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.

the boss

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I agree with the boss that there is nothing as boring as foreplay which, as far as I am concerned, should be renamed "forework".

an anonymous man

Sex Without Foreplay

Sex without foreplay would simply hurt. Oh, if you are just interested in dominating a woman, then by all means, do not give a damn about pleasuring her.

Some women don't want or need foreplay; goody for them. I suggest you confine your attentions to them since you are so self centered.

Others really do need it in order to get off. And a man with imagination and smarts knows how to make it good for both of them. And he revels in her's not all about him and how fast he can jam it up her, wet or not, hurting or not.

If you really hate foreplay, then your best possible partner is your own right hand.


Not self centered

That anonymous man is not self centered and it's not right to call him names. You don't know him. I'm a woman that needs no foreplay especially if DH paddles me before he takes me.

Foreplay (addressing Pat's concerns)

In fact (and this may address Pat's concerns), there is always SOME foreplay, if only when a man opens the legs of his woman, or tells her to open her legs, and says other sexy things while penetrating her. One of the sexy things to say, I think, is to tell her that he is going to penetrate her whether she is wet or not. There are good chances that she will get wet immediately...

Anonymous man

that actually does work with me (blush!)

A few times, my husband told me he was going to penetrate me whether I was ready or not...and then when he reached down to see if in fact I was ready, he said I was "soaking" (MAJOR BLUSH!!) Just being TOLD that can do it to me.


I don't need 'foreplay', especially if my husband has spanked me before sex, but I always thought kissing, caressing, fondling etc were a normal part of lovemaking, i never realised there were people who regarded these things as just tedious chores; I'm learning a lot from Taken In Hand!

Yes and no...

I always felt I needed foreplay.

But reading some of these posts, even just a simple line like "open your legs", or "I'm going to take you", or even my husband opening my legs and taking me would work immediately for me.

I love kissing, I love the verbal interaction, but I don't get it as my husband is fairly non-sexual, so I have to rely to manual stimulation (I can't manage without it).

I know that I would get excited just by a phrase or action and the foreplay wouldn't always be needed. I have discussed this with my husband but he tends to "forget".

Having totally incompatible libidos is terrible. I'm passionate, fiery, romantic and I guess a pain in the butt sometimes. My husband is the total opposite and it wouldn't bother him if we were never intimate again, he doesn't even enjoy kissing much, whereas it's one of the first things to turn me on.

I would never have thought that foreplay was considered tedious though!!

Grace :-)

Forplay and forework

The thread so far has produced some strange remarks.

Quote: Sex without foreplay would simply hurt

Sex (and I presume the writer means penetrative sexual intercourse, or PSI) without the woman being adequately moist would certainly hurt. But as is shown by other posts, a woman can get moist without the necessity of foreplay (and by foreplay I mean kissing, cuddling, caressing, and fondling.

Just look at this remark: I don't need 'foreplay' to get wet.

The writer is not alone. There are many women who can get wet without foreplay. Magazines such as Red Book and Cosmopolitan frequently discuss how to get wet and how to get ready for PSI.

Look at this quote:

Even just a simple line like "open your legs", or "I'm going to take you", or even my husband opening my legs and taking me would work immediately for me.

This contributor is not alone in this either. There are many ways in which a woman can get ready for PSI.

But perhaps the question of time is forgotten by the authors of these posts. When I was first married I became moist (wet if you like) while we were going upstairs to bed. Now after twenty years of marriage I am more aware of the difference between going upstairs to go to sleep and going upstairs to have PSI. When I know we are going upstairs for PSI I get moist before I am undressed.
And I have learned that there are many ways of getting moist (or wet). We can watch porn together before the PSI act. We can have a discussion on sex. We can have a fun spanking (though that does not happen very often). I can give a display of my latest purchase of sexy underwear, or we can shower together, or we can simply wander around in each others company without clothes.

