Guest written by Missy Modell, a musical parody artist and activist focused on the intersection of social justice and pop culture. Missy is the founder of YES MAM Creative, a consultancy for mission-based brands. You can find Missy on Instagram at @missymodell.

Foreplay- at its core, means play before sex (whatever that means to you!). But also, if you break down the word, it’s “for play.” A time to explore, discover, and empower the experience! Whether it’s emotional intimacy, physical intimacy, or a combination of the two, this is a time of tension to set the tone for the pleasure ahead.

Reminder: foreplay doesn’t have to include any sexual activity at all. 

There are a variety of techniques to help build up heat, but foreplay helps get you and your partner(s) in a place where you are both comfortable and enjoying each other to reach those peaks of pleasure. The best part? There is no one size fits all and foreplay looks different for everyone. All you need is consent and boundaries prior to play and the rest, you get to decide how to define. 

“Foreplay creates time for desire to build, which increases pleasure for when you do start sexing.” - Cosmopolitan


  1. The Benefits of Foreplay
  2. 10 Fun Styles of Foreplay to Try
  3. Why is Foreplay Important?
  4. The Best Pleasure Products for Foreplay

The Benefits of Foreplay 

The main component of foreplay is arousal. Foreplay helps build your arousal and gets you in the mindset of enjoying physical pleasure. How? Your body preps for receiving or giving, your blood flow increases, resulting in the mind and body feeling more connected and present. Along with this increased blood flow, the genitals can cause the clitoris and labia to swell, producing lubrication, and the penis can form an erection. The senses are heightened and ready for pleasure. 

Emotionally, increasing the anticipation before actual sex can also enhance pleasure and can even lead to intense climax! Remember, it doesn’t have to be simply the precursor to the main event. Enjoy, take it slow, and enjoy the process! Treat foreplay with openness and attention; it’s not something to get through but rather a time to connect and enjoy while staying present. 

"Kissing, triggers a release of oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. This chemical cocktail lowers cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and increases feelings of affection, bonding, and euphoria." - Healthline

10 Types of Foreplay To Explore 

  • Kissing
  • Touching / Licking / Nibbling Erogenous Zones
  • Caressing
  • Finger Play
  • Dirty Talk
  • Role Playing
  • Sexting
  • Mutual Masturbation
  • Dry Humping
  • Massage

"Research that surveyed people ages 16 to 64 found that the more diverse sexual practices people include in their romps– like vaginal intercourse, kissing, cuddling, oral sex, and manual stimulation– the longer they lasted. This was especially true when oral sex and self-stimulation were involved." - Men’s Journal

Why Foreplay Is Important

Foreplay doesn’t simply serve a physical component, but also an emotional one. Statistically speaking, vagina havers need more time to reach peak arousal, so foreplay can be a way to lead to:

  • Less Pain During Penetration
  • More Connection and Presence in the Moment
  • Intimacy Inside AND Outside the Bedroom
  • More Lubrication for Vagina-Havers & Stronger Erections for Penis-Havers
  • PLUS: It doesn’t actually have to lead to sex. It can be the main event!

Products to Include In Your Next Foreplay Session

We-Vibe Moxie Bluetooth Panty Vibrator, $129.00

Wear your pleasure anywhere with the We-Vibe Moxie. This beautifully designed panty vibe offers discreet vibrations for the ultimate hands-free play! The Moxie fits perfectly in the lining of your panties with a magnetic clip that holds it in place, no matter what activities are in store! The deep, rumbly vibes can be controlled with a remote or the We-Connect app. Hand control over to your partner and they can enjoy cycling through the ten vibration settings to find what will take you to nirvana!

Duel Chain Nipple Clamps, $19.50

Double the chains, double the fun. This two tiered clamp set from CalExotics is the perfect multiuse clamp for adventurous foreplay. Made from a tarnish-free iron, this clamp set is durable enough to last you a lifetime. Phthalate-free PVC tips add additional comfort and cushion to these clamps, with adjustable screws that allow you to customize pressure with each use.

Slow Sex Mouth Watering Spray, $18.50

Indulge in the ultimate oral sex experience with Slow Sex Mouthwatering Spray. This sleek and portable throat spray uses malic acid to improve natural saliva production for an ultra-lubricated oral sex experience. Apply three pumps of this citrus flavored spray to your tongue to activate this product. Add additional sprays to heighten your experience and enhance your partners natural flavors.

Sportsheets La Cire Fetish Drip Candle, $24.50

The Sportsheets La Cire Torso Candle is an elegant, soy-based drip candle designed for erotic foreplay. The Form IV Torso is a candle crafted from a beautiful citrus-toned wax. Use this fetish-inspired accessory to add complexity and dimension to your sexual encounters. This sensually-shaped candle is the perfect statement piece to tie together your erotic sanctuary! 

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Further Readings:

38 Things You Didn't Know About Foreplay: Healthline
Sexpert Approved Foreplay Advice: She Knows
These Foreplay Ideas Will Make Sex Even Better: Refinery29