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How To Have ‘Outercourse’

By Matty Silver, Sex Therapist on March 23, 2016 in Other

Photo: Monica Lewinsky

Photo: Monica Lewinsky

Outercourse is a word most people have never heard of. It’s a term used for a variety of sexual experiences that don’t include intercourse or penetrative sex. There is a huge misconception by many people that only vaginal penetration qualifies as ‘real’ sex. This alternative to intercourse is another great way to experience sexual pleasure and can enhance trust, love and intimacy.

Outercourse, also sometimes referred to as ‘outer sex’, is the umbrella term for all forms of non-penetrative sex, often used as part of foreplay. It includes kissing, mutual masturbation, erotic talk, using sex toys, rubbing, oral sex, fingering, erotic massage and any other sexual activity you can think of other than penetrative sex.

Ian Kerner, PhD, a sex therapist in New York, is the author of the enormously popular book She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman. He offers a radical new philosophy on pleasing women sexually and explores and deciphers all the mysteries and complexities of the female anatomy and pleasure centres. He also explains why oral sex and manual stimulation are the most effective ways to bring a woman to orgasm.

Both men and women frequently have hang-ups about giving and receiving oral sex. Kerner believes they are often unsure how to do it properly and that’s why the book has almost become the ‘essential guide’ to oral sex. An interesting observation is that he believes that some men don’t like oral sex or a ‘hand job’ because it feels too rough, or they don’t like how their penis is touched. That’s why good communication between couples is so important. Nobody is a mind reader and couples should always tell each other what they like and don’t like.

I believe men need to understand the importance of foreplay, which is helpful in getting both partners aroused. For a man, arousal can happen within seconds, often just from visual stimuli. Women need much more time to get aroused and may need physical and mental stimulation. If anything is the ultimate foreplay for women, it is the art of kissing. They are easily turned off by lovers who aren’t great kissers, irrespective of their other good qualities. When couples are kissing, the body releases feel-good hormones such as oxytocin, often called the love or bonding hormone.

Because outercourse is not goal-orientated, it’s a great option for both men and women to enjoy the feelings and sensations it brings without any pressure. I often give my clients ‘sensate focus’ exercises if they haven’t been sexual for a long time. Sensate focus is a term associated with a set of specific sexual exercises. The term was introduced by Masters and Johnson and is aimed at increasing personal and interpersonal awareness. The exercises give both partners time to fully experience their bodies, to pay attention to their physical sensations and to be playful and relaxed with each other, rather than feel inadequate and worry about whether they are going to perform or not.