emily thinks about foreplay

Posted by Emily Nagoski

So I did this radio interview last night about foreplay? In prepping for it at first I was like, "What the hell is there to say about foreplay?" But then I got going and it turns out I have any number of thing to say about it.

I did not get to say most of those things during the interview. We got a bit sidetracked on orgasm, and whether or not they should call me "Dr Emily." They asked, "Should we call you Dr Emily?" and I said "No no, please just call me Emily." And then they called me Dr Emily the whole time.

Anyway, here are some of the things I wanted to say but didn't.

Context dependence. You may have had the experience of being tickled when you're in a playful mood and you get all giggly and it's sweet and fun. And you may also have had the experience of being tickled when you are grumpy or annoyed or generally Not In The Mood, and it's not fun, it's IRRITATING.

Same stimulation, different experience. Our perception of sensation is context-dependent. So the first thing you know about being spectacular at foreplay is that an erotic setting is absolutely crucial - and when you get the setting right, almost anything you do can be potentially erotic.

Fortunately for us ladies, men often require no more of an erotic context than you, wanting to have sex with him. Your desire, your pleasure, that's the best aphrodisiac you can provide.

Different body parts are sensitive in different ways. Cocks, for example aren't that sensitive to temperature or location. Because of that, you can, say, have a little ice cube in your mouth and swirl it around while you give oral sex. It won't make him come, but it will definitely keep his interest!

Hands and feet, by contrast are VERY sensitive to temperature and localized sensation. So on a hand, an ice cube would be WAY intense. However, you can run the very tip of your tongue slowly from the wrist and up the palm and along the middle finger, exhaling gradually all the way (warm breath), and then blow along the wet trail you left. Both the slight temperature change the slow movement play into the sensitivities of the hand. You can do this to a penis too, of course; but it'll be a very different experience because the cock is wired very differently.

Sensation. This is a simplification, but there are essentially to types of stimulation that the peripheral nervous system encodes: light touch and deep touch. Light touch is the superficial caress that just brush the surface of the skin. Deep touch is massage touch, touch that stimulates the muscles under the skin.

I don't know why, but it turns out that alternating these two kinds of sensations makes for a pretty intense experience. Delicately run the tip of your tongue from the inside of your partner's wrist, across their palm, and along their middle finger, then suck on that finger. You can do the same thing to a cock.

Given that under the right circumstances ANY sensation can be erotic, it hardly matters WHAT you do, so long as you do it an erotic context.

A final note: in general, you can be a little rougher with cock than you think. Guys have, on average, 1/3 more upper body strength than women, so he's used to dealing with his own genitals

Also, confidence and joy. Okay.