What If The Sex Is Good...But The Foreplay Isn't?

Foreplay should be a requirement. Not a bonus.


One time, while talking to a wife about some issues that she was having with her husband in the bedroom, she shared something with me that has remained in my mind, pretty much ever since she said it. "While the sex itself is pretty good, I still don't really look forward to it like I want to because, to tell you the truth, the foreplay sucks."

While some of you may have just read that and felt like her statement was a bit contradictory—actually, to me, it wasn't. Contrary to the popular belief (that is actually more like a total misconception) about foreplay, it isn't sex. Sex is intercourse; foreplay is the action that comes before it, and if the foreplay ain't right, for many of us, something about intercourse is gonna be…off. No matter how good coitus may be.

That's what we're going to semi-deep dive into today. What you should do if you happen to have a partner whose stroke game is on-point yet everything else is pretty "meh"? If that's you and you've been semi-suffering in silence, let's get you free, so that you can enjoy all-things-sexual, just the way sex was meant to be.

First of all, Sex and Foreplay Are Two Different Things.

Before we can solve a problem, we've got to properly define it, right? When it comes to what makes sex and foreplay different, I once heard a woman say that foreplay is what makes sex worthwhile.

Hmm. While I personally wouldn't go that far (I'm team both all day, every day), what I will say is, if there isn't a strong physical and emotional connection that's established before penetration transpires, that can prevent sex from being as great as it could be (even the guys that I know will personally vouch for that). This is where the act of foreplay comes in.

Remember how I said that a strong physical and emotional connection makes sex better?

  • A romantic date? That's foreplay.
  • You and your partner affirming one another? That's foreplay.
  • Dancing to your favorite slow jams in the living room? That's foreplay.
  • Sexting or even just flirting on the phone? That's foreplay.
  • Cooking together? That's foreplay.
  • Kissing without it immediately leading into sex? That's foreplay.
  • A body massage? That's foreplay.
  • Cuddling? That's foreplay.
  • Orgasmic meditation (which sounds like sex but it ain't)? That's foreplay.
  • Fellatio, cunnilingus, and stimulating sexual pressure points? That's foreplay. (I'll explain this point further in just a moment.)

While all of these are different acts, if there is one thing that they have in common with one another, it's the fact that they're all about spending quality time with your partner without any intercourse transpiring. Going on a date sends the message that you want to spend time with your partner without any distractions. Kissing without it always leading to sex? I don't know about y'all but to me, it conveys that you aren't kissing me in hopes that it will lead to something else; you simply enjoy the act…just because. And oral sex? OK, despite what our former president Bill Clinton tried to deflect with, technically oral sex is sex. However, I'll tell you what—while in my sessions with husbands and wives, they have both told me that some of their favorite sexual memories have consisted of when their spouse wanted to give oral sex without doing anything else afterward; that their partner wanted to please them so badly that their climax was all of the reciprocity that they needed (whew and yes!). Foreplay is physical and emotional stimulation. Sometimes it's sexual. Sometimes it's not.

So how is the actual act of sex different? If any of y'all checked out the article, "BDE: Please Let The 'It Needs To Be Huge' Myth Go", something that a wife who helped inspired the piece shared with me, on more than one occasion is, her husband was so proud of his package, that he doesn't think foreplay is that big of a deal. He's basically like the "bang-bang-bang" father in the classic movie Boomerang (RIP John Witherspoon). No romance. No frills. No real attentiveness. No intimacy (more on that in a sec). Plenty of intercourse and that's about it. And you know what? Their sex life has only continued to suffer because of it. In many ways, it's actually non-existent.

Interesting, right? The people who get foreplay seem to be more aroused and interested in copulation while the ones who go without will often take a pass on sex altogether. If not immediately, eventually. What does this really mean?

What a Lack of Foreplay Conveys.

