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Foreplay is a set of emotionally and physically intimate acts between two or more people meant to create sexual arousal and desire for sexual activity.Although foreplay is typically understood as physical sexual activity, nonphysical activities, such as mental or verbal acts, may in some contexts be foreplay. Foreplay can mean different things to different people.
Foreplay can be an ambiguous term because which sexual activities are prioritized can vary among people. Foreplay can consist of different practices. Some common sexual behaviors that are considered foreplay are kissing, sexual touching, removing clothing, oral sex, certain sexual games, and role playing.
In animal sexual behavior, similar activity is sometimes termed precoital activity.
Psychologically, foreplay lowers inhibitions and increases emotional intimacy between partners. Physically, it stimulates the process that produces sexual arousal. Foreplay has important physical and psychological effects.
According to a survey on heterosexual couples about duration of sexual intercourse and foreplay, neither partner in these relationships were satisfied with the duration of foreplay in their relationships. This survey sampled 152 couples who were mainly university educated and satisfied with their sexual life. In this study, and when compared to some larger studies, men were better at perceiving desired sexual intercourse and foreplay duration for their partner. The average times spent on intercourse were 7 minutes and 12 minutes on foreplay for the couples in this survey. Another result of this survey was that the length of desired foreplay for men and women was about the same.
In a global study of about twelve thousand individuals from 27 countries and 6 continents, physical foreplay was rated as "very important" for 63 percent of men and 60 percent of women.
According to a study of individuals in committed romantic relationships, pornography and sexual media usage does not play a role in satisfaction with time spent on foreplay, although other aspects of sexual satisfaction can be impacted by this type of sexual media. This means that foreplay is an important part of the sexual script, and social influences on the sexual script such as pornography and provocative sexual media do not impact foreplay. Time spent on foreplay is an important part of becoming sexually aroused and unique to each individual, and individuals still need the same amount of foreplay in order to become sexually aroused despite what they learn from porn.
Sexual role-playing or sex games can create sexual interest.These games can be played in a variety of situations, and have been enhanced by technology. This type of extended foreplay can involve SMS messaging, phone calls, online chat, or other forms of distance communication, which are intended to stimulate fantasizing about the forthcoming encounter. This tantalization builds up sexual tension.
A card or board game can be played for foreplay. The objective of the game is for the partners to indulge their fantasies. The loser can, for example, be required to remove clothing or give the winner a sensual foot massage or any other thing that the winner wants to try. A sensuous atmosphere can also be enhanced by candles, drinks, sensual food or suggestive clothing. Even a suggestion of the use of sex toys or the playing of games involving fetish, sexual bondage, blindfolding or sploshing is an indication of sexual interest.
Some couples create sexual interest by watching erotic and pornographic videos. Role playing may involve the partners wearing costumes, to create and maintain a sexual fantasy. For variety, the partners can make up a (sexual) story together. One of them starts with a sentence and then the other continues until the story becomes sexually explicit, and it provides an opportunity for the partners to express their sexual fantasies. "Strangers for a day" is a role-playing game which consists of the couple playing roles of the first meeting between them. In a public meeting place, the partners pretend to be strangers meeting for the first time. The objective is for them to flirt and seduce the other, without doing or saying anything that they normally would not do or say at a first meeting.
Tantric foreplay is the first step in the lovemaking session, according to the tantra principles. Tantric sex is against rushing things for the purpose of reaching an orgasm, so tantric foreplay is a way to prepare the body and the mind for the union between the two bodies. The tantric rules say that foreplay must be focused on the preparation before sexual intercourse. Tantric foreplay may include sensual baths between the two partners in a relaxing atmosphere. Fragrance oil and candles may also be used to set up the mood.
Tantric foreplay is only about giving each other time to connect spiritually and bind. Staring at each other while in a cross-legged position and touching the other's hand palms is a usual foreplay tactic used by tantra practitioners. Tantric foreplay may also include Tantra massages. The massage that is applied, according to the tantric philosophy, is not for reaching orgasms but for giving each other pleasure and connecting at a spiritual level.
