Sex Advice

I’m a Sexologist, and I Love These 4 PG-Rated Outercourse Ideas for Boosting Intimacy

Rachel Wright

Photo: Getty Images/Westend61
Picture this: You’re in high school, you have a huge crush, and the stars finally align for you: You find out that they like you back. You start spending time together, and as your relationship progresses, it’s hard to keep your hands off each other. Every bit of touch feels electrifying—even touching that's ostensibly innocent in nature. Your hands brush, maybe you even hold hands, you hug goodbye. It all fills you with excitement. That same excitement grows with your physically intimate relationship—and experiencing the electricity certainly doesn't require having penetrative intercourse. Rather, it's requires you to rely on decidedly more PG-rated outercourse ideas to ramp up anticipation.

If this type of vignette is no longer your reality (and for many sexually active adults, making out for hours on the couch likely won't be), that might be worth reconsidering. There’s a sense of intentionality and tenderness to a great many outercourse sex acts that can help create a sense of buildup and prolonged desire.

There’s a sense of intentionality and tenderness to a great many outercourse sex acts that can help create a sense of buildup and prolonged desire.

I define sex as a meaningful act of pleasure. Notice that the definition crucially does not include language about penetration, body parts, orgasms, or anything else besides pleasure. With this in mind, I challenge you to approach intimacy as if you were a teenager: Slow down, take your time, and encourage an intimate form of touch and connection. Doing so can be an amazing way to deepen an intimate relationship with an existing partner or develop one with a new person. To get more specific tips, keep reading for my breakdown of the most intimate PG-rated outercourse sex acts that contribute to intimate bonds and meaningful pleasure.

4 PG-rated outercourse sex ideas that build serious levels of intimacy

1. Making out

Making out (or kissing), is too often overshadowed by other acts rather than enjoyed in its own right. But, I contend that just making out is also highly intimate. Putting your face so close to another human’s and exploring each others mouths with your tongues absolutely an intimate act.

2. Heavy Petting

Some of the most magical components of PG-rated outercourse acts are how much sexual tension they build, how much curiosity they create, and how much fun they are. Feeling someone’s body over their clothes can have the sexy and mysterious effect of prolonging tension and creating intimacy—often to a super-hot effect.

So, even if you’ve been in a partnership with someone for a long time, if you want to spice things up, consider taking things slowly. And if you’re just getting to know someone new, proceeding with this sense of curiosity can be a sexy, fun way to build tension.

3. Sexting

For some, sexting may sound intimidating because of the related presumption that it requires being good at dirty talk. Well, anyone (and I mean anyone) can be good at sexting. Imagine being at work or the grocery store and getting a text from your partner that says, “I want you.” It can be that simple. Some other ideas? “I can’t wait to take your clothes off” or “I’ve been thinking about your body all day” are both simple statements that communicate desire. Sometimes in long-term relationships, it’s nice to be reminded that your partner desires you, and sexting is a perfect way to accomplish that.

4. Giving or receiving hickies

Hickies can seem silly (or perhaps even decidedly undesirable), but for some, they also can be an enjoyable, affectionate way to connect. Sometimes the fun, silly acts we do with someone can be just as effective as other sex acts for bonding and building intimacy. Consensually giving and receiving these "love bites" can be explorative way to practice vulnerability with a partner, which is also connected with authentic intimacy.

3 solo ways to build intimacy with yourself

1. Self-exploration

Vulva-owners: Have you ever really, really taken a mirror to your bits and gotten to know what your body looks like down there? Isn’t it interesting how we typically want others to be intimate with our bodies, but many of us aren’t even intimately acquainted with our own? And, I’m not talking about just masturbating—I’m talking about really knowing your body, including how it looks and how it works. When we are less of a mystery to ourselves, we are able to create more intimacy with our partners and grant ourselves space for grace and kindness.

2. Read erotica

Reading written erotica or listening to audio erotica can be a fantastic way to let your imagination help you build intimacy with yourself. As children, we allowed ourselves the freedom to explore, imagine, and have fun with ourselves—and into adulthood, we should work to preserve that. Giving yourself freedom to explore and use your imagination again, especially in the bedroom, can be both healing and create a ton of intimacy.

3. Take sexy photos of yourself

Taking sexy pictures of your body is one of my favorite suggestions for building a connection with your body and boosting a sense of intimacy. Taking spicy pictures for no one but yourself allows you the space to feel good, free, and curious about your body. Find poses you like, clothes (or lack thereof) that make you feel confident, and discover new things about your body. Seeing our body semi-nude or nude in this way can feel so empowering, leading to increased vulnerability with the self.

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