Is Foreplay an Outdated Term?

by | May 29, 2023 | Let's talk about Sex

Blowjobs, hand jobs, fingering. Is this foreplay? Or is this simply other types of sex? Sex educator Evie Plumb explains.

What is foreplay?

Foreplay is a set of emotionally and physically intimate acts between people before penetrative sex with the aim of more sexual arousal.

“There are lots and lots of different types of foreplay,” says sex educator and founder of CliterallyTheBest, Evie Plumb. “Which I think would be good to challenge in the long run.”

Why do we use foreplay before penetrative sex?

“For warming up, especially if we’re talking physically, you shouldn’t just be ramming stuff in there. 

“Warming up, getting the blood flowing to that centre is really important. It will feel better. You’ll be more lubricated. Your body needs to be ready.” says Evie.

A study revealed that it can take up to 20 minutes for people with vulvas to be fully aroused.

READ: The Orgasm Hierarchy : Embracing the Clitoris – Floozy

What is the issue?

“A lot of what we see as foreplay for heterosexual couples is usually the main course for a lot of people. Calling it foreplay makes it seem like it is not as important.

“Some people like foreplay better than the main event, and the main event is just penetration.” adds Evie.

The term foreplay has been put in a box, mainly involving oral sex, hand jobs and fingering. But in reality, foreplay can be so many different things.

It is also, unfortunately, a predominantly heteronormative idea to assume that acts do not count as ‘real sex’. This often excludes much of the LGBTQ+ community.

“We need to challenge the whole idea of what sex is which goes back to sex education. You’re only taught that sex is penis and vagina to make a baby.”

What should count as foreplay?

“Foreplay can start from the beginning of the day,” said Evie. “You can maybe grab consensually someone’s ass like when they pass the kitchen or texting them when they’re at work saying what you’re going to do to them when they go home. That can kind of build it up. 

“Then when you are having sex, you’re already turned on so that’s I think a different way of looking at it but then obviously there’s like kissing or sending nudes.”

Should the term be forgotten? Is it misleading?

In reality, we should be broadening the idea of what we see as foreplay. Anything that arouses and get you feeling ready for intimacy with your partner.

Let’s stop viewing penetrative sex as the main act. Sex can be anything that we want it to be, and so can the idea of foreplay.

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