Perception is but one tool in the toolbox used to have a pleasurable experience-and it isn’t even needed to reach orgasm. Furthermore, rushing to penetration can result in missing out on all sorts of stimulating sensations, and for vulva-owners, especially, this may even reduce the possibility of an orgasm. Orgasms tend to happen faster with external clitoral stimulation. Therefore, non-penetrative sex acts are not just foreplay or an appetizer before the main meal. This is what sex therapist Rachel Wright, LMFT, calls “outerplay”-a satisfying way to savor orgasm on its own terms.
According to Wright, outerplay is any kind of playful interaction between partners that does not involve penetration. In addition to providing fun opportunities to get to know one another’s bodies better, the exploratory nature of the practice encourages more intentionality and curiosity.
This form of play provides a unique opportunity for couples to become acquainted with their bodies more intimately.” -Rachel Wright, LMT
In my opinion, non-penetrative sex is more conducive to sexual communication since people sometimes indicate how much kissing or pressure they would like, the zone of erogenous stimulation, etc., according to sexologist and Bloomi founder Rebecca Alvarez Story.
In addition to helping sex by stripping it of preconceived (and often limiting) expectations around penetrating acts, Wright says that focusing on non-penetrative sex acts can refocus it as a meaningful experience of pleasure. A full range of outerplay acts are, of course, available and accessible to those who aren’t interested in or incapable of making inroads into penetrative acts.
You can still have a great time with non-penetrative sex acts whether you’re into or have the talent to perform them. For those of you who have fallen into a sex rut with your partner, this kind of outside play may be just the thing to shake things up and infuse it with a whole new level of pleasure. Find out how you can achieve orgasm with a partner even without any penetration below.
These five tips will help you maximize non-penetrative sexual acts:
1. Take a look at clitoris.
People with vulvas have thousands of nerve endings in the clitoris, making it an organ specially designed for pleasure, says Story. Consequently, clitoral orgasm can often be induced by non-penetrating sex acts. It’s productive to stimulate the entire clitoris rather than just the bulb of the bulb,” Story adds, suggesting varying pressure levels or light suction, or incorporating a clitoral vibrator (more about that below).
2. Describe what you do when masturbating.
Show-and-tell sex doesn’t even require you to touch your partner, let alone penetrate them-but watching could be equally exciting. Furthermore, you can also teach your partner exactly what you find gratifying by masturbating in front of them. Wright says that guiding someone through what pleases them is helpful because they are so aware of their own bodies. It may be arousing for both you and your partner to demonstrate your own arousal technique to them, in and of itself.
3. Take part in orals (really).
There is no difference between oral and physical sex. You’re likely familiar with this particular non-penetrative sex act as a foreplay technique, but if performed correctly (and with patience), it can be the main event. In addition, oral sex may be a better means of inducing orgasm for vulva-owners since it stimulates the clitoris.
You have a warm, moist, and soft mouth, says Story. Her recommendation is the Kivin Method, especially for anyone with a vulva. “The combination provides a highly arousing combination that allows you to slow down to enjoy sex and orgasm.” This involves lying on your back and bringing your knees to your chest or placing them over your partner’s shoulders as they lie sideways and make up-and-down motions on you, she says.
There is, of course, more than one way to do this, and both Story and Wright suggest you experiment with different lip-and-tongue motions to see what feels most comfortable for you. How about a little spice (figuratively)? Wright recommends using flavored lubes. You can experience the sensual experience of taste without leaving the bedroom-and just one more reason to get closer to your partner.
4. Find out where the erogenous zone is located.
Stories says that people can orgasm by stimulating erogenous areas we don’t think about often enough, like nipples, necks, prostates, anuses, and inner thighs. One 2011 study revealed that breast stimulation activates the same region of the brain (initially the genital sensory cortex) which is activated during vaginal and clitoral stimulation for vulva-owners.
In addition, there are a number of lesser-known erogenous zones worth discovering, such as the forehead, eyelids, and breasts. You can warm up your body with this somatic exercise to release tension and get the blood flowing, then trace over your partner’s body with your fingers or lips and discover what sensations they (or you) feel. Or, if you want to achieve a blended orgasm, stimulate two or more areas simultaneously.
5. Use non-penetrating sex toys together.
In addition to the sex toys made for couples, we’re also talking about other sexual toys. If you have a conversation before diving into sex, then you can discuss what’s being used on whom and how before diving into partnered sex.
Wright finds it exciting to try out new things with toys and even help our partners enjoy themselves in a more fulfilling way. Also, if you’re in the market for new toys, it can be a really fun date night to either visit a sex-toy store together or shop for toys online.
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