Foreplay is great. The end.
In all seriousness though, I believe foreplay is wildly important to any sexual encounter. I also believe that it comes in many flavors. Foreplay can be the subtle touches and teases before we get even closer. It can be the scintillating correspondence shared between us before we meet (I have personally received some emails that have left me wet and wanting).
Foreplay can be a passionate political argument that escalates, leaving us to find that our intellectual impasse has become more of a carnal intrigue. Foreplay is just as diverse as the people who engage in it, and personally, I am fascinated to find out what turns people on. One might say that I found the right career path. **wink**
Do Men & Women View Foreplay Differently?
I’ve just never been able to swallow this particular bit of foreplay folklore (and swallowing has never been my problem). I don’t have statistics on this one, but in my experience this issue is more nuanced than people make it out to be. People like to say that women enjoy more foreplay and men like to “get down to business,” or that men tend to be more physical whereas women require more mental stimulation.
But, I can honestly say that I have not found this to be the case. Most of my clients are men that are seeking intellectual stimulation (to go with a healthy dose of physical stimuli, of course). I have had the absolute pleasure of having sexual encounters with people all along the gender spectrum. I would conclude from my astute observations that there are no gender-correlated trends in the realm of foreplay, except that almost everyone enjoys some variety of it. The kind and duration of foreplay that people enjoy differs depending on personality, rather than gender identity.
I think this misguided myth just speaks to a different cultural time, one which I am elated to leave in the past.
Is Communication Key To Great Foreplay?
Communication is key to great foreplay, great sex, great relationships, great restaurant experiences, etc. If one can effectively communicate their needs and desires, life in general becomes a lot easier.
As far as foreplay is concerned, everyone is different. Despite what magazines would have us believe, there is no singular “Miracle Move” that will make every partner you ever have come back for more (pun entirely intended). Language is one of humanity’s most brilliant and beautiful creations. Why waste hundreds of thousands of years of honing our communication skills by withholding some of the most brilliant and beautiful details of ourselves? I want to know what turns you on, what makes you tick, and what is an absolute non-starter. I want to know what you want, what you truly desire, what peaks your curiosity.
Like an artist must fully understand her medium, I like to know what I am working with. Clearly communicating with your providers or partners helps them to understand how to pleasure you in the most effective way. And, who doesn’t want to be effectively pleasured?!
I believe communication is integral for any relationship, which is why my website includes a section specifically addressing communication. It reads:
“This is quite possibly THE most important element of our relationship.
Before: Know exactly what you like? Awesome. Tell me, and I will do my darndest to make it happen. Don’t know what you want just yet. Let me know. We can explore some options and discover together.
During: In order to explore the deliciously complex realms of pleasure, we must trust one another to voice our limitations. We all have them; we are human after all. At any point in our encounter, if there is anything you do not like, say so immediately. I will never judge you for this. In fact, I find knowing one’s limits to be incredibly sexy. I promise to voice the same.
After: I appreciate your feedback. Let me know what you enjoyed, what you’d like to try for next time, or any other thoughts that seem worth mentioning. The more we can communicate about our needs and desires, the deeper and more fulfilling our connection can become. “
I think the worst thing someone can do in a session is show up with new toys and provide no explanation at all. I can guarantee that they aren’t going to get what they want from that encounter. I am a firm believer in securing consent. If someone hands me a toy and lets me assume what they want, that’s not consent. You’ve got to use your words.
What & How Should Both Parties Communicate Their Needs
First things first. Before you can share anything, make sure the other person is ready to have that conversation. It can be quite taxing for some people, or they may just prefer to have it at a particular time or in a particular space. Just make sure they are ready for it. Many providers prefer to have this conversation in sessions (myself included). Not only is this safer for all parties, but it decreases the chances of miscommunication. If you’re seeking something specific, I strongly encourage clients to inquire about when this conversation should take place. Do not spring this information on your provider in an email or during a phone call, unless they have consented to having that conversation.
Now, you’re ready to share your needs and desires with your partner or provider. How do you even start? Two words: Honestly and completely. It’s intimidating. I know. I used to self-censor when I would share my desires with partners, because I was afraid to scare them away. When I became honest about what I really liked, there was no going back. Even when they didn’t want to do some of the things I desired, they had a better understanding of what gave me pleasure. Honesty. It’s a game-changer.
If someone can’t get down with something you’re into, don’t take it personally. This is easier said than done, because our desires are very personal pieces of our identities. Pieces that cause many of us to experience shame from being steeped in a culture that vilifies the “Other,” or anything out of the ordinary (Someone did well in her Sociology class!). They’re not trying to hurt you. They aren’t judging you. They just don’t want to do a thing they don’t want to do. Be as gracious as you’d hope they would be if the roles were reversed.
Tips To Make Foreplay Even More Enjoyable!
Yes! Try different things! Try new things! Mix it up. You know what you like? Great. You know what they like? Awesome. Now, take a risk. Ask to try something you don’t know if you would like. You may have a new favorite position or toy or scenario.
What could you possibly lose? Just make sure you ask and clearly communicate how the trial will go down and what you may not like about the new thing, so the experience is enjoyable even if you end up not liking it.
Parker Westwood – If a grunge-punk activist became an engaging sociology professor and was then trapped in the body of a burlesque dancer who had the most illuminating laugh, THAT would be Parker Westwood. She is an elite companion and artist based in Metro Detroit. Keep an eye on this one. She’s full of surprises.
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Article images courtesy of Parker Westwood
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