Foreplay Facts
Foreplay Facts

40 Interesting Facts about Foreplay

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published January 10, 2017
  • Any act that creates and enhances sexual desire in a sexual partner—including kissing, touching, embracing, talking, and teasing—may constitute foreplay. Its definition is flexible and depends on individual sexual preferences and beliefs.[3]
  • A recent Australian study found that most women are more aroused by the idea of foreplay than sex itself.[12]
  • According to Shape magazine, women want foreplay to last 19 minutes. While men actually devote about 11 minutes to foreplay, they estimate it at 13 minutes.[16]
  • The U.S. has more laws regulating sexual behavior than all the European countries combined.[4]
  • Sex toys are banned in some states, such as Alabama. Flirting is banned in San Antonio, Texas. Oral sex is banned in Indiana. And sleeping naked is illegal in Minnesota.[10]
  • “Fundawear” is a type of eclectically engineered underwear with tiny electromagnetic vibrators that produce a momentary sensation when someone’s partner touches a smartphone key. The wearer feels a light vibration or gentle frisson, depending on whether his or her partner has touched or swiped the screen.[5]
  • There is an ultrasensitive border around the lips called the buccal nerve. Often overlooked, this area is extremely sensitive to touch. Clinical sexologists note this is a particularly erogenous area for foreplay in both men and women.[1]
  • Foreplay Fact
    Foreplay can make sex more comfortable
  • Foreplay can make sex more comfortable. When a woman becomes aroused, the muscles actually pull the uterus up a bit, which makes more room in the vagina in a process called “vaginal tenting.”[14]
  • While the entire area between the jawline and shoulders is an erogenous zone, the small indention where the neck connects with the collarbone is particularly sensitive for foreplay.[1]
  • One of the most powerful nerves in the body is at the top of the inner thigh where the ilioinguinal nerve lies. Because it is incredibly sensitive, touching it during foreplay indirectly stimulates the genitals.[1]
  • When a male giraffe wants to mate, he will duck his neck all the way down and pat the female on her rear. This will induce the female to urinate. When she urinates, the male will then drink a mouthful to determine if she is ready to mate.[17]
  • Flatworms are hermaphrodites, which means they can both impregnate and be impregnated. Because the role of the female requires developing the eggs and raising the young, which is more work, flatworms fight for the right to be the male. After this type of “penis fencing,” the winner gets to choose the gender.[17]
  • To attract a female during mating season, a male porcupine will stand on his hind legs and spray her with a gush of urine from several feet away.[17]
  • The 2004 movie Foreplay is a porn film without sex. Four characters are trapped in a world of erotic encounters, without intercourse.[7]
  • Physicians note that touching the side of the torso from the bottom of the rib cage to the hips stimulates a powerful nerve that reflexively causes the pelvic floor muscles to contract in both men and women—which, in turn, helps increase arousal.[1]
  • A woman's body is like a violin and all, and that it takes a terrific musician to play it right.

    - J.D. Salinger

  • A study in the Journal of Sex Research found that 100% of women and 95% of men polled consider touching as the number one way they know their partner wants to have sex.[12]
  • In a survey of 40,000 men, 90% of the respondents said the thing they found the sexiest was when a woman takes sexual initiative. Almost 75% agreed that a woman is most unattractive when she wears heavy makeup.[3]
  • Foreplay is not just about bodies. A person can create a more sensual experience by arranging a home or an apartment with sensual colors, flowers, candles, and music.[3]
  • During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church in the treatise De secretis mulierum (Women’s Secrets) gives a detailed account of foreplay. It includes making sure the bowels and bladder are empty and “fondling the woman’s lower parts in order to raise the female’s body heat to the correct temperature.” When the wife began to “speak as if she were babbling,” the husband should know to make his move.[15]
  • Roman baths were the focus of social get-togethers and catered to almost every activity, including swimming, exercise, philosophy, beauty treatments, and sex. Intercourse was common, but often attending the baths was a type of foreplay—a type of “naked leisure centers.”[9]
  • Food can act as foreplay. While there aren’t double-blind studies proving aphrodisiac properties exist in food, sexologists suggest feeding your partner traditional aphrodisiacs such as chocolate, chili peppers, asparagus, avocados, and oysters.[2]
  • Interesting Aphrodisiac Fact
    Chocolate is a traditional aphrodisiac

