When I wrote that the idea of foreplay is enough to give me a headache, so I dread to think how tedious it must sound to a man, I was not talking about general kissing, cuddling and caressing enjoyed for its own sake, I was referring to what is often called “foreplay” in at least some literature on sexual dysfunction—that soulless, dreary, mechanical list of things the man is to do to the woman physically in order to “get her in the mood”.
Imagine a man who has a one-size-fits-all formulaic approach that is not affected by details like what the woman he is with might enjoy. He may well be doing his best, and he may well think that the woman would like the routine formula of physical foreplay acts he does, but the routine is just that: a forumlaic routine. Different men have different routines, but they are amazingly predictable, and not all of that is because women all like the same things. Rather than kissing and touching, etc., because they want to and because the woman enjoys it, some men actually mentally switch off while they go through the routine.
What I am referring to as foreplay is often consciously seen as foreplay by the man who is doing it, as opposed to kissing and touching and so on because that is delightful for both persons. He is doing it because that is what he has to do to get what he wants, rather than experiencing it as being enjoyable in itself. It is half-hearted rather than wholehearted. It is a list of instructions he follows. A forumla. A single recipe he never varies.
There is nothing interesting, exciting or unique to that individual or to their relationship in this list of instructions. It completely ignores the role of the mind in sexual desire and arousal. It is a formulaic and deeply unerotic mechanical instruction-book approach.
I have nothing against others enjoying what is traditionally referred to as foreplay, but it is unlikely that this approach I have described would be appealing to many women, because it is so very impersonal and so little affected by what the particular woman might enjoy.
There are many women for whom, if they are not in the mood, no amount of this physical activity will get them in the mood. But a look, a word, or a suggestion might well. As might being taken by the man you love. We could call the look, the word, or the suggestion “foreplay” too, but that is not what I meant when I said that the idea of “foreplay” gives me a headache. I was referring to the disconnected, psychologically blind, predictable and impersonal physical routine a man can do while thinking about the latest rugby match or what might be causing the rattling noise in the car.
It is simply untrue that all women need half an hour of physical foreplay, and for those who dislike psychologically disconnected interactions, that kind of routine is likely to be actively counterproductive. By contrast, connected interactions that arise out of the unique relationship between the two unique individuals, are much more likely to be exciting. And in some cases, a mere word or a look is all it takes. The key is that it is highly personal and connected as opposed to an impersonal, standard, and disconnected routine.
There is an excellent book that goes into the psychology of desire and arousal and peak sexual experiences and fantasies. It is: The Erotic Mind, by Jack Morin.