Believe me, when a man can master and genuinely enjoy foreplay, sex is a magical and transcendent experience for both people involved. It goes beyond sex being a physical release. When foreplay and sex are really done right, it’s the most incredible high you’ll ever experience.
But even when my mind is horny as hell, my body may not be. I’m not unlike most women. It’s just the way women are physiologically wired.
I know what I like to get revved up. Generally, I like touches and kisses that start out very gentle and progressively get rougher and more aggressive. But even then, different situations and different moods might warrant kinkier techniques.
The best article I’ve read about how men can excel at foreplay was written back in March in Psychology Today’s All About Sex blog by Michael Castleman, Caressing Women: Advanced Erotic Tips For Men. The entire article is worth reading, but I wanted to mention some of the highlights and expand on some of what he has to say from a woman’s point of view.
Every Square Inch
Gently caress her everywhere else. Every square inch of the body is a sensual playground, and many women feel disappointed that so many men focus on only a few corners. Gently run your fingers through her hair. Slowly fondle her ears, her face, neck, shoulders, arms, the small of her back, her sides, the backs of her knees.
Erogenous zones are everywhere, not just the tits, pussy and ass. During a couples massage last year, I discovered that having the bottom of my scalp rubbed back and forth was a huge turn-on.
Plus, there’s another good reason why you don’t want to grab for the goods first. Wait until she moves your hand toward her breasts or between her legs, or better yet, wait until she says or begs that she wants you NOW. Not only will you really know that she’s ready for the next step, but a little stroke to your ego can’t hurt. Right?
As you caress her from scalp to toe, ask how she feels. It’s much easier to say that something feels good than bad. Don’t ask, “Does this feel good?” which might elicit a “No,” Instead, ask, “Would you prefer lighter touch here?” That way, “yes” is a request for an adjustment, and “no” means all’s well. Or try asking, “Would you prefer me to touch you somewhere else?” Or just invite her to tell you what she enjoys by saying, “Coach me.”
One of the first times I was with my lover, he did exactly what Castleman recommends. He ran his fingers lightly over the undersides of my arms and the back of my legs, which I loved, especially in the bend of my knees.
But sometimes women don’t know where or how they like to be touched and really can’t say when they’re asked. This is a great opportunity to just explore each other’s bodies, especially if the two of you have been fully satiated but not quite ready to go onto the second round.
In some cases, a woman may be embarrassed to say where or how she likes to be touched. When my lover and I had that exploratory session, I was embarrassed to say that I liked the way he ran his fingers over my armpits. Sometimes it takes time to establish a comfort level for some people to admit, “I like that.”
Ticklishness Means Discomfort
In lovemaking, ticklishness often means discomfort. Different women have different ticklish spots. But ticklishness may depend less on the spot than the way it’s touched. A finger tracing figure eights on a woman’s belly might feel ticklish, while a warm palm placed gently on the same area might not.
Tickling isn’t just torture; it’s a mood killer. It disrupts the clear-the-slate, out-of-mind experience you want your woman to be in to break free of her inhibitions.
One type of erotic touch that rarely gets its due is kissing. “A kiss,” a wit once said, “can be a comma, period, question mark, or exclamation point.” Don’t just clamp your lips on a woman’s or thrust your tongue into her mouth. Kissing is a dance that involves constant interplay of lips, tongues, and moist warm breath. Brush her lips with yours. Gently nibble her lips. Run your tongue over her lips.
In my experience, those wet, sloppy and tonsil hockey kinds of kisses are rarely sexy. I’ve been kissed like this before and it feels like a rabid dog is trying to devour a water dish for the first time in three days. However, after you start out slow, get the tongues tangled suck hard on her lips. A little biting hurts, but only in the best way. Also, the pussy isn’t the only place where a woman likes to be licked. Kiss her all over and stop at places like her earlobe, armpit or belly button for a bit of tongue action.
Breast Play: The Best Way
In pornography, the men often maul women’s breasts, squeezing them roughly and pinching the nipples. Big mistake. Breasts and nipples are very sensitive. Be very gentle with them, especially nipples. Caress them lightly with your fingers, lips, and tongue. Once aroused, some women enjoy somewhat firmer nipple caresses, perhaps even pinching. Check in with her about when she likes what kind of nipple fondling.
The first sentence of this section is the most valuable piece of advice Castleman gives in his article. Most porn I’ve seen has some of the worst visual demos of how to turn a woman on. However, if she’s into rough play, wait until she’s warmed up and physically and mentally ready for some hardcore fucking. The same goes for spanking and other BDSM torture play. The pain-pleasure paradigm really doesn’t work at its best until her mind and body are freed with adequate foreplay.
In porn, the men often pull at vaginal lips as though they’re opening a Zip-Loc plastic bag. Major mistake. The vaginal lips develop from the same cells that, in men, become the scrotum. Do you like your scrotum abused? Fondle her lower lips very gently. As women become sexually aroused, their lips open like flowers.
When initially caressing a woman’s external genitals (the vulva), try placing the palm of your palm between her legs, and pressing just a little, then invite the woman to dance on your hand, moving her hips in ways that stimulate her clitoris and give her pleasure. Once her outer and inner lips part, there’s plenty of time to caress, kiss, and lick her vulva and clitoris.
Be extra-gentle with the clitoris. The men in porn don’t spend much time caressing women’s pleasure organ, but when they do, they often go at it like parched dogs offered a bowl of water. Huge mistake. The clitoris has just as many touch-sensitive nerve endings as the head of the penis, but it’s only about one-tenth the size, so all those nerve endings are packed tightly together, and super-sensitive to touch. In fact, the clitoris is so sensitive that many women don’t like (or can’t stand) they clitoris being touched. They prefer caresses around it.
Castleman has lots of great advice in this passage, but I’d like to add three more things.
1. Don’t ever, ever, ever stick your finger inside of her like it’s an oil dipstick to see if she is ready. It’s definitely not a sexy move and it isn’t a good way to prime her pump, so to speak. Slow and gentle touches and licks are definitely the way to go. Also, while I can’t speak for other women, a quick nipple pinch can jump start her vagina to get well lubed.
2. Castleman is exactly right about the clitoris being extremely sensitive. However, he neglected to talk about oral techniques. Even if the clitoris is hard as a pebble, don’t gnaw on it like it’s a piece of beef jerky. When it’s hard, light, quick flicks with the tip of your tongue can send her spinning and screaming into orbit.
3. I have to partially disagree with what Castleman said about men in porn going down on a woman like parched dogs offered a bowl of water. When I’m really wet, I love the way my lover devours me. Seeing him in action with his face glistening with cum is a huge turn-on, too.
When it’s done right, foreplay should be just as exciting and enjoyable as intercourse, whether it’s slow and leisurely or a hardcore thrash fest. Either way, as my lover puts it, “It’s not the destination; it’s the journey.”