This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Chapter 7: Foreplay: Revving Up Your Engines
Too many people equate the word sex with intercourse. That’s sad because
we humans have so many ways of acting sexy and getting enjoyment from sex
that don’t fall into that category. In this section we’re going to explore how
else you can get enjoyment from those three magic letters, s–e–x.
Bestowing a kaleidoscope of kisses
In my book, The Art of Arousal, I chose a painting by the Italian Renaissance
painter Correggio as the artwork for the cover. The picture depicts the god
Jupiter, transformed into a cloud, kissing Io. To me, that image illustrates one
of the great ways to kiss: so lightly, so softly, with the lips barely touching, so
it seems as if you’re kissing a cloud. But you have so many ways to kiss —
passionately or lightly, with mouths open or closed, with tongues probing or
not — that kissing is truly a gift of the gods.
Most of us think of lovers kissing as automatic, and for most people it is. But
not for everyone. I regularly get letters — mostly from women — who complain that their husbands don’t kiss them enough. Some of these men do kiss,
but only perfunctorily. Others don’t kiss at all.
My first piece of advice for people who feel that their lovers aren’t kissing
them enough is to check their own breath. I’m not saying that bad breath is
usually at fault, but because you can easily cure it, you should make it your
first line of attack. (Because you can’t check your breath yourself, you’ll have
to ask your partner to do it, or, if that embarrasses you too much, maybe
your dentist or a good friend can help.)
If your partner, not you, has the problem with frequent bad breath, I suggest
you come right out and say so — though not necessarily in the middle of an
embrace. Make sure that you have some mouthwash in the medicine cabinet
and then let them know, gently, that they tend to have a problem with bad
breath. Show your partner how much you prefer the minty flavor of mouthwash by rewarding him or her with a big kiss.
Another problem with kissing is French, or deep-tongue, kissing. Some people
adore this form of play, while others hate it. Because so many people are
orally oriented — witness how much eating and gum-chewing we do — those
people who really want to engage in deep kissing have a problem if their
mates don’t. Because I don’t believe in forcing anybody to do anything, the
best advice I can give to people who like their kisses to be deep and long is
to find out before you get married whether you’re going to have a problem.
Sometimes these problems crop up later in life, but at least you’ll have tried
to head them off at the pass.
Part II: Doing It
Here again, some people avoid French kissing for a reason: They have problems breathing through their noses. If you really love this art form, and your
partner can’t satisfy you because of a breathing problem, have your partner
see a doctor, as help may be available.
Kissing isn’t limited to mouths. You can kiss each other all over your bodies,
and both the kisser and kissee should thoroughly enjoy the experience. If you
don’t want to have oral sex because you’re squeamish about the messy
results, you can still cover your lover’s genitals with light kisses because
doing so is rarely sufficient stimulation to induce orgasm. A few gentle kisses
now and then on your partner’s genitals will at least let your partner know
that, even though you don’t want to give him or her an orgasm that way,
you’re not repulsed by this part of the anatomy — you just prefer to have sex
in other ways. “The tongue: Master of foreplay” and “Fellatio” sections later
in this chapter provide more details about oral sex, as does Chapter 13.
Eyes wide shut
One question that often pops up is whether when kissing passionately you
should keep your eyes open or shut. In actuality, the issue doesn’t have so
much to do with your eyes as with your brain. Kissing is something that
requires some concentration. You want to feel your lover’s mouth, and you
want to communicate that, with this kiss, you’re sharing more than just your
lips, but your very souls. If your eyes are open, it’s harder to focus on the
sensations of the kiss. That’s not to say that you have to close your eyes, but
just keep in mind that what your eyes see distracts your brain, and when that
happens, the kiss may be less meaningful.
More than just the lips
If you’re wondering what to do with your hands while kissing, I wouldn’t recommend clasping them behind your back, but you also don’t want to start
groping your partner. “Why not?” some of you may be asking. Because it’s
distracting. Don’t worry, you’ll get to the next stage eventually, but kissing
represents an important component of foreplay, and it can be easily overwhelmed. So holding your partner or lightly caressing him or her is fine, but
make sure that you control your hands.
