Types of Foreplay
As stated previously, the Tantra view of foreplay is that it can include anything that encourages the romantic connection between partners or builds the excitement and anticipation of an upcoming sexual encounter. But there are some common types of foreplay that you can include in your sexual repertoire.
Many people underestimate the importance of kissing. Sure, many couples give each other an obligatory quick kiss (possibly even a peck on the cheek) upon greeting each other or saying goodbye, and perhaps even squeeze in a few other quick kisses throughout the day. But when it comes to “making out,” a lot of people see that as something done only by horny teenagers or celebrities putting on a show for the paparazzi.
Many people are reluctant kissers, simply because they are self-conscious about their abilities in this department. Relax — everyone has the potential to be a good kisser. It just sometimes takes time to become comfortable with your kissing skills. The good news? Your partner will probably be happy to help you practice.
However, kissing — meaning the intimate, soulful, deep kind of kissing — can be a very special romantic activity. Couples who previously skimped on the kissing often discover that it is a real boon to their intimate connection. And once they enjoy a few episodes of intense kissing, most couples are hooked permanently. The key is to take your time and really enjoy the power of passionate kissing. Cherish the experience of kissing as a wonderful experience all on its own, not necessarily Step 1 of the 1-2-3 process leading to sex.
Many people mistakenly believe that kissing is a very cut-and-dry process: Pucker up and smooch your lips together. In reality, there are actually many different ways to kiss — and it can fun for you and your partner to try as many as you can think of. Try taking things very slow and exploring each other's lips and mouth. Or see how long you can engage in deep kissing without using your tongue.
Of course, kissing does not always involve two sets of lips. You can try kissing your partner on the neck or other parts of his or her face. You can also lick or nibble your partner's ears, throat, or pretty much any other part of his or her body.
To really enjoy the experience of kissing, try sneaking in a passionate “make-out session” during a few stolen moments in the car, between meetings, or when you can grab some other short burst of time. Not only will the time limit add to the excitement, but you will also realize that kissing can be independently exciting even when it isn't followed by sex.
Probably the most obvious form of foreplay is oral sex. Even in today's more sexually liberated times, many people still have a problem with oral sex. For some, the problem traces back to early misinformation about sex, or warnings from parents or other adults that oral sex is “bad” or “wrong.”
Other people avoid oral sex because they fear it may be gross or distasteful, or maybe even because they are afraid they won't do it correctly.
The good news is, oral sex is fun and “good.” It is also something that most couples do, so it definitely isn't weird or freaky. It's also an acquired taste, in that you can learn to like it more and more.
There are many ways to make oral sex more appealing to the senses. If you're worried about embarrassing tastes or smells, it can be helpful to engage in a bath ritual beforehand. Flavored and/or scented gels and lotions (be sure to make sure they're edible) can also be a big help.
Here's a not-very-surprising fact: Almost every man in the world loves fellatio. By treating your man to this sexual treat (known as “playing the flute” in Tantra lingo), you can give him a great gift he will really appreciate. If you are nervous about your skills, try watching a few adult films and pay attention to the fellatio techniques involved.
There is no one “right” way to perform fellatio (although one cardinal rule is to be very careful with your teeth — no biting!). Each man has his own unique likes and dislikes when it comes to the perfect fellatio technique. A lot of men enjoy the “deep throat” approach where you take his penis as far into your throat as you can comfortably handle.
In a survey conducted by Cosmopolitan magazine, almost one-third of men said the biggest mistake women make when performing fellatio is not using her hands. In addition, 18 percent said the woman didn't suck hard enough and 11 percent were disappointed that the woman didn't pay enough attention to the testicles.
The head of the penis is particularly sensitive, so spend time licking this area and teasing it with your tongue. For enhanced pleasure, caress his testicles while performing oral sex — or you can lick them or (gently) suck on them, which will drive your man wild.
Tip: Being visual creatures, men get extremely aroused by watching you pleasure them. Position your man so that he gets a good view of you while you perform fellatio. It can be really sexy to maintain eye connect with your man while you go down on him, making it clear that you are thoroughly enjoying the act.
Cunnilingus (or “polishing the pearl” in Tantric lingo) can really drive a woman through the roof. However, many women are hesitant to try it for the first time, either because they were taught as girls to believe it is “bad” or because they are self-conscious about how their body tastes or smells. Reassure your woman that this is a natural act, perfectly allowed among consenting adults. You should also make sure she knows that you love her body and are turned on by the way it tastes and smells.
Even if she is reluctant at first, your woman will be extremely glad she tried cunnilingus once she does. The majority of women experience orgasms through oral sex, often much more easily than through intercourse.
Just as with fellatio, there is no one right way to perform cunnilingus. However, for most women, it is best if you ease your way into it, starting with her thighs or outer labia and making sure she is aroused (and lubricated) before working your way to the clitoris.
