Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 6/10/2021
While it’s one of the best ways to boost intimacy and allow ample time to build up to the big bang, the average couple engages in some form of foreplay for just over 10 minutes before sex.
While this speedy duration of foreplay might seem like no big deal if you still do the deed, it might be a big deal for your partner.
Research has shown that less than one in 10 women have time to work their way up to “unassisted orgasms” naturally during intercourse, and a whopping 67 percent of women admit to faking orgasm during sex.
It’s not just about the “big O,” though.
Men and women actually tend to desire the same length of foreplay as their partners, be it as a way to connect, express desire, enhance the sexual experience, increase the playful nature of the relationship or simply spice things up.
Whether you’re searching for ways to spice up your (sex) life, boost the likelihood of you both climaxing or could use some extra time to build up yourself, these foreplay techniques will come in handy.
When sex therapists explain the benefits of foreplay and how to engage in it, they basically mean anything that works for you and your partner to elevate desire, stimulation and arousal.
Basically, any non-penetrative intimate act could be defined as a type of foreplay if it gets the body and brain primed to orgasm during the sexual encounter.
With that in mind, it’s vital to remember that each partner’s mindset plays a huge role in successful foreplay.
In same sex or heterosexual relationships, the best types of foreplay feel playful, tantalizing and fun.
Translation: foreplay is very personal and there are few “rules” that work across the board in terms of technique.
As you can already kind of guess from the intro, foreplay isn’t a one-size-fits-all game. Everyone is different, fellas.
That said, we wanted to give you guys a varied array of different ideas for each type of partner you may have (or each type of partner you may be), so that, at the very least, you can take one or two of these pro-tips and tailor it to your needs.
Emotional foreplay is a brilliant way to work up to physical foreplay.
Even if you’re across town (or across the world!), you can spark that I-want-you-now passion with little gestures that work surprisingly well for many couples as foreplay techniques.
Try wearing the same outfit you did when you first met or on your most intimate date night — snap a photo of you in it and send it to your plus one.
Or simply send a sexual or flirty text as a tease and a reminder of the spicy sexual activity to come once you reunite.
It’s not just for training your new puppy or playing nicely with your employees at the office.
“Words of affirmation” is one of the five love languages for a reason; humans adore hearing what others enjoy about us.
To try this as a foreplay technique, tell your partner what you dig about them, what feels best or what turns you on, and be sure to ask what he or she desires, as well.
Unsure of where to start or which foreplay tip for men to try first? Take cues from a sexual movie or story.
Either simply take it all in to set the mood, or follow the lead of the characters if you’re comfortable with the types of sensual foreplay they’re engaging in.
If you’re not so hot on porn, there are even some erotic podcasts you can listen to together.
Because let’s not forget: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Sensual foreplay can be even zestier when there’s an element of the unexpected.
Try a game of “getting warmer:” After the receiver picks one erogenous zone on his or her own body, the partner can use his or her hands — or mouth — to try and find the hot spot.
As the partner moves around, the body zone picker can direct their moves with “getting warmer” and “getting colder” verbal tips.
Feel like your foreplay techniques are on a lather, rinse, repeat cycle? Flip the script.
If you always engage in a type of foreplay only at night, say, sharing sensual massages, dry humping or deep kissing before you dive right in, carve out some time for your desired foreplay techniques right after you both wake up.
Or if darkness is typically the scene, give ‘em a go with the lights on.
If you’re both on board, some lube and a toy like an OMG Ring Penis Vibrator or a Roller Coaster Bullet Vibrator is a fantastic way to transition from emotional foreplay to sensual foreplay (and ease your way right into intercourse).
We know — it’s hard to remember that foreplay is important when you’re trying to focus on what happens after. We get it.
However, the simple truth is that foreplay is important.
Setting the mood for what’s to come and warming things up with your partner is the single-best way to ensure that you’re utilizing your hanky panky time to the fullest.
While not all of these foreplay techniques might come naturally at first, they can be an excellent way to start as you try to connect on an even deeper and more satisfying level with your partner.
If after trying these foreplay tips you still find it challenging to get going, an online consultation with a health care professional for erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation is a discreet and effective way to potentially reignite your sex life.