Ode to the foreplay


Nothing against the good old sexual intercourse. But the prelude is by far more exciting – says gettotext.com Woman psychologist Sara Beringtom.

Prelude: The real thing is yet to come.

Foreplay, that always sounds like prewash, like a lukewarm soaking program.

First a little necking to warm up, then slide his fingers deeper, dive into it. Her breath goes fast, she moans softly, while she notices that his kisses turn into small bites. He pushes his pelvis closer to hers. He believes she could be ready. She wonders if he already wants it. 

Their questions remain unspoken, they are so familiar to them that they barely notice them. They accompany her like erotic shadows. When is the time? When do you really sleep with each other, when do you start having sexual intercourse? When is it over: the prelude? Foreplay, that always sounds like prewash, like a lukewarm soaking program. Or like the opening act, which should clear the stage as quickly as possible so that the top act can finally start. Foreplay, that is, the real thing is yet to come. “The task of the foreplay is to provide effective stimulation that physically and psychologically prepares the partners for sexual intercourse, and with this preparation he can close the orgasm on both partners,” says the rororo non-fiction book “Sexuality”.

Really intimate with each other we are at the foreplay.

The most intimate of sex: Ode to the foreplay

Really intimate with each other, we will not, according to this definition, until the prelude is over. Fortunately, the rororo volume and quote from 1977 come from there. At that time, the prelude was only mainstream, the sexuality was still their chains. Our understanding of sexuality has since become much more complex. We have understood that during sex our needs for attachment and pleasure mingle. That we want to experience ecstasy and excess, but also acceptance and affiliation. And that it takes more than routine fumbling and then intercourse including orgasm . 

The American sex therapist David Schnarch , who has also mixed up the sex landscape in Germany with his book “The Psychology of Sexual Passion”, goes even further. His thesis: Really intimate with each other, we are not the actual sex, but what we do before. During foreplay. Couples, according to his diagnosis, literally flee to coitus when they threaten to get too close to one another. They switch to coitus because they unconsciously down regulate the intimacy of foreplay to a tolerable level. In people with anxiety about relationships , the prelude can cause real discomfort. 

During foreplay we can play, try out, change roles.

The prelude is what happens before your partner forgets you.

The prelude – if we let ourselves in on it – is like an open conversation, which can develop in any direction, to merging intimacy, to aggressive fighting or giggling nibbling.

During foreplay we can play, try out, change roles. We look each other in the eye, we feel inside ourselves. We feel where we distrust the other, where we do not trust ourselves, are inhibited, fear rejection. Do we understand each other’s needs, do we dare to show their own? Can we take without giving? Do we give without expectation? We kiss, and that tells us how our love is. But do we really want to know that? How free and courageous we cross this playground of proximity, where every square centimeter of skin gives an answer, each touch asks a question: where is your desire, and who are you? Where is my desire? And who am I? Who are we?

The desire can go out because the grief over his last affair is still too strong. It can increase to ecstasy for the same reason. A question of intimacy, of encounter. “In the prelude, we will work out on which level of intimacy, eroticism, meaning experience and emotional connection we will move in the further course,” says David Schnarch. We can follow these feelings, get involved in the uncertainty of the encounter. Or we end the prelude. And go over to sexual intercourse. Doing what we always do follows a familiar path. Make us on the way to orgasm. Become from obsessed walkers to obsessive climbers. What the American couples expert Dr. Pepper Schwartz comments on the snappy remark: “Foreplay is what happens before your partner forgets you.

Coitus is the safer place. There is a goal. The conversation has a theme. Man knows what to do. Wife too. Or maybe not, then, as we like to see in French films, she stares at the ceiling, boring to the climax or fighting with his erection. Or she pretends ecstasy, so that despite all nudity no one has to face the nakedness of failure. Jenny and Alex have been together for only a year. Everything is fine, only not sex. You can talk openly with each other. Jenny sets Alex’s “fumble” on the alarm clock, the prelude last forever, until they finally “get down to business”.

