My girlfriend and I have tried foreplay several times (she likes it a lot), but I just can’t seem to get into it. Other than that, sex is great but I want to get into it more, and please my girlfriend. Any advice and info is greatly appreciated.



Oh Justin,

I’m glad you want to “get into it more.” There are so many things I’ve wanted to “get into,” over the years for people that I’ve been interested in: skateboarding, ska music, Ingmar Bergman. I’ve had little luck. But you my friend, YOU have a shot.

I admire your desire to please your partner. Not everybody starts there, so congrats. However, I think we need to talk about the complications of pleasure here. Your desire seems different from your GFs and it’s causing you problems.

The Kama Sutra, that ancient Sanskrit text pertaining to love and sex by Vātsyāyana, asserts that people have three levels of desire: small, middling and intense. I’m inclined to note that you and your lady might be operating with different levels of desire at this moment. Noticing that incommensurate lust is the first step. Then, we take action.

Different expectations around foreplay can be tied to different paces of arousal. As the Kama Sutra says, if somebody of middling passion finds herself with somebody of greater passion, “by degrees her passion increases until she ceases to think about her body.” In other words, arousal changes over time and can build from “middling” to “intense.” Foreplay, builds trust and intimacy between sexual partners so they can let go of inhibitions about their bodies and allow their arousal to become intense.

I offer my words up to you this week in an effort to redirect your attention back to your lady and the knowledge and desire which you two can generate between you.

Also dear, I I have to say that I’m a bit suspicious that the “sex is great” for both of you if she’s trying to get you more into foreplay and you’re just not that into it. Whenever I hear about somebody suggesting more “foreplay,” it’s because their partner is misreading signals, trying to move too fast and generally not paying close attention. So, we’ll address that too…

“Foreplay” suffers from its definition–we tend to think of it as something that happens beFORE sex and then ends. False. Foreplay can be any kind of kissing, touching, talking, walking, eating or reading that you want it to be. I mean, when does foreplay start? The minute you touch your girlfriend? The minute you kiss her with the hope that it will eventually lead to sex? I’d venture to say that anything that turns you on is foreplay. So in that case, refocus your attention on what’s erotic for you and just as importantly, her. As Vatsyanayana, the author of the Kama Sutra writes, “It is said by some that there is no fixed time or order between the embrace, the kiss, and the pressing or scratching with the nails or fingers, but that all these things should be done generally before sexual union takes place…Vātsyāyana, however, thinks that anything may take place at any time, for love does not care for time or order.” I personally, couldn’t agree more.

If you slow down you’ll be able to read her reactions more closely and respond in kind. Does it give you pleasure to know that she’s getting pleasure? If so, then look out for sharp intakes of breath, moans, etc. Slowing down in an excellent way to refocus your attention on her

Don’t put too much pressure on things “working” or “not working.” I blame our attitude towards sex as something that starts with penetration and ends with orgasm on the “punch in punch out” mentality of Fordism. We’re not mass producing orgasms here so try being a bit less “results oriented.”

It sounds like you guys are regularly intimate. Try taking sex off the table for a day or an hour or a minute and engaging in other activities that turn you on. Kissing is a good place to start. You might surprise yourself. I knew a girl who got aroused simply by beating eggs for an omelette.

When you decide that certain things are taboo, it usually makes them more exciting. You can do this with your partner or by yourself. Decide, for example, that you can do anything except kiss her neck, or touch her anywhere except her stomach. Then, when you break the rule it becomes that much more tantalizing. Foreplay is a game you play with yourself as much as your partner. Vātsyāyana in the Kama Sutra, even goes so far as to say that you might make a wager as to who will be able to get ahold of the other person’s lips first. Nothing says foreplay like a bet…

That’s OK. I mean even kissing seemed to have disappeared from civilization for about a thousand years after the fall of Rome. If that’s the case understand it as a compromise–sometimes you have sex with foreplay, sometimes you don’t. There’s room for both.

I dunno, this works for most women I know. If you’re not into oral sex, well. see the above.

Let me put it this way. I as a person who is not your girlfriend, have limited answers. Your girlfriend has more answers. Talk to her.

The Kama Sutra, which you should really read, describes various kinds of sexual embraces in nonhuman terms like, “the climbing of a tree” or the “mixture of milk and water.” When we’re sensually intimate with somebody we’re presented with an opportunity to explore our bodies in terms of these nonhuman metaphors. How does a bird seduce a tree? How do bodies fall into each other like liquid? Use your physical imagination to explore. I’m guessing your desires will soon be more in line.


PS: Join me on Playboy’s Twitter next Wednesday at 2 PM EST / 11 AM PST. Bring your questions and tag them with the #JustTheTips hash-tag.

Just the Tips is Playboy.com’s weekly advice column, with professional matchmaker Katherine Cooper. Have a question for Katherine about sex, love or dating? Shoot her a note at justthetips@playboy.com.