Don't Skip The Foreplay

Sex therapy at Tri-Valley Relationship Therapy, Inc. in Dublin & Oakland focuses on helping couples & individuals learn the building blocks of healthy sexuality.

Sex therapy at Tri-Valley Relationship Therapy, Inc. in Dublin & Oakland focuses on helping couples & individuals learn the building blocks of healthy sexuality.

Don't be stingy with foreplay!!

Foreplay is defined as the sexual activity that usually precedes sexual intercourse. In my last blog article, I discussed the sexual response cycle- desire, arousal, orgasm & resolution. The cycle’s linearity fits male sexuality perfectly as males tend to experience desire before they become aroused. Desire is the motivation or interest to have sex and includes thoughts & fantasies.

In my sex therapy practice, I often hear women express frustration that at times, they do not experience desire but once their partners begin to provide stimulation, they become aroused. The reason for that is female sexuality is complex and the sexual response cycle in a woman is more circular than linear. It is absolutely normal for a woman to become aroused first and then experience desire. Women tend to be more responsive to sexual stimulation and foreplay is crucial for adequate and quality stimulation.

Foreplay negotiates the quality & intensity of sexual intimacy

People in newer relationships tend to spend a lot of time on foreplay, but as the relationship matures, some people begin to skip or shorten foreplay. It is also important to recognize that foreplay is and should be a team effort because it benefits both partners. The quality and quantity of foreplay determines the length of the sexual encounter as well as the intensity of the orgasms- for both men and women. More important is the impact of foreplay on the emotional connection between partners- in addition to boosting the sexual connection, it also enhances emotional intimacy.

Tips for mind-blowing foreplay


If I were to pick just one basic building block for a passionate & healthy sexual connection, I would pick communication. Knowing what turns on your partner is CRUCIAL for a deeper sexual & emotional connection. I am not saying that you should have a full on conversation about psychological & physical turn-ons in the midst of foreplay or sex. Couples should have these conversations outside of sex and become comfortable with being able to share their fantasies, desires, needs & wants. In fact, talking about sex and what turns you on can in itself become an highly arousing activity, and may lead to putting words into action!


The human face is home to many different senses-touch, taste, smell & hear. Kissing your partner on the lips can at times be more intimate than having sex. There is also an emotional component to kissing as couples going through a rough patch often stop kissing on the lips. The most important tip for being a great kisser is to ask your partner to kiss you the way they want to be kissed. Of course, dental and oral hygiene are extremely important and so is versatility. Try switching up the lip- locking kissing with kissing your partner’s neck, forehead, or navel. See if your partner enjoys a nibble or a love bite here and there.


One of the most sensual ways of connecting with your partner is through touch. It is a common misconception that foreplay is limited to kissing. Sensual touching is also foreplay. Instead of always approaching your partner with a make-out session, perhaps try a foot rub or a back massage. It’s also fun to experiment with the type of touch that turns on your partner-light, strong, soft, ticklish etc. And don’t forget to use your lips for the massage as well!

Change it up-

If you and your partner engage in the same routine of foreplay before you have sex, I can guarantee you that the sex must also feel pretty routine. People love to experiment with different positions during sex to keep things interesting but do not give foreplay the same treatment. Remember how making out was so hot and passionate in high school? It’s because the opportunity to engage in sex was limited and difficult to come by. There is no rule-book that says that people cannot act like teenagers in their adulthood because when it comes to foreplay, you definitely should. Try different places and situations to engage in foreplay. Maybe you start making out in the parking lot of a restaurant after your weekly dinner date or engage in PDA while out running errands. You both will get hot and steamy knowing that you have to delay your gratification, i.e. sex until you get home. Or maybe not! Foreplay becomes boring when it turns into a goal-oriented activity leading to sex. By changing things up, you can minimize monotony and boredom.


Since most of us are glued to our phones anyway, why not use technology to get things started before you and your partner even get to put your hands on each other. I encourage the couples that I work with, to stay connected with each other throughout the day via text, calls or emails. Staying connected when apart enhances the emotional connection and partners feel less stressed when they reunite. Talking dirty to each other does not have to be reserved for the bedroom. Texting dirty can be equally erotic and can set the mood for what is in store when you both reconnect, increasing anticipatory arousal. Don’t be surprised if your partner jumps your bones, the minute you open the front door!


Written by: Nagma V. Clark, Ph.D., L.P.C.C. specializing in sex therapy,  couples therapy & marriage counselingpremarital counselingindividual relationship therapy LGBTQQI couples counseling at Tri-Valley Relationship Therapy, Inc. in the East Bay, in Dublin & Oakland.

If you or your partner would like to enhance your sexual connection or need help with a sexual issue or concern, sex therapy at Tri-Valley Relationship Therapy, Inc. in the East Bay can help. Dr. Clark has advanced & specialized training in sex therapy and she has helped many couples & individuals resolve their sexual concerns & deepen sexual connections.

Call 925-400-3541 or email to schedule a free 30 minute phone consult or fill out the contact form and you will be contacted within 12-24 hours.