"What’s past is prologue."
Foreplay: Act One, Scene One
Here’s a scene that everyone can see themselves in, at least once – from either side of the nipple/penis-tweak…
Person A and Person B have agreed, through verbal contract, to enter into the act of sexual congress. The very act of acquiescence is enough to get Person A all hot and bothered. This is evidenced by the noticeable pup-tent currently erecting itself in Person A’s trousers. Person B is piqued, but not exactly ready to run with the ball yet. Person B thinks of putting on some music, maybe light a candle…
Person A on the other hand leaps atop Person B; lays down a few haphazardly wet dog-kisses in between spasmodic dry-humps. Person B is not amused. Person A, through sheer will and determination, succeeds in wriggling Person B’s clothes off. Person B, now naked, begins making mental tallies of bills yet to be paid, weekend dinner plans, etc.
Person A, on the other hand is now pants-less, though has conveniently forgotten to remove socks and shirt. Person B feels as though s/he is trapped beneath a rabid bear.
A few absentminded bodily tweaks later, and the duration of foreplay has reached an unsatisfying conclusion. Person A is already hip-deep into the fornicative act; Person B is bored, not terribly aroused, and probably a little annoyed. Furthermore, Person B has determined that Person A has exactly two minutes to finish his/her untoward business, as Person B has more important things to do than have ungratifying sex.
The Fictive Dream
Most of us can say that at one point or another, we’ve all been Person A and Person B. If we go by-the-numbers according to such scientific standard-bearers as Cosmo, we’d safely assume that Person A is always a man, and Person B is the very essence of femininity. So let’s play it unsafe and assume that everyone has played both roles of this little psychosexual dramatis personæ.
So what’s the rush? It’s easy to pin this one on the Liberal Media Elite, for decades of sex scenes that feature nothing more than a kiss, a grope, and a quick fuck, usually whilst propped up against a wall (which in and of itself is pretty unsanitary), through which both parties enjoy a simultaneous nut-off after 16 seconds of coitus proper.
It ain’t like that. And those camera angles are a bitch to get right.
Foreplay is like the fictive dream – in fact, it’s kind of old-school, when you think about it – it’s more about the written word than it is about the movie version. You don’t need CGIed special effects; you don’t need constant script re-writes; and you certainly don’t need to be surfing the web for spoilers. This is a story that has to be begun from the beginning. Trust me – you’ll appreciate the climax a lot more if it comes as a surprise.
But seriously – what’s the rush? You don’t consume your meals in a single face-plant, do you? You don’t skip to the end of your favorite mp3s, do you? When you tell a joke, you don’t eliminate the set-up and go straight for the punchline, do you?
So why should sex be any different?
The best way to go about foreplay is to not think of it as foreplay at all. Rather, think of it as the first act (and maybe second, too) of a play – you know, like Much Ado About Nothing. So let me get all sexy English teacher on you and bust out some narrative diagramming. The double-wedding at the end of the play carries no emotional impact without the events that preceded it. The unmasking of Hero is irrelevant unless you know what’s transpired beforehand.
So think of foreplay as a way to get your literati on. You’re telling a story here, bit(e) by bit(e) – make it a good one; the kind of story that bears multiple re-tellings and interpretations. Kind of like a David Lynch movie, sans all the extraneous weird shit that makes no thematic sense.
Foreplay: Final Act of the Endless - Dress Rehearsals
It is often said that men are predominantly kinesthetic learners – that we have to play with something for awhile before we really get the hang of it – like a carburetor, a potato, an anus, or a vagina. Not to mention our own genitals, of which many of us know only the following: tugging on it sure feels good.
It is also postulated that women are primarily auditory learners – tell them how to crack a safe, and they’ll go on and crack it. This serves them well in the bedroom, as all they need to hear is “I like this!”, and they’ll remember that.
But we’re falling back into the Person A/Person B trap. If we’re to assume anything about foreplay, it’s that just about everybody likes it. So try these pointers on for size – and may I suggest doing so both kinesthetically AND aurally. Because nothing’s more fun than getting your hands AND mind dirty.
1. Kiss Army:
Nothing says “I want to enter into mind-blowingly, morally questionable sexual congress with you” like kissing. On the mouth. For more than 7 seconds. You can do it before you’re naked. You can do it during the undressing stage. You can do it naked. Preferably, all of the above.
2. Talk a little of that old dirty talk:
But think about it a little first. Because nothing is un-sexier than saying the most wrong thing in the history of EVAR. Like, “wenchly maiden, I am going to plunder your thickets with my mighty man-shaft in such a way as to render you into a state of permanent fuck.” Well, unless you’re both SCA enthusiasts, in which case Middle Earth-speak might come in handy.
Also, it should be noted that, even in the heat of the moment, many women do not enjoy being called sluts, wenches, whores, trollops, or even slutpuppies. Conversely, many men do not enjoy being called patriarchal pee-factories, meatheads, or little-dicked mama’s boys. The trick here is to find a balance between spontaneity, honesty, and hotness. Try this one on for size: “Baby, I’m a-gonna fuck you like you’re a tax-paying constituent, and I’m a Big Oil lobbyist.”
4. Play with Your Toys:
Foreplay is a perfect opportunity to introduce sex toys into the overall story arc – a vibrator here, a butt-plug there – maybe a blindfold and a set of body oils. It’s hard to get bored when your partner is moaning. Especially when you’re in the driver’s seat with a nice G-spot or prostate stimulator.
5. Let Your Fingers Do the Walking:
Explore your partner’s body with your hands. Linger, loiter, and commingle in certain areas – just to the brink of bliss – but not quite. The more pleasure centers you activate, the more engaged your partner will be. And by the way: teasing is not a bad thing, as long as there’s the promise of eventual gratification.
6. Lip Service:
Oral sex doesn’t have to be limited solely to cunnilingus or fellatio. The human body is a literal minefield of erotogenics (erogenous zones, y’all). And nearly all of them respond quite gleefully to the sensation of a kiss. Or a lick. Or a nibble. And maybe even a good chomp. (But ask first before gnawing on your partner.)
Foreplay is a really good time to start paying attention to your partner. Yes, so you let your mind wander off to Vermont while s/he delivered a long monologue on the hazards of inter-office politics. But when it’s nakie time, you should really tune in. Watch his or her body; body language speaks volumes when it comes to pleasure. If your partner lays there limply, as if s/he might fall asleep, it might be time to try something else. Listen for auditory signals – a moan, a groan, a purr, an uptick in breathing – this is the universal code for “I like that; please continue”. If you hear snoring on the other hand, you may want to reassess your strategy. But don’t limit the scope of your awareness solely to involuntary reactions: ask questions. Pretend your partner is part of a focus group, and you an erstwhile pollster. Ask for detailed feedback on various activities: does this feel good; how about this; what if I do that – oh, sorry! And so on.
8. A Night at the Improv:
What worked for a past partner may not work for your current partner. So be prepared to improvise. Remember, sex in all its incarnations and solicitations works best when not done by rote.
Those are just a few ideas to spice things up. The point is to have fun – be creative, be spontaneous – think outside the box when it comes to sex. And then, when you’re done, put your toys back in the box.