Before going even deeper into this topic, let me just say that I get that some of y'all are a lot like my friend's husband in the sense that, just like some folks hate kissing (check out "Umm, What's Up With These People Who Hate Kissing?"), there are also some individuals who find foreplay to be a complete waste of time and totally unnecessary. Still, I am pretty sure that those folks are the exception and not the rule. The rest of us? I believe that we're all about foreplay and a lot of it has to do with the fact that many of us still associate sex with being an intimate act.

And here's the thing about intimacy. Much like the word "love" is oftentimes misused/abused, I think the word "intimacy" is too.

A one-night stand with some random isn't really intimacy, no matter how much sexual pleasure you may have gotten out of the experience. You know why? Because being intimate with someone is defined as having a warm friendship with them and being personally close to them. Being intimate with someone also speaks to sharing secrets or confidential matters, being affectionate and feeling cherished in someone's presence. Being intimate is about being valued in someone's life as you're valuing them as well. (Now do you see why I said "intimate" gets misused/abused?)

Now, are there levels of feeling this way? 1000 percent. After all, the kind of intimacy that's shared between a married couple that's been together for 45 years is going to be vastly different than the intimacy that's between two people who've been on six dates. However, the thing that's important to keep in mind is when foreplay happens prior to sex, it is an act of true intimacy. Yes, you and your partner may be sexually stimulating each other in preparation for intercourse yet it holds way more weight than that. There is something about both of you that feels warm and cherished enough to not want to rush things—you want to be affectionate with one another because of the connection that already exists.

Uh-huh Shellie. I hear you. But I've had some great sex with guys who were good at foreplay that I wasn't exactly "connected" with. Understood. One day, we'll get into the subject of how some people pretend to be intimate for selfish gain; they aren't really having sex with you so much as they're having sex at you in order to boost their own ego. Indeed, just like folks can act like they're in entire relationships, they can also act like they are being intimate with a person. Still, I'm willing to bet that the men you can reflect on who made you feel the best, the safest, the most adored—there was a connection and that made the foreplay as well as the sex so much better. In those instances, the climaxes weren't "the cake"; they were 1000 percent "the icing". Just being with you, enjoying you, and pleasing you? That was the cake. The three-tier, thousands of dollars, wedding cake kind. Especially since it's pretty common knowledge that while it takes men around 5-6 minutes to have an orgasm, it takes us somewhere around 20 minutes. A good lover isn't trying to get you on his "schedule". He's relishing everything about the privilege of being with you so…what's the rush?

How to Get More Foreplay in Your Relationship.

When it comes to foreplay (and afterplay), I promise you that I could on and on. That's how, not only good it is, but necessary I find it to be. So, what if you're currently in a relationship (or situationship) where the actual intercourse feels amazing, but the foreplay is seriously lacking? The first thing that I want to say is you deserve a lot more and better. Because something else that good lovers know is the great sex isn't about the goal of an orgasm so much as creating a mind-blowing experience, each and every time you engage.

Keeping this in mind, it's not crazy for any human to have their ego bruised a bit should you approach them about your sexual needs not being met in some way or you desiring to take your sex life to another level; however, here's another sign that you're actually with someone who cares about you as they should—if you tell a man that you desire more foreplay and share the reasons why only a complete and total ass is gonna make that be all about him and his uh-um EGO (cue Kanye and Beyoncé). Great lovers are about pleasing their partner way more than they are about dictating how and what that should look like.

So, share what you need and then seek to become the kind of lover you want. Flirt. Dress sexy. Plan couple exercises like orgasmic meditation. Talk about erogenous zones and "hot spots". Kiss without having it go immediately into something else. Work together on what it means to enjoy each other "just because". Because I promise you that the moment this is the focus, that will be the day when things get so much better in the bedroom as you find yourself asking why you settled for less all of this time.

Again, I'm all about some deep, long, intense penetration (whew, chile). Yet I can't even fathom getting to that point without at least a little bit of foreplay—because again, I know what it represents, and I know that I deserve it. And you know what, sis? So do you. SO. DO. YOU.

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