You Don't Have To Take Your Clothes Off
The best sex I ever had didn't include intercourse. I was making out with an ex who I was considering reuniting with, but I wanted to keep our sexual interactions relatively innocent until I decided if I wanted to let him back in emotionally. As we kissed, his jeans-enclosed thigh rubbed between my legs. It felt so silly, so adolescent, so not like what grown-ups do—until he kept at it and I had one of the biggest orgasms of my life.
For me, orgasms tend to be slightly complicated experiences that involve a lot of fantasy and brain negotiations, so it was all the more pleasurable to have one that snuck up on me. It was not unlike (and yet totally unlike) the thrill I get when the chiropractor distracts me with a joke so that I'll relax enough to allow him to adjust my neck.
My experience falls into what's known as outercourse, or sex without penetration. You might call it foreplay or write it off as an activity for purity-ring wearers, but it can be surprisingly satisfying for people who bid adieu to their virginity decades ago.
"Outercourse is a great option because it helps women forget there's a goal, so they can just enjoy the feelings and sensations of the ride," says sex educator Jamye Waxman, coauthor ofHot Sex: Over 200 Things You Can Try Tonight!"It gets them out of their brains and into their bodies."
In long-term relationships, outercourse can also shake up same-old same-old bedroom rituals. "If getting naked isn't even a second thought, sex can become routine," says licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist Lori Buckley, Ph.D. "But if you experiment with, say, dry humping, you can create anticipation and remind each other of what it was like when you first met." This can also be reminiscent of when sex was taboo and forbidden—"My mom might walk in on us!"—and that alone can be arousing.
Because men tend to be rather outcome oriented, it may require coaxing to get your partner to be willing to take things from R to PG-13. Barbara Keesling, Ph.D., author ofThe Good Girl's Guide to Bad Girl Sex, suggests whispering, "Let's pretend we're not allowed to have actual sex." Or, says Barbara Carrellas, author offEcstasy Is NecessaryandUrban Tantra, "Just saying 'This could be even hotter than what we normally do' will go a long way toward tempting a partner to try something different."
Outercourse isn't just clothing-optional tussling, either. Here's how to use your fingers, mouth, and breath—even what you're wearing—to make the most of taking it slow.
Ditch the Bedroom
You don't need to get a room to flirt with outercourse. Rub up against your partner—discreetly—in any situation you'd like. Perhaps, inspired by a slinky ensemble, in the corner at a cocktail party? Or if that requires a bit more audacity than you're up for, make an average Netflix session better by starting on the couch: While you're spooning, try reaching behind you and running your hand across the front of his pants. "If you can sustain rubbing up against each other and not doing anything else, it will bring up more energy and sensation than you'll know what to do with," says Waxman. No matter where you get grabby, avoid the temptation to continue in the usual place. "I recommend fooling around on any piece of furniture but the bed," says Waxman. Try the kitchen table, against the bedroom wall, or on the (hopefully carpet-covered) floor.
Boost the Sensation
Since you won't be naked—at least not at first!—wear something that feels good against your skin (besides him pressed up against you). Think satin, silk, or cotton. "It's best if you're both wearing fabrics that will enhance the experience," says Buckley. "Cotton is going to be better than wool. Loose-fitting pants are going to rub right, while jeans may just cause pain." Also think about alternating the sensation. "Try switching between furry and silky," says Carrellas. That doesn't mean you have to make like an actress and change outfits mid-session—just keep a fuzzy robe, throw, or even socks nearby.
The way you touch each other should be more inspired when you're not going straight for the usual target. "Genital stimulation is important, but so is teasing, anticipation, and the eroticism of doing something you're not used to," says Buckley. Getting breathy can go a long way toward heightening pleasure. "Alternate cool and hot breaths over your partner's underwear," says Carrellas. "For hot breath, open your mouth and exhale with your mouth close to the fabric; for cool breath, purse your lips as if you were blowing out a birthday candle and do so from farther away." Ask him to do the same to you. When you can no longer keep your hands off him, alternate faster, more intense strokes with softer ones. If he's not naked, Waxman suggests that you "think of his underwear as a foreskin and slide it up and down"—as long as his boxers are chafe-free silk or spandex.
Body of Work
One of the benefits of sidelining intercourse is that you'll be reminded that you both also have touchable fingers, arms, and legs.
"Oftentimes, rubbing up against a thigh will feel better for a woman than rubbing up against a penis, simply because there's a larger area to work with and she doesn't have to worry about hurting him," says Buckley. If you want him to explore other parts of your body, Waxman suggests guiding him toward your belly or the two indentations in your lower back above the buttocks. And inevitably, all this focused, intense, no-sex sex may mean that outercourse will eventually lead to intercourse. Which, of course, is great. We're all adults here.
Make Outercourse More Intense
Confident questions are a turn-on, says Dana B. Myers, founder of Booty Parlor, which makes luxe bedroom accessories. Try, "You love that I like to be touched like that, don't you?"
Be a tease.
"Touch your partner everywhere but on his genitals until he's screaming for it," suggests Carrellas.
Myers suggests trying light biting and upside-down kisses, as well as putting his fingers in your mouth, tugging at his shirt with your teeth, and tracing your tongue along his inner thighs.
Video: Jermaine Stewart - We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off
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