When gossiping about our latest sexual conquests with housemates, we do not always make a distinct separation between the actual intercourse and all that goes before. For some reason once it has been established that the deed has occurred, it is presumed that fun and games happened beforehand. Foreplay is defined as the sexual stimulation of one’s partner – normally, although not always – as a prelude to sex itself. We might not discuss the intimate details of where each other’s hands were as you undressed, or if more time was spent treating him or you, because it is just too personal. However, this presumes that foreplay is something everyone needs in order to enjoy a full session of pleasure. This week Her Campus are debating whether foreplay is as stimulating as it is made out to be or whether in fact it is entirely overrated?
In Karma Sutra (possibly the most famous book centred upon sex) there is much discussion about various sexual positions: kissing, oral sex and most raunchily, BDSM. This suggests that foreplay enhances your sexual experience and as a result is anything but overrated. Furthermore, articles published in Cosmopolitan inform readers with top tips about how to pleasure their partners without the need of intercourse, suggesting that foreplay can be just as fun as the deed itself. With such varied opinions in the sex and relationship realm, it is difficult to establish whether foreplay is sexually exhilarating, or in fact extremely dull.
From this, it is clear the debate surrounding foreplay is very subjective. However, Her Campus would argue that certain factors certainly influence the ways in which we view foreplay such as: gender, or a person’s relationship status.
In 2011, the United States performed a study in the sexual behaviour of over 5,000 people between the ages of 14 and 94. The results showed that “women are more likely to orgasm when they engaged in a variety of sex acts including oral sex and vaginal intercourse” suggesting us ladies certainly enjoy a cheeky bit of foreplay. In contrast men felt that foreplay was not necessary to orgasm, specifying intercourse would do the job just fine!
Discussing the results of this research with friends of HCX, it is clear for the ladies of Streatham campus that foreplay is a fantastic and often necessary way to increase sexual arousal and the chances of reaching orgasm. For most boys HCX spoke to the opinion of foreplay were more varied. Whilst there was no denial of enjoying foreplay particularly oral sex, most admitted that when it came down to it, heading straight for climax via intercourse was the real aim. It appears the lads of Exeter are not alone in this view, echoing the opinions of Dan Jude, a writer for Cosmopolitan. Jude writes “I don’t want to spend hours fiddling around and pretending to get more and more turned on – if I’m in bed with you and you are naked, believe me when I say I’m already turned on.”
Another factor to be considered when debating the impact of foreplay, is the type of sex someone is having. Sleeping with the same person regularly encourages sexual and emotional confidence allowing one another to explore each other’s bodies in more ways than one. However, if it’s a fun one night stand, the chances of getting deeply involved with foreplay is slim. Generally this would consist of a quick fumble to warm things up before heading straight into sex. If it’s a sober, semi-regular encounter, foreplay is more likely though probably relatively basic.
In my opinion, foreplay is not overrated although it is obviously a personal preference, and definitely depends on the sexual situation. For most women, it can be agreed that the men out there definitely need to pay us a bit more attention if they genuinely want to claim to having given us as much pleasure as we do them. After all, in the survey 85% of men report their partner climaxed in their last sexual encounter compared to just 64% of women. Foreplay would certainly play a part in boosting this figure, so perhaps men should spend a little more time fulfilling their partner’s sexual needs, allowing us all to be a lot more satisfied.