She would not be so used to that. Alex, however, has always seen himself as the man with the golden hands and is disappointed that Jenny does not appreciate how sensitive and persistent he strokes and massages her. It turns out that Alex is afraid to come too early and not be able to satisfy his demanding partner. Jenny is annoyed that he is not to his fear, but hides her behind his endless pats. But then it also becomes clear that Jenny is afraid to “come too early” emotionally. Too much connection flees rather hastily into the independence of their own lust. When they realize that they both have fears and can recognize that, they begin to develop a satisfying sexuality.

Above all, the borderline between “foreplay” and “actual sexual intercourse” is nonsensical.

We do not always eat organic tofu or four-star menus, but we relish a currywurst while standing.

Of course, not every togetherness in bed has to grow into an elegiac encounter – who was  Mingle , probably knows that. Sex can even be completely anonymous and impersonal. And even in close relationships, hard and dirty.

We do not always eat organic tofu or four-star menus, but we relish a currywurst while standing. And it’s not about talking the eternal prelude, in which fear of aggression in false tenderness and fear of failure in sophisticated petting orgies hide. But just as clear is that we can express more and experience more when we are with the whole body when hands, tongue, lips, toes are active, rather than just communicating from tail to pussy in relatively confining body positions. 

And senseless and nonsensical is above all the border between “foreplay” and the “actual sexual intercourse”, which seems so deeply inscribed in us. As soon as we ask how many  sex partners we already had, what do we then count? All physical erotic encounters? Or just the ones he was in? Somehow king penis still seems to determine what sex is and is not. Count only the nights when we had an orgasm? Or are we really asking ourselves who we were intimate with? All our sexual development sticks to it. At puberty, we smooch each other until we believe it’s time for our first time. We remember the first kiss well. And the first real sex. In between, nothing seems to lie. Only the no-man’s-land of foreplay.

The gentle excitement of foreplay is the chance to explore one’s desires.

At the beginning of an erotic relationship we may roam it questioningly and searching. But in the sexual routine of a long-term relationship, we quickly leave it behind quickly. As we progress, we know more about what we enjoy and better distinguish between expectations and actual needs. The gentle excitement of foreplay is the chance to explore one’s desires.

To stay where it feels really good. But again, “No risk, no fun.” We must take the invigorating risk of confronting the partner through touch and words with our inner world. What do we have to lose if we deviate from the sexual script that has been used so successfully between us, which ultimately kills every desire? But only the old fears inscribed in it. But can not we easily stand by our fears? Allow them and finally overcome in this way? David Schnarch asks a simple question: How do we know during sex, whether it is time to end the foreplay and to go to sexual intercourse? If the partner just strokes our genitals? If we find him impatient? Or even if she is afraid that he comes anyway or diminishes his erection? Or he fears that she loses interest? And who decides when it will happen?

If we take these questions seriously and follow them, we will encounter each other anew in our fears and desires. Is not that what we seek in intimacy? To be ourselves in the presence of the other, this tremendous miracle. We could experience much more with each other when we explained what happened in foreplay to the measure of all things. If we succeed in drifting together, instead of interacting with each other. Taking time and really touching each other. “The coitus is not the goal, but only one of the ways,” says dr. Pepper Schwartz. In human sexuality, even if it has developed biologically because of it, it is very rare for reproduction. It’s also rarely about sex. But a lot about closeness and delimitation, about ecstasy, fantasy, play, power and powerlessness,

Sexuality is no longer understood as a drive, but as a way to live lust intensively. As soulful, moving and imaginative, as we allow ourselves in the prelude. If we allow ourselves. If we renounce all misrepresentation and want-to-do-it-all, abandoning all expectations and ideals, those of the partner and our own. Then there is a lot of life and love waiting in the place, which we should not call foreplay anymore.