There are many historical references to foreplay, with many artistic depictions. The Ancient Indian work Kama Sutra mentions different types of embracing, kissing, and marking with nails and teeth.It also mentions BDSM activities such as slapping and moaning as "play". There are also examples of the use of foreplay in marital advice literature that dates back to the early 1900s.
Anal sex or anal intercourse is generally the insertion and thrusting of the erect penis into a person's anus, or anus and rectum, for sexual pleasure. Other forms of anal sex include fingering, the use of sex toys for anal penetration, oral sex performed on the anus (anilingus), and pegging. Although anal sex most commonly means penile–anal penetration, sources sometimes use anal intercourse to exclusively denote penile–anal penetration, and anal sex to denote any form of anal sexual activity, especially between pairings as opposed to anal masturbation.
Fellatio is a sex act involving stimulating the penis of another person using the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat. Oral stimulation of the scrotum may also be termed fellatio, or colloquially as teabagging. If fellatio is performed on oneself, the act is called autofellatio.
Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality. People engage in a variety of sexual acts, ranging from activities done alone to acts with another person in varying patterns of frequency, for a wide variety of reasons. Sexual activity usually results in sexual arousal and physiological changes in the aroused person, some of which are pronounced while others are more subtle. Sexual activity may also include conduct and activities which are intended to arouse the sexual interest of another or enhance the sex life of another, such as strategies to find or attract partners, or personal interactions between individuals. Sexual activity may follow sexual arousal.
Orgasm is the sudden discharge of accumulated sexual excitement during the sexual response cycle, resulting in rhythmic muscular contractions in the pelvic region characterized by sexual pleasure. Experienced by males and females, orgasms are controlled by the involuntary or autonomic nervous system. They are usually associated with involuntary actions, including muscular spasms in multiple areas of the body, a general euphoric sensation and, frequently, body movements and vocalizations. The period after orgasm is typically a relaxing experience, attributed to the release of the neurohormones oxytocin and prolactin as well as endorphins.
Doggy style is a sex position in which a person bends over, crouches on all fours, or lies on their abdomen, for sexual intercourse, other forms of sexual penetration or other sexual activity. Doggy style is a form of a rear-entry position, others being with the receiving partner lying on the side in the spoons sex position or the reverse cowgirl sex position. Non-penetrative sex in this position may also be regarded as doggy style.
Erotic massage is the use of massage techniques by one person on another person's erogenous zones for their sexual pleasure. The process may achieve or enhance the recipient's sexual excitation or arousal and sometimes achieve orgasm. The person providing the massage is called a masseur (male) or masseuse (female). Massages have been used for medical purposes for a very long time, and their use for erotic purposes also has a long history. In the case of women, the two focal areas are the breasts and pubis, while in case of men, the focal area is the male genitals. When the massage is of a partner's genitals, the act is usually referred to as a handjob in the case of men and fingering in the case of women.
Medical fetishism refers to a number of sexual fetishes involving objects, practices, environments, and situations of a medical or clinical nature. In sexual roleplay a hospital or medical scene involves the sex partners assuming the roles of doctors, nurses, surgeons and patients to act out specific or general medical fetishes. Medical fantasy is a genre in pornography, though the fantasy may not necessarily involve pornography or sexual activity.
Sexual stimulation is any stimulus that leads to, enhances and maintains sexual arousal, and may lead to orgasm. Although sexual arousal may arise without physical stimulation, achieving orgasm usually requires physical sexual stimulation.
Sexual dysfunction is difficulty experienced by an individual or a couple during any stage of a normal sexual activity, including physical pleasure, desire, preference, arousal or orgasm. According to the DSM-5, sexual dysfunction requires a person to feel extreme distress and interpersonal strain for a minimum of six months. Sexual dysfunctions can have a profound impact on an individual's perceived quality of sexual life. The term sexual disorder may not only refer to physical sexual dysfunction, but to paraphilias as well; this is sometimes termed disorder of sexual preference.
