I LOVE foreplay. I’d say it’s my favorite part of a sexual experience (and honestly sometimes it has been better than the actual sex), but that’s not always true.

The thing I like about foreplay is the build up.

Foreplay can happen all day long…comments, texts, phone calls, glances…anything that assures or hints that sex is or could be on the way…at some point.

It’s like waiting for the climax in a book or a movie. And my body reacts in the same way, faster breathing, widened pupils, tingling, muscle tightening.

Of course, the climax of “the story” is wonderful, too…but it doesn’t last as long (usually), and sometimes there is a feeling of let-down or disappointment when it is over (either because it really was disappointing or because I’m just sad it’s over).

I haven’t had sex with anyone but my husband for a long time. And I’m sad to say that we don’t put nearly enough effort into foreplay anymore. It’s like handing me a 365 book series by the same author (one I love) and telling me to jump to the last chapter every time I read. I pretty much know how it’s gonna go. There aren’t any surprises. And they all end in similar ways…with a few variations.

Not engaging in foreplay is sort of like death for a couple’s sex life. I think that is one of the reasons I requested that we take up D/s. But, as my husband doesn’t seem to be all that into foreplay D/s became the only type we engaged in.

What happened to the romance? The flirtation?

I think that’s what kind of killed the D/s. Too much of a good thing, if you know what I mean. Not enough diversity in the foreplay department (not that D/s is only foreplay for us…it’s pretty much a subtle underpinning of the way we live, no matter if we call it that or not).

We’ve sexted, role played, watched porn together. He’s given me foot rubs and back massages. I’ve dressed up in lingerie. Pretty much all the standard stuff.

But I think our foreplay game is tired. And that’s part of the reason our sex life is tired.

This is, of course, a common problem, and what sometimes leads to infidelity (the need for something new and exciting).

Reviving Foreplay

Reviving foreplay in a long-term relationship takes dedication and creativity. Two things I struggle with when it comes to sex. Doing new things or doing old things in new ways or at unexpected times.

Let’s start by defining foreplay.

Foreplay is usually defined as “erotic stimulation preceding intercourse.”

Foreplay may not look the same to you as it does to someone else — and that’s perfectly fine. We all have our likes and dislikes (but it’s important to share those with our partners).

So here’s a list of 20 basic foreplay options that can be tailored to fit:

Kissing: Hold that kiss for longer than you normally would and let your tongue get involved, offer up a kiss at an unexpected time, make out like teenagers. Those shared hormones in really do make a difference in your level of desire.

The Science of Kissing 

Leaving notes: love notes, full-on love letters, post-its…hide them in fun places, send them, email them, text them.

Sexting: just make sure you focus and don’t accidentally send your naughty little messages and photos to the wrong person (been there, done that).

Touching: sometimes we forget to touch each other in intimate ways during the day…little squeezes, sensual rubs, hugs, etc. can keep us connected.

Flirting: naughty or sexual jokes, promises of what’s to come, flashing each other, smiling…whatever you did to catch each other’s eye in the beginning, try doing that again. After all, you know it worked…it’s not likely to fail now.

Role play: Hot for teacher? Time for a little help from the nurse? Pulled over for speeding? Being picked up at a local bar? Being someone else for the night might be just what you need to spice things up.

Candles/Music: sometimes all it takes is soft, flickering light and some mood music. Try making a playlist specially created to get your hormones racing (in the good way).

Dancing: it’s like sex, but standing up…and wearing clothes! Unless it’s a…

Striptease!

Massage: touching each other’s naked bodies can be so intimate…and feel so relaxing, which might be just what you needed to get in the mood.

Sensory play: blindfolds, wax play, temperature, sound deprivation…there are so many ways to focus on the senses.

Go on a date: honestly, how long has it been? Get creative. Go on a picnic, take a long drive, go ice skating, take a hike.

200 Date Ideas

Dirty talk

How to talk dirty without being awkward

Use a new sex toy

D/s play: if you are new to D/s, you might want to read uo on it before you begin…here’s a good place to start…

The Safeword D/s Club

Take a shower or bath together

Oral sex

Masturbation

Watch/read something sexy together: it doesn’t have to be porn, but it can be…maybe just an erotic thriller? Or maybe you could film your own?

Have an intimate conversation: grab a book of questions for couples, or simply find a list on the internet and take turns getting to know each other all over again.

Foreplay doesn’t have to lead to anything else. Sometimes it IS the main event. But, I’d argue it HAS to be part of the event, or a couple’s sex life is bound to dry up and blow away. Foreplay is where the intimate connection is made, and intimacy, I’d argue, is imperative to really great sex.

I’ve got some work to do to bring foreplay back to our marriage. But the benefit of having sort of fallen away from each other in this arena is that it’s like starting over. I have to flirt my way back in, just like I had to do in the beginning, take him on a date, touch,, kiss, set things up with the right environment to set the mood, maybe watch something sexy…

Actually,  now that I think about it, that’s exactly how I need to handle this. Like we’re starting over. And then start over again…and again. You don’t stop reading because you’ve read a book before. And if you love a particular author you read everything they’re written,  even if you start to catch on to their rhythms and patterns.  That doesn’t take away from the beauty of their books. It only makes you cherish them more, because there is a shared bank of knowledge. A history. And that is the foundation of intimacy.

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