Dana (@danathehardway) is the lead copywriter for Lovers. She is passionate about writing, allyship, sex-positivity, and telling good jokes.

We can be aroused by the smallest things.

What’s the most aroused you’ve ever been? The tippy top of your erotic experiences? A time when you thought you might literally explode if you didn’t work out all that pent up sexual energy? What brought you to that point? Better yet, how did it start? It’s so easy to think of foreplay as just the obvious early phases of sex- kissing, touching, erogenous zones, oral play- but it can be so much more than that.

We can be aroused by the smallest things, many of them not even physical. If you love the idea of getting outside the box and ramping up your foreplay game (and the pleasure that comes with it), check out the list below.

  1. Deprivation
    Opposites attract, right? This style of sensory play is easy to execute and can have surprising effects. All that’s needed is to deprive your partner of one of their senses while you tease them. 

    For example, blindfold your partner and then proceed to touch, taste, tease without telling them what you’re going to do next. The anticipation of what could happen next is a great way to build excitement and arousal. (NOTE: This style of foreplay requires a high level of trust, so be sure to communicate with your partner about boundaries and comfort before beginning.)

  2. Ask Permission 
    Taking a note from the
    BDSM playbook, creating a scene where one partner has to ask (or beg if that turns you on) to touch or be touched, can take the sexual tension to a whole new level. Another way to play is to require silence from the partner being teased, meaning they cannot sigh, moan, scream, or make any other kind of noise unless explicitly told they can do so. A ball gag is a fun accessory to bring this fantasy to life.

  3. Scalp Massage
    While we all know the joke about what a back massage inevitably leads to, this style is all about avoiding that obvious kind of touch. Our scalps have tons of nerve endings, which is why it feels so good to have your hair stylist wash your hair. Scalp massage is equal parts relaxing and stimulating, which is an ideal way to start sexy time. Learn how to give a great scalp massage here.

  4. Tantric Breathing
    A meditative practice, “tantra” means “to weave energy” in Sanskrit, and uses deep belly breathing techniques to draw out and intensify pleasure. As a simple way to start, sit facing your partner and synchronize your breathing. Once you are “breathing as one,” begin VERY slowly to incorporate caressing, kissing, and other play. Remember to check in with your breathing often as this is the key to keeping the energy steady. The goal is to build the intensity slowly and delay gratification so the end result is more powerful than the average orgasm

  5. Mutual Masturbation
    This one is simple: You touch yourself, your partner does the same. Voyeurism in close proximity at it’s finest. This is a fantastic way to teach one another about how to each like to be touched as well. If you enjoy using sex toys, this can be a chance to incorporate them. 

  6. Sensual Body Mapping
    Part exploration, part art, part teasing, all fun. One partner touches different areas of the other partner’s body with different pressure or sensations. The partner being touched then uses numbers (scale of 1-10) or colors (green, yellow, red) to express how much they enjoy that particular area being stimulated or that kind of stimulation. You can draw a map of your body on a piece of paper and fill in the number or colors for reference later. This doesn’t have to be a one time thing either - doing this multiple times can help you to recognize what your body wants at different times (morning vs evening, different times in your cycle, etc.). 

  7. Smoke A Joint 
    Or eat an edible. Some studies have shown that marijuana eases muscle tension, can increase your sex drive, and help you to have more orgasms. Learn more about the pleasure enhancing qualities of weed in our blog,
     Can Weed Give You A Stronger Orgasm?

  8. Play An Erotic Game
    Games, especially erotic or sexy games, can take the pressure out of trying to come up with ways to connect or get turned on. They’re great for playful competition, elevating communication, and learning new skills. Find our assortment of sexy games here.

  9. Dancing
    This one may be a bit obvious but dance is a great way to get into your body and be both present and free of inhibitions all at once. Turn on your favorite music, let loose, and see where it leads.

  10. Assisted Stretching
    This last one might come as a surprise, but if you’ve ever watched a movie about high schoolers or cheerleaders or high school cheerleaders, it shouldn’t. It can be very erotic to touch someone while they release tension. Just be sure to check in often about pressure to avoid injuries.

Want more great sex tips?
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Further Readings:

How to Practice Tantric Sex: Healthline
38 Things to Know About Sex & Foreplay: Healthline
15 Body Parts You Should Never Ignore During Foreplay: Cosmopolitan