guys tend to want to skip over foreplay to
get straight to sex. If, for instance, you're
a guy and you try to go straight to intercourse,
first of all you're going to have physical
problems. The vagina has erectile tissue (like
the penis) which needs to fill with blood
to accommodate penetration. Otherwise penetration
will be difficult and uncomfortable. Without
foreplay her vagina won't have secreted any
natural lubricant either, making penetration
difficult, painful and possibly causing small
tears in the vaginal tissue. - Not good. On
top of all this is the emotional readiness.
If you try go straight from watching football
to intercourse, you'll probably fail. Women
like a lot of talking, mood setting and tenderness
before sex. This gets her mind (the most important
sexual organ, its often said) ready as well
as her body.
Why is it so important?
Because women take longer to achieve orgasm
than men. A man's sexual responses are like
a lightbulb: you turn it on, and it goes from
cold to hot almost instantly, When you turn
it off, it cools right away. But a woman's
responses are more like an iron: you turn
it on, wait for it to heat up, then wait ages
for it to cool. Technically speaking, there's
some evidence to suggest that women's sexual
responses in themselves aren't any slower
than men's - it's just that women need more
foreplay because it's harder for them to orgasm
through intercourse alone.
Is it my fault may partner takes so
long to become aroused?
Women generally do take longer to become aroused,
but here's a sobering thought: women can climax
in minutes when they masturbate.
Is it just women who need foreplay?
No. Not only is foreplay important for establishing
intimacy and understanding, it's essential
for good, strong erections.
Many men also find that prolonged foreplay
enhances their orgasm. And the older a man
gets, the more important foreplay becomes
to his sexual performance. Men need a lot
more direct genital stimulation as they get
older to achieve the kind of erections they
did in their youth.
How long should it last?
Only you and your partner can tell. It could
be ten minutes, it could be two hours. But
in one sex study 709 nurses said that, on
average, they liked about 17 minutes of foreplay.
That may seem a long time, but the rewards
are rich. And who are we to doubt the word
How do I know if it's working?
Just in case you don't recognise the signals
by now (or you're 15 and have eluded our censor
controls), here are the unmistakable signs
that your foreplay is succeeding... look for
The trick is knowing how to use them to cultivate
the skills of a great lover. Begin your quest
by reading our guide to men's foreplay - then
get her to read our pages dedicated to women's