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Foreplay, Play, Orgasm, and Post-Orgasm

Foreplay is what’s gone on since the last sex and this time.

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Linda: The act of lovemaking can be a great way to shift from a focus on the destination to one on the journey.

It’s not about getting somewhere but about enjoying the ride. When two people are fully present in the process of lovemaking, the experience is radically different than it is when one or both of them are somewhere else. You’ve got to bring more than your body to the game.

Foreplay is everything that has gone on between the last time you had sex and this time. It is not simply the prelude to a full sexual experience. It begins in the moment immediately following your last sexual encounter.

Emotional intimacy is great foreplay.

To the degree that there has been goodwill and loving kindness shared since your last encounter with each other, this experience will be much more likely to be mutually fulfilling.

  • Know what turns you on, as well as what turns your partner on. If you don’t know, find out. You can’t tell your partner what you like if you don’t know what you like. Get to know your own body through self-pleasuring, and you’ll know just what to ask for.
  • Ask for what you want. None of us are mind readers. Your partner really needs your feedback. Although expressing your desires and needs does not guarantee that they will be fulfilled, it does make it more likely that they will be. Your feedback (verbal, sounds, and body language) gives your partner the information that they need in order for both of you to experience greater pleasure.
  • Anticipation is part of the fun. Just thinking about what’s coming up can be a turn-on. Emailing, texting, leaving sexy voicemails, or writing notes that give previews of coming attractions are a few examples of priming the pump.
  • Strengthen your orgasm muscles. Kegels are the classic exercise for women who want to transform feeble orgasms into fabulous ones. Locate these muscles in your pelvic floor by stopping yourself from peeing midstream. Then tone them by clenching when you’re not peeing. This exercise is good for men too.
  • Practice delaying your orgasm. The more you prolong the arousal phase of sex, the bigger the explosion. So slow down and enjoy. When you feel yourself close to orgasm, cool slightly and bring things to a simmer. Then slowly build back up and repeat as many times as you can stand to, then let go!
  • Be fully present. Yes, we’ve said this before but it bears repeating. Show up!
  • Use your breath to manage your sexual energy. If you breathe in tandem with your partner, you can slow the rush toward orgasm and create a bigger build up, which will intensify pleasure.
  • Hit the hot spots. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
  • Explore erotica. Erotic movies and books can be tasteful and arousing.
  • Get help if you need it. If you are not orgasmic or have low levels of desire, advice from a professional may be helpful. Many types of medications impede the process of sexual responsiveness and desire. If you are taking medications, check with your doctor to see if they could be inhibiting your sexual experience. Nerve damage or low testosterone could also be a problem. Get a thorough medical evaluation. You can also consult a licensed sex therapist by getting a referral from a trusted therapist, doctor, member of the clergy, or friend or check with the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) or the American Academy of Sexologists.
  • Enjoy the afterglow. This will require you to remain conscious, which can sometimes be easier said than done, particularly after an intense sexual encounter. Resisting the temptation to immediately fall asleep can produce rich dividends in your relationship, even if there is only a very brief reconnection after your climax. Take advantage of the openheartedness that orgasm produces. Sharing a few kind, loving words can be enough to satisfy the need for closure.


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