There are even times when we can get into bed and we can indulge in kissing, cuddling, caressing, and fondling (the dreaded foreplay), and even that conventional start will get me moist (wet) sufficiently for PSI without the likelihood of unpleasant or uncomfortable friction. Our moods vary. There are times when he is in a hurry to get inside me. It may hurt a little when he first gets inside but the very fact that he gets inside arouses me and I become moist. There are many routes to getting ready for PSI without the necessity for foreplay.

Yes, foreplay can be a chore to some men and it can be considered forework by klutzes like this, but when it is it shows that the partners are not sexually on the same wavelength. It takes two to tango, and if one does the foxtrot while the other is doing the rumba then friction occurs, in every sense of that word. I feel so sad when I hear of the man being bored with foreplay and wanting penetration without understanding how necessary it is for the woman to be ready; he does not understand his woman. But I feel equally sad when a woman can find no other way of becoming ready than by the classic method of foreplay; she does not understand her man or herself.

the sensual dance

I like how you spoke of the sensual dance of lovers being like 2 to tango, foxtrot and rumba friction because it was witty, charming and true to life.

What is foreplay?

How do you know what is foreplay? I'm married and I just wanted to know the definition of foreplay

But I will Not

I would not get wet immediately, much as I might like to, because I am past menopause and I have no control over the fact that I do not lubricate as I used to. So a man deciding to take me whether I was wet or not would be painful and cruel. One size simply doesn't fit all. And he can say anything he wants and it might feel exciting to me, but I still will not be wet. So I prefer to be with a man who finds foreplay and exploring a woman's body to be sexy and fun and not a dull chore.

And I still think it is self centered to call it "forework" when a lot of women need it to have an orgasm. What if we called intercourse "a boring chore" and laid there and counted the cracks in the ceiling? Would men be happy with that?



I am not past menopause but I did have a hysterectomy in 1998. I have no lubrication problem, but it MAY be because I do still have one ovary (they took out the uterus, plus one ovary/tube.)

Yes, It is the Ovary

You're still producing estrogen because of that remaining ovary. I had my ovaries both removed and that totally stopped estrogen production. Hence the dryness. I cannot use HRT because I am a breast cancer survivor. Without artifical lubricants and foreplay, sex is not a lot of fun.

So I don't care to hear from men that it is a boring chore. If I heard that from my husband, it would become a boring chore to please him also.



I have noticed a very curious thing. I never cared much for foreplay until a few days ago when my husband and I fully switched from D/s to a Taken In Hand relationship. For example, my husband has always been greatly turned on by kissing. I could take it or leave it.

Now, it seems I LOVE kissing, I LOVE the extended foreplay we now have before sex. I am confused as to WHY I didn't care for it before, but now I love it.


This is my first post. I've been lurking for a while but I just had to respond to this.

As I was reading this all I could think was "Wow, I'm a lucky girl". Thankfully, my husband doesn't consider what most people refer to as "foreplay" a chore at all. In fact he doesn't even see it as "foreplay" but as simply another part of "having sex". Having sex for us consists of much more than just actual intercourse. As a general rule(unless it's a quickie) sex for us consists of manually and orally stimulating each other off and on for a while before we have intercourse. I usually have 3 or 4 orgasms before penetration ever takes place. It doesn't just end there either. I usually have at least one more, and often more than that, orgasm AFTER intercourse. Then I get to fall asleep held tightly in his arms, as he strokes my hair.

Yep, I consider myself very lucky that my husband doesn't view it as chore to completely and totally satisfy me sexually but in fact isn't happy until he feels he totally rocked my world. (And this after 10 years of marriage) Yep, I'm a happy girl, indeed. :)

Re: Foreplay

Meadow Angel, you`re not the only lucky girl. The way you explained the sexual part of your marriage is the way it is with my husband and me too and I`ve been with him for 23 years.


