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Heavy petting refers to a whole list of sexual acts that don't include intercourse, such as kissing, giving and receiving hickeys, touching and kissing the breasts and genitals and dry humping. Heavy petting is mostly used as foreplay but can be fun for those who aren't ready to engage in sexual intercourse.
Heavy petting is a bit of a dated term. It is a type of outercourse that implies manually touching and stimulating the genitals, but it can include anything that doesn't involve exchanging sexual fluids. As a result, heavy petting is a safe way to engage in intimacy without having to worry about pregnancy or contracting a sexually transmitted infection.