How long is long enough
For some guys who are intent on getting to phase two, kissing is no more
than a speed bump, and so something to get over as quickly as possible. That
attitude is a big mistake. Not only do you miss out on the pleasures that kissing offers, but by rushing your partner, you only succeed in making her less
aroused. So although there’s no particular time that a kiss should last, the
decision to end it should be mutual, not one-sided.
Chapter 7: Foreplay: Revving Up Your Engines
Making the most of massage
In an earlier section of this chapter, “Dinner for two,” I recommend that you
and your partner touch each other as one type of communication you can
use at a restaurant. But in a public place, this touching can go only so far —
holding hands, maybe playing footsie.
I know that some people use the cover of a tablecloth to go further, but I
don’t recommend that. You may get so lost in the moment that you forget
that other people are around, and when they notice what you’re up to — and
they will, because people-watching is part of what going to a restaurant is all
about — you’re both going to be embarrassed.
When you’re back at your home, however, you can do all the touching you
want. Now, what often happens is that as people remove their clothes, their
touching leads right to sex. But if you’re in the mood for stretching things
out — and this isn’t something that has to happen every time — then giving
each other a massage is a sensual and relaxing way to begin.
Make the moment as sensuous as you can.
! Dim the lights or use candles.
! Use some massage oils.
! Whatever you do, don’t rush the massage; try to really feel each other as
much as possible.
! Alternate between strong rubs and gentle caresses. Let the sensitive
nerve endings in your fingertips help you get to know your partner in a
If you find that you and your partner want to further explore this means of
foreplay, pick up Massage For Dummies, by Steve Capellini and Michel Van
Welden (Wiley), for more techniques for intimate massages.
Turning up the heat in the hot tub
Another sensuous way of intensifying your passion is to play in some water.
Climbing into a hot tub or Jacuzzi together is a great way to unwind, especially at night with only the soft lights glowing from underneath the water.
Hot tubs are a great place to have foreplay, but they can be a dangerous place
to have sex. The soothing effects from the elevated water temperature can
cause physical problems, especially if your blood pressure and heartbeat are
on the rise from sexual excitement. I’m not saying never have sex in your hot
tub — the temptation is certainly going to be irresistible at times — but this
chapter is about foreplay, and that’s what I recommend you use the tub for.
Part II: Doing It
If you don’t have a hot tub, you can substitute a bathtub or shower. Washing
is a way of gently exploring each other’s bodies while rendering a service at
the same time.
Some people won’t engage in sex with their partners because they’re not sure
how clean their genitals are. Well, if a woman is washing a man’s penis, for
example, she can be absolutely sure that it’s clean. You may well laugh at this
piece of advice, but I have recommended it to many couples where squeamishness or body odors were a problem, and it usually works.
Pinpointing erogenous zones
with body mapping
Although you certainly touch your partner’s body all over during massage,
the goal is to create sensations, not discover which parts of your partner’s
body are the most sensitive. With body mapping, on the other hand, you aim
to discover all of the most sensitive parts of one another’s bodies: the
breasts, the wrists, the thighs . . .
Body mapping isn’t only something you do to another person; it’s also
something that you can do to yourself. Sometimes it’s not just where you’re
touched that creates the best sensations, but how you’re touched. Because
only you can feel which ways of touching — gentle, rough, continuous,
feathery — bring you the most pleasure, you may have to experiment on
yourself as well as on your partner.
Body mapping is one of those gifts that keeps on giving because, after you
and your partner have explored each other’s bodies and discovered the most
sensuous places and what feels best on them, you can use those techniques
again and again throughout your love life. So, body mapping is far from just a
way to extend foreplay; it’s an exercise that each couple should engage in at
least once to build a data bank of information for future lovemaking.
You have now entered . . . the erogenous zone
Erogenous zones are the parts of your body that, due to the concentration of
nerve endings, are more sensitive to stimulation than the other parts.
Now, some erogenous zones are pretty universal. Most women enjoy having a
man pay attention to their breasts — and most men don’t mind obliging them
in this way. But, guys, don’t forget what you learned about body mapping. If
she likes a soft touch rather than a rough one, or vice versa, then that’s what
you should do.