Even if you don’t have time to fit in an a.m. orgasm between your first supercharged cup of coffee and that morning workout, there’s something you can do when you wake up that can improve your healthy sex life, says relationship coach and Well+Good Council member Lila Darville. Here, she explains why fitting foreplay into your morning routine is a *really* good idea.
Too often, people think about foreplay as the prep that comes immediately before sex (kissing, touching, a little Ginuwine if you’re into that). But by this definition, the word “foreplay” limits what we can be experiencing sexually. It gives people the narrow idea that they should start getting turned on only when they enter the bedroom, or in the minutes right before intercourse.
There really isn’t a beginning or end to foreplay.
In fact, foreplay is the arousal of sexual energy, and it doesn’t have to be relegated to the moments before sex play with your partner. It can start as soon as you wake up in the morning and last all day long, whether between two people or on your own. There really isn’t a beginning or end to foreplay.
I like to think of my sexual energy like a simmering pot; I want it to always be simmering. I don’t want to have to go from cold to hot right before sex. If we restrict foreplay to those moments before we go to bed or the moments before we have sex, then it makes getting aroused so much more difficult. Instead, I get this sexual energy moving as soon as I wake up in the morning.
It can be as simple as hugging your partner from behind. Think outside the bedroom: You can touch each other in the shower or whisper (or text) that you can’t wait for later. (Reject the idea that if you arouse your partner, then it’s somehow your duty to provide some kind of completion. Every sexual interaction doesn’t have to end with an orgasm—he or she can always masturbate.)
Sometimes, I like to put my hand on my vulva. It turns me on a little, and I feel more alive and vibrant. Or, I slightly pulse my pelvic wall throughout the day; it charges me and gives me more energy, which I then pour into my creative endeavors, or into interacting with my partner. Why limit sexual energy to sex? Why not play with it any time?
Why limit sexual energy to sex? Why not play with it any time?
The traditional idea of foreplay also suggests there’s a main event—when, in fact, we all know that sometimes our most amazing sexual moments have come in deep connection with our partners, and not necessarily while naked. We tend to equate sexual satisfaction with climax, like a little trophy that we pass back and forth to each other, but that, too, limits our experience. Then all we’re doing when we’re having sex is pressuring ourselves to get to that point.
We all know as women what it’s like when someone’s just trying to make you come instead of really connecting with you—seeing you, feeling you. Foreplay isn’t just about arousing sexual energy, it’s also about connection and sparking the energy dance between you. It shouldn’t feel like checking boxes off a to-do list, but a choose-your-own adventure every time.
Originally published September 27, 2017. Updated September 28, 2018.
An expert on sex and intimacy, Lila Darville is a professional relationship coach who brings her body-positive, real-talk approach to stadiums full of women as the pleasure director of a show in Las Vegas called Magic Mike Live.
What should Lila write about next? Send your questions and suggestions to email@example.com.
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