Skip to main content

Articles

Sex word of the month - October

Outercourse

Most folks are familiar with the word Intercourse, generally used to reference the sexual act of a penis penetrating a vagina.  Synonyms include coitus, fucking, humping, making love, screwing, and having sex. But ‘having sex’ is so much more than the act of penile/vaginal penetration; and remember, not all sexual partnerships include people with the aforementioned genitalia.  Even when we broaden the meaning of Intercourse to include oral and anal sex (both of which can involve penetration), we are still leaving countless pleasurable sexual activities out of the definition of ‘having sex’. This where the concept of Outercourse can be helpful.

Outercourse is most easily defined as non-penetrative sexual activity.  Some examples of Outercourse include kissing, massage, dry humping, ear nibbling, cuddling, sharing fantasies, and mutual masturbation.  Really, any behavior that feels intimate and sexy can be added to your Outercourse menu.

How is Outercourse different than Foreplay?  The term Foreplay is most often used to describe sensual and sexual behaviors leading up to ‘sex’.  While there is nothing intrinsically problematic about the concept of Foreplay, investing in the belief that sex is destination penetration instead of a yummy journey of erotic sensation, can leave one feeling unsatisfied or dejected if penetration is not achieved.  By defining sex as Outercourse, the meaning of ‘having sex’ becomes a much broader, more inclusive world of sexual activity.  In many ways, the terms ‘sexual activity’ and ‘having sex’ become synonymous, and ‘having sex’ can become an erotic adventure, the destination to be determined along the way by those involved; those who have come to know that penetration is not required for fulfilling, passionate, intense sexual experiences. With Outercourse there is no pressure to reach a goal or destination. The focus becomes mutual pleasure instead of penetration or orgasm.  And bonus...with Outercourse, there is far less chance of semen, vaginal fluids, or blood being shared between partners. As a result, Outercourse protects against pregnancy and some sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Shifting focus to Outercourse can open up a whole new world of sexual experimentation, excitement, intensity and pleasure.  So get started, communicate with your partner(s), slow down, investigate what makes you feel sexy, laugh a little, remember lube is your friend, and don’t forget about safe sex! Don’t be shy, let us know how it goes!

Our Partners