What are the best foreplay ideas? Sexperts shell out tips to spice things up

Why rush to the finale? Fun foreplay ideas make the experience *extra* enjoyable for both parties

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Why rush to the finale and not enjoy the ride? Foreplay ideas, brought to you by our trusted sexperts, make the case for slowing things down in the boudoir.

The anticipation of orgasms—and double whammies like the blended orgasm—oftentimes make the act seem like a relay race. 

"People tend to go right for the erogenous zones when they're in bed. That's nice and all, but there are other parts of the body that shouldn't be overlooked during sex, and touching them helps build up excitement," says Lovehoney (opens in new tab) sex and relationship expert Sarah Mulindwa. "Don’t ignore the face, the neck, the earlobes, or any other area of the body that’s extra-sensitive."

That's right, eager McBeavers: some of the best sex tips ever don't involve the deed at all. Unconvinced? Read on.



Why foreplay ideas shouldn't be overlooked

Since we're now in an athletic mindset, let us ask: who dives straight into the game without a little warmup first?

"If you go for a run or work out at the gym, you don’t start exercising at full pelt without warming up. Well, it is the same for sex," says Mulindwa. 

During said warmup, you'll be able to amp up the intensity with your partner and not jump the gun, though yes, what follows is also pleasurable. 

"It is super important that you have such intimate times together. This is really where you set the direction for the relationship," says Jacob Østerby Bager, a researcher at Bedbible.com (opens in new tab). "Further, our experience is also the better foreplay, the better sex."

Foreplay ideas to try out

"The element that separates great sex from mediocre sex is sexual tension," says Natasha Marie sexual wellness expert and head of content at MysteryVibe (opens in new tab). "Foreplay is essential for building sexual tension and anticipation."

Here's how to amp up that sweet anticipation.

1. Don't underestimate kisses

A little lip-lock goes a long way in the foreplay department, so relive those junior high days with a make-out session. (No Lipsmackers this time, though.) 

"Because kissing usually kicks off any sexual activity, knowing how to kiss well can set the tone for the whole evening," Mulindwa insists.

Oh, and there's some promising research: kissing during sex increases orgasm chances, so pucker up.

Intimate young couple lying in bed - stock photo

(Image credit: Getty Images / Westend61)

2. Ask those tricky questions

While, of course, keeping consent in mind, it's OK to push the envelope with a few steamy Q's. 

"This is typically a question both of you have on your mind, but that no one has dared to answer. By making that explicit you’ll connect on a deeper level," Østerby Bager says. 

Talking about sex is the way to get what you and your loved one want from the experience, so it's ok to be vulnerable. 

3. Stock up on erotica

There's a reason so many people are wondering how to read the Bridgerton books in order. Erotic literature, or even a steamy historical romance novel, can take things in a hot new direction, so why not glance through a few chapters with your S.O.?

"Read it together and return to your favorite passages," Mulindwa says. "Even better, re-enact what you have just enjoyed in the book."

Portrait of smiling young woman lying on bed with a book covering one eye with her hand

(Image credit: Getty)

4. Focus on your mindset

If your mind starts wandering, chances are your partner's interest will, too. 

"Do not think about how your day has been, what you're doing tomorrow etc.," says Østerby Bager. "Your partner can sense this, and it can result in bad vibes."

While it's important to stay present, Mulindwa also makes the case for going back in time.

"At least once a week do something special and both take on the mindset you had in the first week you were dating. Try anything, just as long as you are both comfortable with it."

5. Get creative—literally

Who doesn't love a DIY project? Add a sexy factor to your Mason Jar crafts with Mulindwa's idea. 

"Each write down 10 favorite foreplay activities on a note and put them in a jar. Take turns to pick one of the suggestions each week and live it out for real," she says.

6. Bring in the toys

We don't need to tell you that different types of vibrators and toys can be game-changers. (See some of our favorite options below.)

Ready to slow down now?

"When you take the time to learn your partner’s body and unique erogenous zones, not only do you develop a deeper appreciation for them, but it translates into seamless, mindful sex," Marie says. 

Sounds like bliss!

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 


The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos and honed in on astrology coverage within the Life vertical. She's partial to writing pieces about the next big TV obsession—anyone else impatiently waiting for "Conversations with Friends"—and keeping you up to date on new trends like the latest must-have from Zara. 


Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 


When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a new book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)