Can you have good sex without penetration?

I got a great question the other day via comment and I wanted to expand on it further in a blog post. It’s a two parter – do women get greater pleasure from foreplay and oral sex where an orgasm may occur, or intercourse? Without intercourse, is foreplay and oral sex enough, or is intercourse a must?

I think this simmers into a nice roux: can you have a satisfying sexual relationship without penetration?

If we’re speaking generally, the answer is yes. Women can get plenty of pleasure from foreplay and oral sex. There is a very faulty linear progression to sex that I think throws a lot of people. We’re taught that sex is PIV (penis in vagina) and that everything before that is just foreplay.

This …

• belittles the importance and pure awesomeness of foreplay

• makes the assumption that anything that isn’t penis in vagina sex isn’t sex

• outright ignores couples that aren’t opposite sex

• falls into the idea that PIV sex ought to lead into an orgasm and then the sex is ‘over’

Instead of thinking about sex as this kind of progression from start to finish, think about sex as that drawing you made when you were two and had no idea how to hold a crayon.

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There are no rules. There is no right way to do it.

If sex really is just about feeling good and having fun with someone, more emphasis should be put on oral sex and “foreplay.” Especially if said partner is particularly skilled in these arenas or for whatever reason (stress, anxiety, medication) cannot participate in the physical penetration with their own penis.

You can use toys! Lube! Fingers! Toes! Faces! Tongues! You can use dirty talk! Cuddling! Dry sex!

I can’t say whether or not women get more pleasure out of non-penetrative sex, but they can.

As to the question “is penetrative sex necessary?” that is very much a question that couples need to confront one on one. For many, the answer is yes, always yes. For some, they may not want penetrative sex at all. In the reality of growing up, getting older, and staying with one partner over the span of decades, it is reasonable to assume that at some point during that time penetrative sex might not be possible or reasonable.

At this point, the couple who at one point said “I need your penis inside my vagina to have a good or real sex life” might renegotiate what sex means to them to say “I don’t care if you’re inside of me, look how good you make me feel in all these other ways.”

Do you have a question about sex or love? Submit at the top by hitting ask advice and I’ll answer it on my blog.

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  1. Thank you so much for your answers on line. You have made my day. Bob P On Dec 22, 2014 12:00 PM, “suggestivetongue” wrote: > > ST posted: “I got a great question the other day via comment and I wanted to expand on it further in a blog post. It’s a two parter – do women get greater pleasure from foreplay and oral sex where an orgasm may occur, or intercourse? Without intercourse, is foreplay ” >

  2. Foreplay is the essential part of any sexual activity. Sex is like a meal, entree, main course, and sweets. The coffee is what you have when you discuss the whole meal.

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