What is Outerplay?
Outerplay is a term used to replace foreplay, basically referring to any sexual encounter that does not include intercourse (verbal, nonverbal, touching, or not touching). We recommend Outerplay to be ongoing without expectations that it would necessarily lead to intercourse. This is another reason we recommend switching terms. Foreplay implies something is expected afterward. Without expectations, one is free to experiment and dole out flirtatious treats without concern of following through. In turn, the recipient is free to just enjoy the treat without expectation of reciprocation.
Communication is strongly recommended in order to help develop an enjoyable Outerplay lifestyle with your partner. Talking about what sort of Outerplay you appreciate from your partner is key because everyone is different. So, keep in mind that your partner may be interested in a different sort of Outerplay than you are. Examples of what some people might share with their partner are below. Details help!
And Outerplay looks like what?
As one of my sex therapy clients explained in session to their partner “I can get turned on by both physical intimacy and emotional intimacy, and the best way to do that is through a non-objective touch. I love it when you come up behind me when I am at the counter, wrap your arms around me and nestle your face in the small of my neck. I especially love it when you linger for a bit. Things really start to tingle when your hands wander from to my hips and you press yourself into........” Ok, you get the picture. First and foremost this example includes nonsexual desire with supportive body language. The recipient feels enveloped, protected, and secure to have their partner embracing them with both arms. Secondly, the warmth and intimate position ignite a reciprocal reaction. After this or a similar Outerpaly action, you can take a break, come back later for more. As a bonus, the withdrawal from contact can create even more desire.
As another couple's therapy client explained to their partner in session, “I get turned on visually, when I can picture you erotically my level of aroused seems higher. For me, that doesn’t mean just walking around the house naked. I love it when you present me with the sexual side even for a moment. When you wear those jeans I love, even around the house, I am reminded how much I desire you.” This client didn’t necessarily need to touch or engage in any physical contact at that moment. It’s already Outerplay for them.
These examples may resonate with you, or they may not at all. Either way, it’s for you to figure out with your partner. All you want to think about is whether you know what Outerplay you enjoy and if you have shared that with your lover. They are your Lover after all.
If you want to explore this more with a sex therapist or couples counselor don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Counseling Center of Cherry Creek 720-457-3342.