partner’s sight with a blindfold or preventing them from using their hands by tying them to the bed posts (with their consent, of course). Not only will that be arousing in and of itself, but everything that follows will feel twice as nice.

  1. Grind against your partner

Never underestimate the power of a little gentle grinding as a way to elevate the foreplay experience. It’s hot and it’s a wonderful way to stimulate your partner and get them ready for the main event. Try straddling them and grinding against them as you kiss or caress them. If you have music playing, you can even sync up your grind to the rhythm.

  1. Treat your partner to a massage

A massage can be a wonderful way to help your partner unwind after a long day at the office or an especially tough workout for sure. It can also be an awesome way to turn your partner on or even initiate sex. The difference lies in where and how you massage. Go for sensitive areas like the lower back, shoulders, inner thighs, or arms. It’s all too easy for things to progress into even more intimate territory. If you’re both game, you can add a vibrating wand-style massager to the mix for even more powerful stimulation.

  1. Play with your toys

Wand massagers aren’t the only “helpful props” that can really heighten your experience when it comes to foreplay. Sex toys of all kinds can make great additions, so don’t be afraid to explore the possibilities and discover new things that turn you on together. Options like bullet vibrators or the wand massagers mentioned above can be great to start with, as they’re both versatile and non-intimidating. However, many couples do eventually learn that they love experimenting with dildos, anal toys, strap-ons, handcuffs, and any number of other alternatives as well.

  1. Masturbate together

If you and your partner are like most people, you probably both masturbate from time to time. Masturbation just so happens to be a seriously hot pastime to engage in together as well though. How you do it is up to you. You can manually stimulate one another or use toys. Alternatively, you can simply stimulate yourselves and watch each other as you do so. Let your imagination run wild!

  1. Tease each other with oral

Hot and heavy foreplay often leads to oral sex in one form or another just by its very nature, so don’t be afraid to go with that inclination. If one or both of you want to treat oral as the final destination point, that’s perfectly OK, but it can make for a really great way to seriously rev your partner’s engine in preparation for penetrative sex as well. Try bringing them dangerously close to orgasm and then pulling back as many times as you wish.

  1. Take the time to undress your partner

Sometimes people forget how arousing the act of taking someone else’s clothes off can really be, so make sure you include it as part of your foreplay repertoire. Undress your partner slowly and sensually. Take the time to run your fingertips over each newly exposed patch of skin as you do so, savoring every minute of the process. Let them do the same to you. Alternatively, you can try treating your partner to a sensual strip tease or encouraging them to treat you to one.

Don’t be afraid to be creative and come up with your own ways to elevate foreplay as well. Anything that arouses, stimulates, and excites the both of you is fair game. Explore the possibilities today!