Why ‘Outercourse’ Is Just As Important As Penetrative Sex

When we talk about sex, often we’re really referring to intercourse. But there’s so much more to a satisfying sex life than just penetration. And when we broaden our definition of sex to be more inclusive, there’s a whole world of pleasure to be gained.

That’s where “outercourse” comes in.

“Outercourse is really an umbrella term for a wide variety of sexual activities that don’t involve any type of penetration,” clinical sexologist and sexuality educator Lawrence Siegel told HuffPost.

It’s “a way of increasing sexual passion and eroticism,” he continued. “Any rubbing, touching, kissing or caressing that doesn’t involve any part of one body entering any part of another. It can also involve mutual masturbation, scissoring and dry humping.” (That being said, what constitutes outercourse may vary person to person. For instance, some people believe fingering and oral sex are examples of outercourse, while others do not.)

What many people call foreplay would be considered outercourse. But when we refer to all of these sexual acts as just foreplay, it reinforces the idea that penetration is the main event. In reality, these pleasurable activities can be a satisfying sexual experience on their own, even when they don’t lead to intercourse, Siegel said.

Cavan Images via Getty Images

Exploring outercourse is one way to up-level your sex life.

According to sex educator and podcast host Chris Maxwell Rose, “Outercourse can include any way we touch, lick, stroke, stimulate and turn-on the biggest organ in our bodies: the skin,” she said. “So many of us experience touch hunger — and the remedy is full-body, affectionate touch.”

Erotic massage is another example of outercourse that can “provide deeply satisfying, highly erotic experiences with touch alone,” said Maxwell Rose, who is also the founder of PleasureMechanics.com.

Outercourse can even include cuddling and spooning, which “foster closeness and a sense of security,” said sex therapist and clinical psychologist Nazanin Moali. It can also include talking openly about your sexual fantasies, “which allows partners to connect on a deeply personal level,” Moali, host of the “Sexology” podcast, told HuffPost.

The Benefits Of Outercourse

Once you get to a certain age or reach a certain stage in your relationship, having sex often means a bit of rushed foreplay as an appetizer before moving on to the intercourse entree. Outercourse can break up dull or repetitive patterns you may have fallen into in the bedroom, opening up new or forgotten pathways to sexual pleasure.

“Many of us remember the very beginnings of our sexual discoveries, even the very beginning of our relationships that started with making out and getting ‘felt up’ or ‘feeling up,’ and how exciting that was,” Siegel said. “Outercourse can really be what helps build a level of passion that creates powerful orgasms.”

Outercourse also pushes you to be more sexually creative and connect with your partners in more intentional ways, “helping people explore sexual pleasure and stimulation beyond the genitals,” said sexologist and sex educator Goody Howard.

Outercourse can help you discover different erogenous zones beyond the genitals.
Outercourse can help you discover different erogenous zones beyond the genitals.

Embracing outercourse can also be great for folks who have arousal issues, Moali said — some of whom might avoid sex entirely because of these problems. Same goes for people with certain health conditions or physical limitations that take penetrative sex off the table.

“Within many heterosexual relationships, sexual encounters often commence with an erection and culminate in ejaculation,” she said. “Consequently, erection difficulties can result in a complete withdrawal from sexual activities.”

Additionally, outercourse is a safer — but not entirely safe — alternative to penetrative vaginal, anal and oral sex in terms of both risk of pregnancy and STIs.

How To Add More Outercourse To Your Sex Life

Massage is another example of outercourse that can be satisfying and erotic on its own, said Maxwell Rose.

Kathrin Ziegler via Getty Images

Massage is another example of outercourse that can be satisfying and erotic on its own, said Maxwell Rose.

First, take some time to reflect on one of your best sexual experiences. Think about what you felt before, during and after. This will help you tap into what Moali calls your “core erotic emotions.”

“For many, consistent themes make sex memorable and exciting. For some, this could be the thrill of being desired, for others, a sense of shame, and for others still, it’s about power exchange,” she explained.

“Identifying your core desire is akin to discovering the genre of the novel you’re writing. As an author, you can enrich this experience by incorporating elements that heighten the specific emotions you wish to explore.”

This exercise will help you zero in on the sexual narratives and types of outercourse that might be most fulfilling to you.

Exploring outercourse can also be an opportunity to start a dialogue with your partner (or partners) about your fantasies, what you enjoy in bed, and any personal boundaries around things you’re not comfortable with, too, Siegel said.

“Talking about experiencing and understanding different types of touch can contribute greatly to experiencing better intercourse,” he said.

Treat this exploration as a way to expand your sexual horizons, Siegel said. Slow things down so you can focus on intimate acts like kissing, cuddling and touching each other’s bodies in different and intentional ways.

“Use massage and genital rubbing through the clothes; try slipping up from behind while they’re brushing their teeth or doing dishes, or other ‘safe’ times when they don’t expect it,” he said.

“Incorporate mutual masturbation into your sex play, both with and without sex toys. Even simulated intercourse, like sliding a penis between a partner’s thighs, breasts or butt. This can be a wonderful entree into experimenting with more ways to pleasure yourselves and each other.”

Try to get out of your head and put aside preconceived notions about what sex “should” be so you can discover what feels fun and pleasurable for you and your partner.

“It might be awkward at first to remain clothed when connecting to sexual pleasure, especially if you’re used to being naked and ‘going all the way,’” Howard said. “But don’t be afraid to try something new. My suggestion is to start fully clothed and remove clothing as desired, but not removing any bras or underwear.”

Outercourse can be utilized in a number of different ways for a number of different reasons tailored to your needs and desires as an individual or couple.

Outercourse can be used as a tease, taunting your lover with an everything-but approach that plays with the charge of withholding penetration,” Maxwell Rose said. “Or it can be a strategy, a way of finding deeply satisfying sexual connection when penetration is off the menu. One of our most popular podcast episodes is about playing without penetration because so many people are looking to find new ways to satisfy one another beyond traditional intercourse.”



Article Source : huffpost.com

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