Foreplay has a reputation as a warm up or lead in to sex, the appetizer to the main course—which is intercourse. But maybe it's time we stop thinking about it in such an old-school way. After all, only 30% of women can reach orgasm from penis-in-vagina penetration alone. It's the moves we typically think of as foreplay—clitoral stroking, deep kissing, and oral sex—that bring most women to the heights of pleasure.
With this in mind, we want to encourage women (and their partners!) to take foreplay way beyond a kiss here and a touch there. To inspire you, we asked real women who consider themselves major foreplay fans to tell us the specific move that always fires their desire . . . and serves as the main event itself. Here's what they revealed.
'Touching tongues gets me aroused instantly'
“I love a good makeout sesh! It's simple but it works every time, and touching tongues gets me aroused almost instantly. If there's a little neck and ear biting and licking added to the mix, that's amazing, too. When my partner and I engage in this kind of foreplay for long periods, it gets me really excited for sex; the anticipation factor builds up my arousal and his, too. It can sometimes be even more pleasurable than the penetration itself.”
'Nipple action drives me crazy in the best way'
“I love when my partner sucks on my nipples—nothing too hard, but when I’m already turned on a little, it feels like the sensation is doubled. It drives me crazy but in the best way.”
'I want to hear what my partner is going to do to me'
“I’m a very verbal person, and I want to hear what my partner is going to do to me and how I turn them on. That usually starts through texting and escalates when we’re together in person. An ex of mine used to say the most detailed things to me: 'I’m getting hard on the subway just thinking about us lying together naked again' or 'I miss your ass, your hair, and your lips so much.' Once they started talking dirty, I felt safe enough to verbalize back how sexy I find them and how much I want them.”
'Feeling skin rubbing together gets me going'
“I love some good dry humping. I know that sounds so gross, but something about the anticipation of sex and the sensation of clothes and skin rubbing up against each other gets me going.”
RELATED: Is Oral Sex Bad for Your Vagina?
'Oral sex always makes me orgasm'
“I used to feel weird about my boyfriend going down on me, but now it's a regular part of our foreplay routine. Straight up penetration doesn't quite do it for me, but oral sex always makes me orgasm. We do that first, so I'm close to an orgasm when we start having sex. That way, we're both set up to (hopefully!) orgasm. Added bonus: There's no real need for lube when oral sex is part of the foreplay equation.”
'I love giving in to a fantasy'
“My favorite foreplay move is giving in to a fantasy. My partner and I used to pretend not to know each other at a bar. Acting like we were strangers was thrilling and really turned me on. It’s also nice because I knew I was safe, since I was with my partner. Giving in totally to the fantasy made for the best sex; I think the anticipation of it all is what was really hot about it.”
'His wanting to please me was a big turn-on'
“The best foreplay I’ve ever had was when I was passionately kissing a partner on the bed and he got up, pulled my body to the edge of the bed, and started preforming oral sex on me. I ended up reaching orgasm faster than I ever have before. I think it was the combination of roughness, wanting to please me, and him being completely confident in what he was doing.”
'Giving and getting pleasure is the best foreplay'
“My favorite move is being at his side and performing oral sex on him while he’s fingering me at the same time. It gets both of us off, so that’s the best kind of foreplay for me. I find giving while getting to be insanely pleasurable."