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Spicing Up Your Sex Life: Intercourse vs. Outercourse

2020 Apr 23

Of the many ways to spice up your sex life, outercourse or ‘non-penetrative sex’ is considered an important and much-needed component that leads to better sex and a healthier relationship between sexual partners. Founder of “Choose to Thrive,” Anissa Sameer and Sexual Health Consultant attached to the Ministry of Health, Dr. Prageeth Premadasa explored the topic on “outercourse” and other matters relating to maintaining a healthy sex life. Here’s what they had to say.

What is ‘outercourse’?

Outercourse is, in other words, non-penetrative sex. While many are familiar with the term sexual “intercourse,” outercourse too, can bring a host of benefits and can greatly enhance one’s sexual experience in the long run. Outercourse can take many forms, from mutual masturbation, kissing, cuddling and massaging to intercrural sex (i.e. where genital organs are placed in between the partner’s thighs).

How can outercourse benefit my sex life?

“Outercourse is a great form of foreplay and after play (discussed later in the article) and is part and parcel of a good sexual experience,” says Dr. Prageeth. “People use outercourse as a way of getting arousal and desire in order to set the stage for eventual penetration.”

Outercourse for women

Having an orgasm and enjoying sex is generally easier for males. “When it comes to women, the process of experiencing pleasure and reaching an orgasm is slightly more complex. Therefore, non-penetrative sex is a great way to make sure that women are able to enjoy sex as much as their male partner, according to Dr. Prageeth. “Foreplay that includes a little bit of kissing, cuddling and talking is really important for arousal and sexual desire,” he added.

Outercourse and sex toys

Sex toys are great for spicing up your sex life and is a novel way of adding some variation to the routine. A quick search on the web will provide you with a host of information on the types of sex toys available and how you can purchase them. However, Dr. Prageeth cautions against sharing them with others as it can transmit STDs and recommends covering it with a protective and hygienic barrier such as a condom if sex toys are used for penetration.

Outercourse for same-sex relationships

Both heterosexual and homosexual couples can benefit from outercourse. Male homosexual couples can particularly benefit from such activities as an alternative to anal penetration. Those who watch porn frequently may carry the idea that homosexuals have limited options when it comes to spicing up their sex life. On the contrary, outercourse provides a range of new and exciting ways to explore your sexuality without oral or anal penetration.

Tips for better foreplay

Foreplay has often been described as the perfect appetizer before the main course! The following outercourse tips are guaranteed ways to ‘spice things up’ and ultimately ensure better intercourse.

  • Kissing is a common and much-needed element of foreplay. Sex therapists point to the various benefits that kissing entails including the release of oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine; three chemicals that are known to lower stress levels and elevate feelings of euphoria and affection.
  • Skin to skin contact is another way to raise arousal and anticipation. Women, in particular, need a lot of tactile stimulation in order to get in the groove and set the stage for penetrative sex. Some ‘hot spots’ that males or females can look out for are the neck and collarbones, the bicep area, around the eyes, the earlobes and even toes. These spots are called ‘erogenous zones’ and communicating with your partner is a helpful way to find out what really ‘turns them on.’
  • Strip-teasing, the act of gradually undressing in a sensual way is another great way to hike up the anticipation.
  • Using sex toys such as dildos and vibrators help in adding some variation to your sex life in addition to levelling up your foreplay.

Dr. Prageeth also pointed out that “there is no hard and fast rule as to what foreplay should entail. It is important to communicate honestly and openly with your sexual partner on what turns you on and him/her on.”

What is ‘Afterplay’ and why is it important?

‘Afterplay’ refers to the intimate and quality time spent with your partner after sexual intercourse. It requires very little effort but is crucial for maintaining a healthy sexual relationship in the long run. ‘Afterplay’ usually involves some cuddling, massaging and/or a quick make-out session in addition to having a conversation, for instance, about what you found most pleasurable during the sexual activity.

How can outercourse act as a remedy for performance anxiety?

Sexual performance anxiety generally refers to a lack of confidence and a perceived inability to perform well during sexual activity. It is very common and can manifest in the form of conditions such as erectile dysfunction for men and vaginismus for women.

Foreplay can aid in reducing performance anxiety. Additionally, a poor body image or low self-esteem can also hinder one’s sexual performance. In such instances, it is helpful to focus on the pleasure and arousal that you experience during the activity instead of being overly conscious of your body. Practicing good hygiene is also another helpful way to feel more confident in bed.

“We find that a lot of men who approach us for treatment for erectile dysfunction have turned to medication such as Viagra without proper knowledge on the root cause of the problem. Options like taking Viagra and other kinds of medication are only a temporary solution. Consider getting evaluated by a healthcare professional if you want to solve the problem in the long run,” stressed Dr. Prageeth.

Kinks and fetishes

Photo by Dainis Graveris from https://sexualalpha.com/free-erotic-photos/

“It’s very common for certain things to get monotonous so sexual fantasies like kinks and fetishes can actually help to take away that monotony, especially for those who are very sexually active.”

Fetishes such as voyeurism (i.e. gaining pleasure by watching others have sex) and exhibitionism (i.e. compulsion to have sex or expose genitals in the public eye) for instance have been categorized as a form of ‘paraphilia’ or abnormal sexual desires. However, Dr. Prageeth points out that “it is quite difficult to draw a clear line between what is normal and abnormal.”

According to Dr. Prageeth, sexual partners should follow two cardinal rules with regard to engaging in kinks and fetishes. Firstly, only engage in such activities if the partners involved have provided their consent and are comfortable with it. Secondly, it should not harm anyone in the process of engaging in the activity. “It is normal for you to have certain fetishes. In fact, it is quite common. As long as it does not harm anybody and is done with consent, you are free to engage in any preferred sexual fantasy.”