Foreplay is something that you don’t even have to think about in the early stages of a relationship. Getting turned on just by holding hands and being together, leading onto kissing, stroking and then the removal of clothes for even more intimate touching - all that spine-tingling good stuff generally comes pretty naturally while you’re still getting to know each other. This guide is aimed at everybody else.
In a longer-term relationship, where you’re used to each other’s presence and know what you generally do together for the "main course" of sex, it can be tempting to skip the starter, or to go through the motions for your partner without any real commitment on your part.
That’s a real shame though, on so many levels. Not only is some level of foreplay usually essential for bodily arousal ready for penetrative sex, it’s a real pleasure in itself and the key way for you and your partner to be playful together and build up both your sexual and your relationship intimacy. What’s more, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn hot new things about your OWN body as well as your lover’s, to take your personal sex-life satisfaction up to the next level. Great foreplay is seriously a win-win situation, well worth devoting time and effort to.
“But what about quickies?” goes up the cry from foreplay nay-sayers. Well yes, they’re great too IF you’re both in the same zone and arousal is pretty instant, but you should only think of a quickie like a snack: a quick filler when you want one, but not something to sustain you in the long term. Try to live off snacks, and you’ll soon find your energy and health flagging, both food-wise and sex-wise.
So, if you’ve decided you want to spice up your foreplay, what are the best ways to go about it?
Make time, bring food
If you’re in the habit of both falling into bed, totally tired out at the end of the evening, you’re unlikely to be in the right mental space for fun foreplay. It needs to be an active decision to make more time, whether that’s going to bed earlier in the evening or having a lie-in for a whole, indulgent weekend morning. Involving food and a little alcohol (but not too much!) can be the perfect way to go as it takes off the pressure by diverting the initial focus, and gives you some fun, natural play accessories, to boot.
Try taking a picnic to bed consisting of nibbly things like salami slices, olives, berry fruits or chocolates, to be eaten while you’re both lounging around and chatting in your best undies, listening to some favourite music. You can start popping things in each other’s mouths to initiate playfulness, and you may well find the relaxed mood leads onto more fun food-based foreplay.
With just a little imagination there are all kinds of slightly kinky things you can do with some raspberries... An iced drink or ice bucket also makes a great accessory, leading to opportunities for teasing temperature play, a heavenly idea for heatwave season. In winter, simply crank up the AC on its hottest setting to achieve the same affect.
Ring the changes
If you think you’ve seen and done it all when it comes to foreplay, you’re wrong. There are lots of new ways these days to take things as simple as touching and stroking to a whole new level, with a huge choice of mini sex toys and accessories especially designed to create exciting new sensations.
Something as simple as Lovehoney’s BASICS finger stimulators – little ridged or bobbled caps that you put over the end of your fingers – can turn up the touching and stroking dial up from “mmm” to “oooh!”. Or add some tingling buzz to your touches with a vibrating finger ring or a bullet vibrator. If one or both of you loves massage, invest in a broad-head wand vibrator which is perfect for first releasing tension in tired muscles and then moving on to directing waves of pleasure to both male and female erogenous zones.
Using toys like these is guaranteed to teach you more about your own body and your responses, plus your likes and dislikes. It’s absolutely fine to try something and then decide it’s not for you, but stay open-minded and you’ll open yourself up to a whole spectrum of new pleasure. Oh, and make sure you have some lubricant to hand too – it really does heighten the sensations offered by many sex toys, as well as preventing the chances of any uncomfortable friction.
A little light bondage
For many couples, a great way to get the juices flowing is to do something that feels a little bit naughty. Some people get aroused when they feel they have permission to try on either a slightly submissive or dominant role for size, which is something they might not be free to do in their everyday life. A little bit of tie and tease bondage is perfect for introducing a new note of eroticism into your foreplay, even if it starts off as a bit of a giggle.
Blindfolds, wrist ties, silk scarves and feather ticklers are all good starting points for bondage play, which ultimately is all about depriving one or more senses in order to amplify the others. Our previous guide to spanking provides plenty of tips for the light S&M beginner.