Proceed slowly once you get to the clitoris. Be alert for cues from your partner as to what feels good and what doesn't. Some women like intense, prolonged clitoral stimulation, while other women find this painful to that sensitive area. For many women, the area slightly to either side of the top of the clitoris is the most sensitive, so you might want to pay special attention to these spots.
Fondling is another common foreplay technique. This can vary from caressing your partner's breasts to stimulating each other's genitals by hand. Since “copping a feel” is often something done when you are afraid of getting caught (imagine two teenagers behind the bleachers), this can have an added element of naughtiness to it.
Massages and Baths
In Chapter 8 you learned all about the importance of massages and baths. While they can be exciting experiences all on their own, massages and bath rituals can also both be great forms of foreplay. They also have the added benefit of relieving stress and helping you achieve a relaxed state more conducive to a great sexual experience.
Another common foreplay activity involves manual stimulation (to put it bluntly, a hand job). This can often be synonymous with the sexual massage. However, a “hand job” is generally more aggressive and intense — think fast and furious — than the more leisurely sexual massage. Since many men can easily achieve orgasm through manual stimulation alone, this can also be a satisfying alternative on occasions when the couple can't (or simply doesn't want to) have actual intercourse.
Some women are self-conscious about their manual stimulation technique, but it is actually a pretty easy skill to master. The key is paying close attention to your partner's feedback and tailoring your technique according to the reactions (both verbal and nonverbal) you get from your partner. Most likely, it will be pretty easy to determine if your partner likes what you are doing.
The most common basic approach to stimulating a man with your hand is using rapid up and down strokes while grasping the penis with one hand. You would generally start out slowly and increase the speed and strength of your stroke as your partner becomes more aroused. However, to keep things from getting boring, you should mix things up often. Try using both hands, or alternating fast and slow strokes. You can also try a twisting move, rotating your hands back and forth around the penis.
Of course, it is also common for a man to stimulate his female partner by hand. This would generally be very similar to the yoni massage. Many women find it arousing for their clitoris and/or vagina to be stimulated manually while kissing their partner, or while their breasts are being stimulated orally by their partner.
Simultaneous masturbation can help people who are reluctant to give blunt instructions in the bedroom for fear of appearing critical or bossy. By allowing your partner to watch you in action, you indirectly tell him how to please you without the risk of hurting his feelings or making him self-conscious about his existing techniques.
Masturbation is traditionally thought of as something done as a solo act, often in secret while nobody else is around. But it can be exciting (not to mention educational) to masturbate in front of, or in tandem with, your partner. This is especially exciting for men, who often find it very arousing to watch a woman pleasure herself — as evidenced by the countless adult movie scenes showing a woman masturbating.
Simultaneous masturbation can be extremely enlightening, and it can give you valuable insight into how your partner likes to be touched. Take turns watching each other masturbate (admittedly, you may feel a bit embarrassed or uncomfortable at first, but most likely it'll become such a turn-on that your inhibitions become a distant memory). Pay attention to how and where your partner touches herself. This can give you a veritable roadmap as to how to lead her into ecstasy. Take mental notes and follow that lead when it is your turn to pleasure your partner.
A study conducted by Durex found that people worldwide spend 19.7 minutes on foreplay, with men claiming to spend more time than women — 20.2 and 18.8 respectively. The study found that the British spend the most time on foreplay, followed by Germans and the Irish, while the Thais spend the least amount of time on foreplay.
Fun and Games
You can also try making your foreplay more exciting by including some fun and games. Later, you will learn more about props, toys, and other items that can be incorporated into your foreplay routine.
Unleash Your Inner Exotic Dancer
Try spicing up your foreplay encounter by putting on a sexy striptease for your partner. Put on some sexy music and slowly undress while doing your sexiest dance moves. This can be a great way to build anticipation and “tease” your partner. Take your time, and remind your partner that they can look, but not touch. This may seem more natural for women — but men shouldn't be afraid to do a little dance for your woman, either.
I'd like to do a striptease but I feel so self-conscious, any suggestions?
You think your partner would love watching you strip, but you feel a little embarrassed? Don't worry: This isn't a dance competition. Your partner won't be critiquing your steps. This is a situation where enthusiasm is really all you need. Your partner will be so grateful for your effort — and turned on by just about any dance moves you have — that things are bound to heat up.
If you want to perfect your routine before putting on a performance for your partner, pick up one of the striptease instruction videos available at most adult stores or at lots of sites online. In many cities, you can find “strip-aerobics” classes, where you get the added bonus of burning lots of calories while polishing your moves.
Other Types of Foreplay
There are many other activities you can add to your foreplay menu. Try having an indulgent meal — perhaps including some of your favorite aphrodisiacs at a romantic restaurant. (And yes, playing footsies under the table is allowed.) Many people also find dancing to be an exciting part of foreplay. Go see a sexy movie together, and hold hands or make out like teenagers. Better yet, steam up the car windows at a drive-in.