1. Have foreplay in the first place
I really, really shouldn’t have to point this out, but there are still so many men out there who neglect to spend time on foreplay. Intercourse is fun, but it’s just one of so many different things you can do together. There’s no need to rush right to it. Foreplay can actually be the best part of sex, especially for her (more on that in a moment). The bottom line: don’t skip foreplay.
2. Take your time
It sounds trite to say that women need time to warm up, but it’s very often true. A majority of women have what’s called “responsive libido,” where they don’t feel much desire for sex until they’re already being sexually stimulated. A lot of my female clients in my sex therapypractice tell me they’ll be just starting getting into sex by the time their partner is just starting to finish up. When that’s the case, she only ends up getting a couple of minutes of enjoyment out of their time together.
One of the greatest gifts you can give her is time. She’s probably already pressuring herself to hurry up—but that kind of pressure only makes it that much harder for her to actually enjoy herself. You can help her relax by letting her know you’re in no rush and showing her how much you enjoy taking your time with her. If you give her the time to get going, she’ll enjoy the interaction so much more.
3. Tease her
Going slow doesn’t need to feel like a chore. A lot of women love being mercilessly teased. Instead of zoning in on her hot spots, try ignoring them for as long as you both can stand. Move your hands around her body, but don’t go for her breasts, butt, or crotch. Toy with buttons and zippers on her clothes, without actually unbuttoning or unzipping them. Kiss all around her breasts or vulva, but don’t go for them right away. You want her to practically be squirming for more. Even once you’re going all out fingering her or going down on her, you can keep teasing her by getting her to the edge of orgasm, then stopping.
4. Spend lots of time kissing
Kissing is secretly one of the most divisive foreplay activities. Most women could kiss for hours, whereas a lot of men say they could take it or leave it. But a recent study found that deep kissing was one of the sexual activities most highly correlated with female orgasm. Don’t underestimate the power of some good kissing. It’s a great way to get her warmed up, but make sure to keep kissing her throughout your time together.
5. Make her the main focus
A lot of men only spend time on foreplay because they expect something in return. It can be hard for her to enjoy herself if she feels the pressure to reciprocate. And no one likes half-hearted foreplay. You can impress her and put her at ease by trying to make her the focus of one particular evening. Tell her: “Tonight is just about you.” Let her know you’re not expecting anything in return. Or, at the very least, you can tell her you want to make sure she comes first.
6. Ask her what she likes
A lot of men assume that they have to automatically know what a woman wants, without having to ask her. That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself, and it’s just not true. She’ll appreciate you asking her what she wants, or asking for feedback. It makes you seem confident, and it helps you learn what she actually likes. If she seems shy to tell you what she wants, give her a few options and ask her to pick.
7. Ask her to use a toy
It’s an unfortunate reality that some men are intimidated by sex toys. Listen up, guys: Vibrators are fun, but they’re not a replacement for a living, breathing human being—so there’s no reason for you to be intimidated. You can impress her by letting her know you want to play with her toys with her. Ask her, “Do you have a toy you want to play with?” If she pulls one out, ask her to show you how she likes to use it on herself, before taking it into your own hands.
8. Try double or triple stimulation
A lot of guys tend to focus on either the clitoris or the vagina, but you don’t have to choose just one. It’s easy to stimulate both at the same time. So many women love the combination of sensations. Use your hand or mouth on her clitoris, and use the other hand to finger her vagina. Or try your mouth on her clitoris, fingers from one hand in her vagina, and fingers from the other hand in or around her anus. Or try using a toy on her while you use some combination of your mouth and fingers.
9. Don’t think of it as foreplay
I actually dislike the word foreplay because it implies that these activities are the things you do before you move on to having intercourse. It makes it seem like fingering and oral are somehow “lesser than” intercourse. Most women are much more likely to have an orgasm from fingering or oral sex than they are from intercourse, which makes the foreplay stereotype even more frustrating.
Try mixing up your usual routine of foreplay and intercourse. Once you start having intercourse, stop, pull out, and go down on her or finger her for a bit. Go back to intercourse, then stop again. Or try taking intercourse off the table, and spend one evening only doing foreplay activities. Mixing things up will keep you both on your toes, and will bring her (and you) an incredible amount of pleasure.
Vanessa Marin is a sex therapist. Check out her online orgasm course, Finishing School.
by Vanessa Marin