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The Pleasures of Outercourse

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The Pleasures of Outercourse

Sexual pleasure in woman is a kind of magic spell; it demands complete abandon.
–Simone de Beauvoir

Driving my son and his friends in the car the other day from a basketball game I overheard the question that made me cringe decades ago, “ How far did you get?” said one to the other with an elbow to the ribs.  I shouldn’t have let on that I was listening, but I felt obliged to tell them that they were thinking about it all wrong.  I told them that French boys ask each other “How long did she jouir?,” which translates roughly to waiting for an orgasm.  One of my favorite things about the French language is the multitude of words and expressions that communicate physical pleasure.

If language is the medium that allows us to express and understand ourselves, it isn’t that surprising that our most common sexual expressions of how far you got, scoring a touch down and hitting the target often reflect the “hurry up – get it on” culture that clocks the average sexual intercourse experience at 7.3 minutes.  On a recent Dr. Oz, the couples on the show agreed that their foreplay lasted between one to four minutes. Foreplay is more than just missing the warm-up before hitting a grand slam.

For many of us the terrain of our sexuality has been limited to the idea of intercourse.  Our internal maps are often a straight line to what we think should provide the target for our orgasm and we often lose sight of all that we miss on the complex, mysterious journey to untapped pleasure.    Giving up the destination and taking the time to linger in all that makes up the outer-course of our sexual selves offers a new world to explore and is often the key to allowing the opening that is required for intercourse to fulfill itself.

Remember the last great scavenger hunt you enjoyed,  how the treasure at the end was all the better for all the great discoveries in between.    Mapping the curves and valleys of your lover’s body with a hand, gliding over sweet or spicy scented and oiled skin will surprise you. The nape of the neck, the rise of a hip, the indent of the knee all contain sensation that surprises and unlocks libido in ways you might not expect. Inhaling your partner is an ancient form of kissing. Learning to linger in the outer course of sexuality will transform your connection to your partner and perhaps even more deeply to your ability to open to the sexual experience itself.

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called "the essential guide for relationships."  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


+ add your own
6:58PM PST on Feb 27, 2011

It is sad when a couple loses the thrill of foreplay - the intimacy, the sense of expectation, the sheer pleasure of being with one another - of pleasuring the other. It is that I remember more than the "act" itself.

1:05AM PST on Feb 1, 2011

great advise and information

5:05PM PST on Jan 28, 2011

I learn sososo much from reading your articles! So helpful!

11:05PM PST on Jan 23, 2011

It's all about the journey and what happens on the way. It's not Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

10:48PM PST on Jan 23, 2011

thanx :)

8:05PM PST on Jan 23, 2011

I wish more men would understand how vital foreplay and sensuality is!

9:54AM PST on Jan 23, 2011


6:30PM PST on Jan 22, 2011


5:33PM PST on Jan 22, 2011


9:47AM PST on Jan 22, 2011

Thanks for the article.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

very Interesting. Thank you for caring and sharing.

Thanks. All the cats like it if I can stay home.....

Thank You for sharing =)


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