Giddy Presents The Naked Truth: How Do I Ask For More Foreplay?
I'm an AASECT-certified sex therapist and licensed professional counselor-supervisor based in Austin, Texas. I've been in practice for 14 years, including working in corporate settings, higher education and private practice.
If you have questions you want to be answered in future columns, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Privacy in all matters of intimacy is very important to me and any questions answered in this column will be entirely anonymous.
Enough about me, let's talk sex.
I need more foreplay, but my partner is a little too fast off the blocks. How can I slow them down?
April in Mississippi
Regardless of gender, as humans, we want to feel successful and confident during sex play. Foreplay is the way a majority of humans become engorged within the pelvic floor area. (Yes, I'm talking about girls getting wet and boys getting hard.) I think the real question here is, "Why would anyone want to skip it?"
For many, it's the best part, at least second to the aftercare step to intercourse. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let's start with a quick and dirty breakdown of an amazing sex play session:
- Desire. I want to feel seen, understood and wanted. I can’t just get wet and squirt when my partner is ready to go, and I also can’t expect a boner within seconds of my command. Desire is the give-and-take component that continues the craving for a sexual connection and affection among partners. I consider it the ever-lasting gumdrop of foreplay.
- Mutual stimulation. Kissing, hugging, tugging and rubbing. This is the physicality that creates healthy arousal and stimulation prior to intercourse. It serves many purposes, but most of all, it is the window for many women to have an orgasm prior to penetration. If a partner is rushing through this step or wants to skip it in most play times, I would approach a separate conversation about vulnerability and trust. Orgasms are sacred, but many of us are shamed and guilted into thinking foreplay is not the right time or place for such pleasure.
- Talk to each other. Do so before, during, after and completely outside of the play session. Explore wants, needs and fantasies. If you are providing oral sex to stimulate intercourse, doesn't it make sense to learn and ask how your partner enjoys it most? Every person has an unusual anatomy, so this is a good place to build rapport and explore what each of you truly enjoys as a pleasurable experience.
All sex play sessions will look different and variety makes long-term passion for each other sustainable. Let's be frank, foreplay is amazing.
Aftercare, a beautiful term often used in the kink world, provides the affection and post-sex interaction all of us crave. As a mama, I can appreciate a five-minute nap-time sex session, but I also want to enjoy the slow sensual process of reconnecting with my partner in a moment of "just us."
Find your balance. It's all about pleasure.
My partner seems to be willing to go down on me for fun, but when I try to reciprocate, I get turned away. Is there something I can do better or is there something weird about me?
Dave in Wisconsin
This is such a common issue among all the questions I get. And that makes it important. As an answer, let's address a few of the elephants in the room:
- Body hair, don’t care. Shaving or not, if you are into your partner, then none of it matters. Craving the pheromones from your partner creates a connection.
- A mundane routine force of habit is boring. If we don’t mix up the pleasure before the play, then we are too predictable. Place a finger down the mouth, caress the lips, whisper—or don’t, just go for it—and change it up. Create some mystery and keep it fresh.
- Ditch the past, focus on the present. We are not all oral savants. Share some patience. Coach each other. This has to be a team effort. The experience in this relationship is unique. Mozart didn’t play his keys perfectly in one try and make history, so give it a shot. We all need practice at playing with the clit or the bullseye to get the eruption just right.
- Porn has its perks. Lesbian porn is entertainment, but it does allow for some visual examples of what the female body likes and responds to. Take some time to learn the anatomy and apply these ideas to the features of your partner’s anatomy.
- Oral sex is an amazing part of the rich variety of sex. It allows for a different sensation of orgasm, climax and most importantly, pleasure. It can feel very vulnerable for either partner, but mastering the art of pleasure and satisfaction begins with an open dialogue between you and your partner.
Always remember, this is not a matter of performance, this is about taking time to play and share pleasure.
What are your thoughts about roleplaying in the bedroom? I think I’d like to try it but don’t know how to talk my partner into it.
Diana in Kentucky
Roleplay can add additional excitement and passion to a sexual play session. This is a difficult space for some of us to navigate because it's new and can feel embarrassing.
I think it's best to start a little journal of your favorite fantasies, curiosities and interests. Roleplay is about the exploration of yourself and your partner in a dynamic that takes on a story of its own. This can include costumes, toys and some simple language you don’t typically use during regular conversations.
It's important to see this as a negotiation rather than an idea you have to talk somebody into. Create a time and space when it's good for both of you to sit down and talk about how your sex play could elevate creativity. Ask if it feels safe and OK to share some of your fantasies with each other and take turns being inquisitive in the conversation. Upon reaching a peak of interest and agreement, be sure you both consent to when, where and how this roleplay may evolve the next time you want to be more expressive.
Spontaneity is healthy and fun for partner play, but roleplay can leave us feeling silly or uncertain, and keeping this sacred space safe should be a priority. Aftercare is the act of checking in with ourselves and our partners after playtime. In the matter of roleplay, offer a lot of reassurance that each of you is enjoying this experience. Upon ending the play session, check in to see if either of you is hungry or thirsty. Or emphasize a moment of affection and caress sweet spots like the mouth, hair or eyes. Or just have a sweet cuddle.
Aftercare is a great way to connect after some fun roleplay, and for many, it's the best part.
Roleplay has so many elements and can be as simple or elaborate as your mind desires. Keep your ideas together and remind yourself that this is mutual and consensual. And get out there to have some fun.
Again, I'm not shy, so feel free to ask me anything. Remember, this will always be anonymous. If you have any questions about relationships, sexual activities or your partners, let me know. Tell me your first name and the state you live in so I can attribute your question. Please email me at email@example.com. We will always respect your privacy.