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Foreplay Part 1: What is Foreplay?

What is Foreplay?

Foreplay is all of the things (sexual and non-sexual) that people might do to get in the mood and turned on for sexual activities.

Foreplay vs “Real Sex”

Stereotypically (i.e. pop culture, media, etc.), ‘foreplay’ has meant the things that people (specifically cis-hetero couples) do in order to get ready for “real sex.” So, again, this stereotypically has meant spending lots of time on making out, masturbation/fingering, or oral sex in order to make sure that someone’s vagina was lubricated and aroused enough for penetration by a penis.

But clearly this does not apply to everybody! Not everybody has or is interested in penetrative vaginal intercourse (aka penis-in-vagina sex). And we wouldn’t say that oral sex or mutual masturbation aren’t real sex – They’re plenty real! All of the blog posts in our Foreplay Series are going to work on expanding the stereotypical definition of ‘foreplay.’

So let’s get started!

Foreplay and Communication

Whether planning ahead or talking about it in the moment, it’s key to communicate with your partner about what turns you on and what you’re in the mood for. This includes saying what mood you’re in, what feels good and what doesn’t, body language, and maybe moaning to indicate how you’re doing. Consent is also necessary in the activities that lead up to the sex that you have, and the only way to get consent that is to talk about it. Here are some things to think about in regards to foreplay and communication:

Useful Tip
Planning ahead for spontaneous sex doesn’t make the sex any less spontaneous. Like, if you know your sex life tends to mostly be in your bed, you can plan ahead to keep sex toys in a drawer or box that you can reach from you bed. Or if you’re going on a trip where there’s a chance you could be getting sexy with others, it doesn’t hurt to bring some safer sex supplies. Neither of these things is the same as scheduling in your calendar when and where you’re having sex (which can be fun too!) – they just help you be prepared for when the mood strikes!

Remember that just because you’ve talked about something doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. Partners are allowed to change their minds about foreplay or sexual activities at anytime.

Check back for Foreplay Part 2 coming out next week! We’ll have more tips and ideas to help expand our definitions of foreplay, and how it can work in your sex lives!

If you have questions about this topic, feel free to contact one of our peer educators. [Link]

Last Updated: April 2020