  • According to Men’s Health, foreplay is to sex what stretching is to a workout: “easy to skip, but essential for great results.”[12]
  • For many women, foreplay is essential to orgasm. Only 30% of women are able to reach orgasm through intercourse alone.[12]
  • Researchers note that one foreplay strategy is to focus on one body part at a time. For example, a partner could make it a point to concentrate only on the other person’s back, trying different types of touching, from light touching to a massage.[3]
  • Foreplay is more than just touching or physical interaction—it also involves the brain, which is the largest sex organ. To help a partner think and fantasize about the other person, researchers suggest several strategies such as texting or emailing during the day—keeping in mind that texting or emailing is not always private.[11]
  • The clitoris has 18 parts. And it has 8,000 nerve endings, which is twice as many as the penis. Sex therapists Masters & Johnson proclaimed the clitoris not just a “love button” but “a unique organ in the total of humanity.”[12]
  • Intellectual foreplay means taking the time to discover a partner intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.[11]
  • Although kissing is one of the most basic forms of foreplay in the Western world, it is uncommon or completely absent in other cultures. In a survey of 190 societies, only 21 reported to engage in kissing on the mouth.[3]
  • Little Known Foreplay Facts
    In some cultures, kissing is not a part of foreplay

  • Most of the nerve endings that contribute to the female orgasm are on the surface of the vulva and do not require penetration whatsoever to be stimulated to orgasm.[12]
  • In many countries, people are increasingly using sex toys such as pornography and vibrators during foreplay.[8]
  • Icelanders are the most likely to use vibrators (52%) during foreplay followed by the British (49%) and Norwegians (35%).[8]
  • Some cultures see oral sex as a natural part of sexual arousal and foreplay. Other cultures see it has horribly disgusting or morally wrong. Specifically, in much of the Western world, industrialized parts of Asia, and in islands of the South Pacific, oral sex is common. By contrast, parts of Africa view oral sex to be highly unnatural and many religions consider oral sex as sinful.[14]
  • Some of the most famous foreplay movie scenes include 1) when Jack draws Rose in Titanic, 2) Sharon Stone crossing her legs in Basic Instinct, 3) Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore’s pottery scene in Ghost, and 4) Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger’s steamy S&M scene in 9½ Weeks.[13]
  • Tantric sex is an expression of sexual energy that is over 1,500 years old. Originating in India, it is a set of teachings and practices that are designed to explore sexual energy. Foreplay is essential in Tantric sex because it allows for longer intimate sessions and the creation of more energy.[14]
  • The Hindu people of India avoid kissing because they believe that it symbolically contaminates intercourse. The Thonga of South Africa consider kissing revolting. Additionally both the North American Eskimo and the people of the Trobriand Islands off the eastern coast of New Guinea rub noses rather than kiss.[4]
  • Amazing Foreplay Fact
    "Choreplay" can be a type of foreplay
  • One author suggests that partners should engage in “choreplay” to help each other get in the mood for sex. Choreplay means vacuuming or cleaning to help the other person relax and break free from her or his to-do list.[12]
  • An old Alabama law bans men from attempting to seduce a “chaste woman by means of temptation, arts, deception, flattery, or promise of marriage.”[10]
  • A California law makes it illegal for either partner to reach climax before the other during foreplay.[10]
  • A 2008 Durex survey revealed that while the French have the most sex at 137 times per year, well above the global average of 103, the British and Germans spend the most time on foreplay at 22.5 minutes and 22.2 minutes, respectively. People in Thailand spend the least amount of time on foreplay at 11.5 minutes.[8]
  • Music can act as a type of foreplay. Some of the sexiest songs in 2014 are “Intro” by The XX, “Smart Is the New Sexy” by Zella Day, “Night Like This” by LP, “Let’s Get Started” by Dylan Gardner, and “From Eden” by Hozier.[6]