Foreplay Importance, Desire and Arousal
Depending on you and your partner, foreplay can be a huge part of intimacy. It’s important to understand how foreplay relates to desire and arousal. Plus, it’s essential to maintain effective communication about foreplay importance within your relationship.
Foreplay Importance and Different Meanings
In terms of sex, usually, foreplay is an erotic stimulation event preceding intercourse. What that “event” entails may not look the same to you as it does to someone else. Foreplay gets the juices flowing by increasing sexual arousal — which isn’t to be confused with sexual desire, though it can do that, too.
Desire is the moment that you begin to want to connect sexually with another. For some, this is spontaneous (happens out of the blue), and for others, desire is responsive (only initiates after varying exposure to something sexual).
From a holistic perspective, both desire and arousal comprise seduction — focused not on turning on your partner, but what brings you more alive, more present to your pleasure, and sharing in your partner’s pleasure.
Sexual Arousal is the physiological response to desire. It is your body’s way of getting ready for sexual activity — with penetration or not. Physically arousing reactions in your body include:
- an increase in your heart rate, pulse, and blood pressure
- dilation of your blood vessels, including your genitals
- more blood flow to the genitals, which causes the labia, clitoris, and penis to swell
- swelling of the breasts and erect nipples
- lubricating of the vagina, which can make intercourse more enjoyable and prevent pain
- changes to the breath — frequency, depth, sounds
A vital factor to consider is that desire and sexual arousal are highly impacted by the quality of the relationship, dynamics of emotional intimacy, and past/unresolved trauma (more on this in another blog).
How Important is Foreplay?
Foreplay can be the main event!
Intercourse doesn’t have to be the main “course” or even on the menu if you don’t want it to be.
Foreplay can hold its own and be all you need to connect sexually with a lover and reach an orgasm. Let’s not forget that research has shown over and over that many people with vaginas don’t orgasm with intercourse alone, which reminds us of foreplay importance.
Having foreplay be the main event can help couples connect and learn about each other’s pleasure without performance pressure. It focuses on playfulness and curiosity over the body’s sensations, especially those recovering from trauma, experiencing painful sex, or experiencing “performance” issues.
Setting the Mood for Foreplay.
The greatest challenge for many couples is getting started, especially if there has been a dry spell, conflict, or avoidance. The truth is that most people are pretty lazy and lack good knowledge about how to have good foreplay. So many have learned about sex, desire, arousal, and foreplay from movies (and porn), where we don’t see the actual steps and preparation that it takes for the body to warm up, and aren’t explained foreplay importance.
We also know much less about how to connect emotionally and even spiritually with lovers. An excellent place to start is asking yourself, “What brings me more aliveness? What brings me more pleasure? What helps me be more present? How do I help remind myself to be curious about what I like?”
Here are some ideas on how to create the mood for more play for you and your partner. The invitation is first to see which ones you are curious about and invite your partner to share with you.
The key here is not to wait until you are in the heat of the moment or find the perfect moment to create the heat. You don’t have to be in the same room to get started.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Leave a note – A note left on their pillow or hidden in various places where you know they will find it. A note implying your desire to do whatever you want to do later. You can also write a message about your affection, admiration, and love for your partner.
Sext – You can start by letting them know you’re thinking about them. To heighten the erotic tension, you can send a quick text telling them what you’re going to do to them or how turned on you feel fantasizing when they [fill in the blanks].
Meet up for dinner or drinks – Remember when you got ready to see each other when you first started dating? Meeting up for drinks or dinner reminds us of the ritual of getting glad to see each other. We got ready and wore clothing that helped us feel better about ourselves.
Kiss like you mean it – Forget about a quick peck! Instead, lock eyes, press your body against them, and kiss them long and deep. Brownie points: moan just enough to get them (and you) excited about what’s to come.
And if you’re in the moment.
If you’re already well on your way and feeling all the special feels, it’s time for outercourse. Yes, that’s a thing…stay tuned!
To learn more about foreplay importance and tips, contact us to speak with one of our expert sex therapists.