We live in an on-the-go world. People are busy. I get it. But sexual pleasure is one of the things in life that we shouldn't hurry through! Especially when it comes to foreplay.
Slow Sex: How to do Foreplay Right
Stop, breathe, fantasize, and discover the wonders of slow sex.
“Foreplay is an integral part of sex, and often times, given too little time,” says sex and relationship coach Azaria Menezes. Science says that when pleasure is built up slowly, then stopped (also known as edging), before reaching climax, it can encourage better, stronger orgasms.
“We all like to get right into it sometimes but foreplay is great to prepare your body and mind for sex,” says Menezes. “It helps get all the juices flowing to the right places – and not even in a metaphorical way.”
Fun fact: It can take a cis-woman up to 30 minutes to get fully aroused. “Foreplay helps increase sexual arousal by bringing more blood flow to the genitals, lubricating the vagina, increases your blood pressure, heart rate and dilates your blood vessels in all the right places,” says Menezes.
She adds that another benefit of foreplay is that it can help relax both partners and build emotional intimacy for a smoother transition to sex. What you do leading up to sex is just as important as the big bang. Also, for people who have trouble climaxing during intercourse, foreplay can be their main event, where the magic happens.
That being said, foreplay doesn’t necessarily have to lead to sex. “Foreplay can include anything sexual or sensual that turns you and your partner on other than sex,” says Menezes. “It can mean a lot of different things to everyone, so there is a lot of room to get creative and feel amazing.”
Slowing Down Helps You Learn About Your Self-pleasure
First things first! If you want to experience the best possible slow sex, embrace self-pleasure. Take the time to learn about your body’s responses to different stimuli.
Touch yourself solely for pleasure for 15 to 30 minutes and focus on what turns you on – and turns you off. You can tackle your self-exploration with your hands or with a sex toy, like the new LELO SILA, or you can use both. Whichever you choose, just work on enjoying every inch of your beautiful body, without an agenda or worrying it has to end a certain way (cough, orgasm).
[The LELO SILA uses gentle sonic waves to stimulate the clitoris without direct contact.]
Not only is this exercise good for you and your self-pleasure practice, but it will also help you better articulate your preferences to a sexual partner if or when you wish to do so. Friendly reminder: You may have the most amazing partner in the world, but they’re still not a mind reader.
Slow Down and Set the Scene
Slowing down sex may sound easier said than done. To start off, Angela Rosario, sex expert at TooTimid, suggests setting a scene. “Women especially tend to get distracted by tasks that need to be done around the house, like clearing clutter and folding laundry,” says Rosario:
“Think about lighting some candles, playing music you both enjoy, or anything else that helps you feel especially luxurious and in the mood.”
Creating a sexy environment can help create a pleasurable space, for solo or partner sex. Remember that this is dedicated time for you to feel sexy and sensual! Even if you're preparing for some solo-sex, take your time to set the mood, whether that's with music, candles, dimming the lights, or even just fully charging your sex toy so you know you have the entire battery life to play with.
Slowing Down Sex Can Lead to Better Orgasms
A slow build-up to climax won’t compromise or kill your orgasm. In fact, it can help you experience peaks you can only discover by switching gears, slowing down, and taking your time.
Building anticipation helps enhance pleasure and build sexual tension. “Remove your clothes slowly, spending time touching each revealed area,” says Rosario. “Try out a sensual massage. Kissing is a tried-and-true favorite! Kissing erogenous zones like the neck, ears, and cheeks, as well as lips, can be intensely pleasurable.”
Think of foreplay as a delicious, drawn-out practice of making sure your entire mind and body are as engaged as possible to receive pleasure.
Alice Queen, founder of Vanilla is the New Kink, often jokes with her husband about their sex being 'mindfulness meditations.’ “Apart from enjoying each other, we take this opportunity to unwind and focus on the present sensations that touch brings,” says Queen. “As part of this practice, we avoid or delay orgasm for as long as possible. But in the end, the levels of arousal are much higher compared to a 'standard foreplay and sex' dynamic. When we go on to have sex after our mindfulness session, orgasms are much more intense.”
She also thinks that they get many of the benefits of traditional meditation by focusing their minds on their bodies regularly and away from all the busy distractions of the world.
Slow Down and Add Sex Toys
“There is an incredible variety of toys available to suit every taste and preference,” says Rosario. “Interested in prostate stimulation? Get a toy (or two!) to help you achieve that! Want more clit stimulation? Toys can do that!”
LELO's new massager SILA has a large mouth that stimulates the entire clitoral area and enhances orgasmic sensation. Instead of a pinpoint of pleasure, SILA provides equal stimulation to the whole clitoris, which leads for a slow build-up to some amazing orgasms.
On the topic of sex toys, Rosario also suggests discussing your and your partner’s fantasies and see how incorporating toys can enhance your pleasure. “Adult toys can take your orgasms to the next level, so don’t be afraid to take the plunge.”
Slow Down and Rake in the Benefits
Foreplay offers numerous benefits, both physiological and physical. For couples, Rosario notes that foreplay helps build emotional intimacy, which increases your connection in and out of the bedroom.
“If you or your partner struggles to have an orgasm, more foreplay can help increase the number and intensity of orgasms you experience,” she says. Taking the focus off orgasming, and putting it on curiosity and pleasure, shifts the pressure away from having to perform.
“Even if you don’t have trouble orgasming, foreplay can give you stronger orgasms. Because foreplay builds sexual arousal and sets off the physical responses needed for sex (and orgasm), you will often experience more intense orgasms by building sexual tension and enhancing your body’s readiness for sex."
Rosario also notes that foreplay also helps overcome stress, releasing chemicals like oxytocin and dopamine that lower your cortisol (stress hormone) levels and increase feelings of euphoria and bonding.
Remember, if your hot spots aren’t as turned on as you’d like, it’s OK to ask for more foreplay or a sex toy to give yourself more self-love. Practice does make perfect and slowing down sex can be super-hot.
Ryn Pfeuffer is a versatile print and digital writer specializing in sex, lifestyle, and relationship topics. Over the past two decades, her work has appeared in more than 100 media outlets including Marie Claire, Playboy, Refinery29, The Globe and Mail, The Washington Post, WIRED, and Thrillist.
She adopted a pseudonym and was AVN’s (Adult Video Network) first female porn reviewer – while penning children’s books at the same time. More recently, she is the author of 101 Ways to Rock Online Dating (2019). She lives in Seattle with her rescue dog, Mimi. You can find her on Twitter @rynpfeuffer or IG @ryn_says