The human sexual response cycle is a four-stage model of physiological responses to sexual stimulation, which, in order of their occurrence, are the excitement-, plateau-, orgasmic-, and resolution phases. This physiological response model was first formulated by William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson, in their 1966 book Human Sexual Response. Since then, other human sexual response models have been formulated.
Erotic sexual denial is the practice of refraining from sexual experiences in order to increase erotic arousal and/or tension. The prohibited experience can be narrowly or broadly defined and banned for a specific or indeterminate length of time depending on the practitioner. The experience withheld can be any favored or desired sexual activities, such as specific acts or positions, provided it is something the practitioner wants. Erotic sexual denial is commonly used as sex play between intimate partners, but it can also be indulged in as an individual practice.
Erotic humiliation is consensual psychological humiliation performed in order to produce erotic excitement or sexual arousal. This can be for either the person(s) being humiliated and demeaned or the person(s) humiliating, or both. It is sometimes performed before spectators, including pornography and webcam viewers. It may be part of BDSM and other sexual roleplay, or accompanied by the sexual stimulation of the genitals of one or both parties in the activity.
Female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD) is a disorder characterized by a persistent or recurrent inability to attain sexual arousal or to maintain arousal until the completion of a sexual activity. The diagnosis can also refer to an inadequate lubrication-swelling response normally present during arousal and sexual activity. The condition should be distinguished from a general loss of interest in sexual activity and from other sexual dysfunctions, such as the orgasmic disorder (anorgasmia) and hypoactive sexual desire disorder, which is characterized as a lack or absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity for some period of time.
Fingering is typically the use of fingers or hands to sexually stimulate the vulva or vagina. Vaginal fingering is legally and medically called digital penetration or digital penetration of the vagina. Fingering may also include the use of fingers to sexually stimulate the anus.
Neotantra, navatantra or tantric sexuality, is the modern, Western variation of tantra associated with new religious movements. This includes both New Age and modern Western interpretations of traditional Hindu and Buddhist tantric sex. Some of its proponents refer to ancient and traditional texts and principles, and many others use tantra as a catch-all phrase for "sacred sexuality", and may incorporate unorthodox practices. In addition, not all of the elements of Indian tantric practices are used in neotantra, in particular the reliance on a guru.
Pompoir is a sexual technique in which the woman uses her vaginal muscles to stimulate the man's penis. Both partners remain still, while the woman strokes the man's erection using rhythmic, rippling pulses of the pubococcygeus muscles, so this practice is best performed in a woman on top position.
Non-penetrative sex or outercourse is sexual activity that usually does not include sexual penetration. It generally excludes the penetrative aspects of vaginal, anal, or oral sexual activity, but includes various forms of sexual and non-sexual activity, such as frottage, mutual masturbation, kissing, or cuddling. Some forms of non-penetrative sex, particularly when termed outercourse, include penetrative aspects, such as penetration that may result from forms of fingering or oral sex.
Lesbian sexual practices are sexual activities involving women who have sex with women, regardless of their sexual orientation. A woman who has sex with another woman may identify as a lesbian if she is sexually attracted to women, or bisexual if she is not exclusively sexually attracted to women, or dispense with sexual identification altogether. The term may also be applied to a heterosexual or asexual woman who is unsure of or is exploring her sexuality.
A handjob is a sex act, performed as either foreplay or as non-penetrative sex, that involves the manual stimulation of a man's penis or scrotum by another person to induce an erection for sexual pleasure, sexual arousal and sometimes resulting in orgasm and ejaculation.
Sexual arousal is typically the arousal of sexual desire during or in anticipation of sexual activity. A number of physiological responses occur in the body and mind as preparation for sexual intercourse and continue during it. Male arousal will lead to an erection, and in female arousal the body's response is engorged sexual tissues such as nipples, vulva, clitoris, vaginal walls, and vaginal lubrication. Mental stimuli and physical stimuli such as touch, and the internal fluctuation of hormones, can influence sexual arousal.
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