What Is Foreplay?

Before going any further, it would probably be helpful for us to define foreplay. But that is actually easier said than done. Most people think of foreplay as the period of sexual activity (often lasting only a few minutes) that precedes the actual act of intercourse. Basically, to most people, foreplay consists of kissing, fondling, and perhaps oral sex.

The Tantric View

However, those who follow the Tantric philosophy take a different view of foreplay — one which can make it a bit tougher to define the term. Tantrics believe that foreplay can be anything which helps two people connect on a romantic level or encourages the feeling of intimacy.

Many Tantrics believe that the best approach to foreplay is to treat it not as a “warm-up” leading into sex, but rather a state of continuous affection and sensuality. In other words, a truly romantic and dedicated couple should be engaging in foreplay pretty much all of the time, by maintaining loving, considerate thoughts and performing actions that show they are always keeping their partner in mind.

Experts Share Thoughts on Foreplay

Al Link and Pala Copeland, longtime Tantra teachers, share the common Tantra view that foreplay — which can take place anywhere at any time — is a vital part of lovemaking, perhaps even more important than intercourse itself.

A core competency in Tantra is the ability to keep your attention fully in the present for more than a few seconds at a time. When your attention is focused in this way, you enter into a timeless space. You have nowhere to get to, nothing to accomplish, nothing that you have to do, and nothing that is forbidden. You are free. Ordinary sex typically has a goal — getting to orgasm. Reaching a goal requires a successful performance — something most lovers find daunting and intimidating.

While Tantric sex has no goal, there is a purpose — union of the lovers and union with God/Goddess. Union is not something you can make happen. It requires that you surrender, letting go of any attempts to control the experience. When you understand this, foreplay becomes the main event. Each touch, caress, embrace, kiss, eye contact is complete in and of itself. They are not valued because they lead you on to something better, or more important (intercourse with orgasms), rather they are full, saturated, rich, and meaningful — each an end in itself. Ironically, when you let go of the goal of getting to orgasm you have many more of them. Over a period of hours of lovemaking Tantric lovers will typically have several sessions of intercourse, so that the total time spent in intercourse becomes a smaller portion of the time they spend together. Foreplay and after play become just as important in the total lovemaking experience.

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