My husband, like yours, has never seemed to regard it as a chore either, I've always had the impression that he enjoys doing things to me, and having things done to him, other than just straightforward penetration. And he's always seemed to enjoy giving me orgasms. I don't have as many as you, one is usually all I can manage, but I find that quite satisfying. We don't usually go to sleep right afterwards, he generally wants to go and make a cup of tea and sometimes something to eat (he does wonderful cheese on toast), then we read for a while. We don't go to sleep holding each other, because both of us are very restless sleepers and like our own space.

Like you though, I feel I am fortunate that my husband doesn't regard it as a chore to satisfy me sexually, but as a pleasure.

as the husband

I love to interact with my wife during foreplay. I am actually ok if all we get to do is have foreplay every once in awhile. Reading Meadowangels post was like she was looking into our bedroom window. Then main reason for foreplay as I see it is to prolong the act of making love. You cna always have sex, a quicky, or you can make love.

The Required Foreplay Procedure

I can relate to this...I was married nearly 20 years to a man who was rarely interested in sex, and when he was, nearly always followed an extraordinarily predictable Required Foreplay Procedure. I knew he would spend 30 seconds on step 1, then 45 seconds on step 2, etc. After a while it was so predictable it was actually a turnoff. He had no desire to respond to the moment, or the mood we were in, but just to follow the Procedure.

I will soon be remarried and the situation is very different. At times, just a look or a brush against each other is all we need to jump right to intercourse...we feel an urgent need and take it. Other times, we may spend half an hour just touching and kissing. Or talking and looking out at the water, sipping champagne. Or having a wrestling match. Or washing each other in the shower. "Foreplay" takes on many forms...and each of us reach a point very naturally that we desire to become one (or a desire to wear each other out!)

Foreplay is about creating the right emotional climate for true intimacy...when you do that, arousal typically follows for both. Otherwise, you get the Required Foreplay Procedure...which is extremely boring. Even if it meets all textbook requirements.


What a wonderful array of thoughts and comments on foreplay. For myself I have always thought of foreplay as beginning often before we even see each other. Maybe a phone call arranging to get together for a drink knowing there is a good chance for more.

And there can be no better beginning to foreplay then cooking an intimate meal together. Just two people together in privacy, totally devoted to one objective. If we both know where this is expected to lead, everything involved can be viewed, experienced and interwoven as Foreplay.

But I would like to add something else if I may. Or two.

First, after two people are together for a long time, you can't help but to fall into a bit of a rut. And thus it becomes a challenge to be creative and original. It will take two to make it work. Communication and some adventurousness. And second, as an older man, who loves performing whatever is seen as Foreplay, I have become so engrossed in what I am doing, enjoying and wishing to make my woman feel the best I can, that I loose my physical arousal. Becoming if you will, single-minded, concentrating on her pleasure totally, and thus unable to climax myself.

A real balancing act between "giving" the most pleasure I can, and in so giving, getting much emotional pleasure, and "getting" my physical satisfaction. Probably not unlike the plight of many women throughout history. But when this does happens, I'm not too concerned, because I know in the long run I will come out on top.


Foreplay outside the bedroom

I enjoy 'foreplay' immensely. My husband has learned however that to me, this isn't something confined to the bedroom. For example, recently while having dinner guests, he made a point of stroking the side of my face while we (a few couples) were sitting around talking, he gently stood behind me while I was sitting on an ottoman and stroked my hair & pressed his body against me so I could feel that he wanted me, and as he walked around the room helping me before everyone arrived, he made sure to slightly brush up against me in all the right spots, etc. Then later, when we did get to the bedroom, I was more than ready for him—because of the little things he had done all evening. So for me, this "foreplay" is wonderful.

Now all this being said, there are times when we don't have any foreplay at all, times when he says he just 'needs' me & I find that hot—so foreplay is not usually needed. Let me just say, though, that at any time I can tell him that I am really 'not in the mood' he takes that into account because he loves me and considers my welfare before his—even when he 'needs' me. For this trait (amongst others) I really love him.