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Foreplay, Play, Orgasm, & Post-Orgasm

LindaThe act of lovemaking can be a great way to shift from a focus on the destination to one on the journey.

It’s not about getting somewhere but about enjoying the ride. When two people are fully present in the process of lovemaking, the experience is radically different than it is when one or both of them are somewhere else. You’ve got to bring more than your body to the game.

Foreplay is everything that has gone on between the last time you had sex and this time. It is not simply the prelude to a full sexual experience. It begins in the moment immediately following your last sexual encounter.

Emotional intimacy is great foreplay.

To the degree that there has been goodwill and loving kindness shared since your last encounter with each other, this experience will be much more likely to be mutually fulfilling.

  • Know what turns you on, as well as what turns your partner on. If you don’t know, find out. You can’t tell your partner what you like if you don’t know what you like. Get to know your own body through self-pleasuring, and you’ll know just what to ask for.
  • Ask for what you want. None of us are mind readers. Your partner really needs your feedback. Although expressing your desires and needs does not guarantee that they will be fulfilled, it does make it more likely that they will be. Your feedback (verbal, sounds, and body language) gives your partner the information that they need in order for both of you to experience greater pleasure.
  • Anticipation is part of the fun. Just thinking about what’s coming up can be a turn-on. E-mailing, texting, leaving sexy voice mails, or notes that give previews of coming attractions are a few examples of priming the pump. Strengthen your orgasm muscles. Kegels are the classic exercise for women who want to transform feeble orgasms into fabulous ones. Locate these muscles in your pelvic floor by stopping yourself from peeing midstream. Then tone them by clenching when you’re not peeing. This exercise is good for men too.
  • Practice delaying your orgasmThe more you prolong the arousal phase of sex, the bigger the explosion. So slow down and enjoy. When you feel yourself close to orgasm, cool slightly and bring things to a simmer. Then slowly build back up and repeat as many times as you can stand to, then let go!
  • Be fully present. Yes we’ve said this before but it bears repeating. Show up!
  • Use your breath to manage your sexual energyIf you breathe in tandem with your partner, you can slow the rush toward orgasm and create a bigger build up, which will intensify pleasure.
  • Hit the hot spots. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
  • Explore erotica. Erotic movies and books can be tasteful and arousing.
  • Get help if you need it. If you are not orgasmic or have low levels of desire, advice from a professional may be helpful. Many types of medications impede the process of sexual responsiveness and desire. If you are taking medication, check with your doctor to see if they could be inhibiting your sexual experience. Nerve damage or low testosterone could also be the problem. Get a thorough medical evaluation. You can also consult a licensed sex therapist by getting a referral from a trusted therapist, doctor, member of the clergy, or friend or check with the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) or the American Academy of Sexologists.
  • Enjoy the afterglow. This will require you to remain conscious, which can sometimes be easier said than done, particularly after an intense sexual encounter. Resisting the temptation to immediately fall asleep can produce rich dividends in your relationship, even if there is only a very brief reconnection after your climax. Take advantage of the openheartedness that orgasm produces. Sharing a few kind, loving words can be enough to satisfy the need for closure.

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Foreplay, Play, Orgasm, & Post-Orgasm


Linda Bloom LCSW and Charlie Bloom MSW are considered experts in the field of relationships. They have been married since 1972. They have both been trained as seminar leaders, therapists and relationship counselors and have been working with individuals, couples, and groups since 1975. They have been featured presenters at numerous conferences, universities, and institutions of learning throughout the country and overseas as well. They have appeared on over two hundred radio and TV programs. Linda and Charlie are co-authors of the widely acclaimed books: 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last (over 100,000 copies sold) Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truth from Real Couples about Lasting Love, and Happily Ever After...and 39 Other Myths about Love: Breaking Through to the Relationship of Your Dreams. The Blooms are excited to announce the release of their fourth book, That Which Doesn't Kill Us: How One Couple Became Stronger at the Broken Places. They live in Santa Cruz, California, near their two children and three grandchildren. To view our upcoming events and to sign up for our free newsletter, visit our website at:

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APA Reference
Bloom, L. (2019). Foreplay, Play, Orgasm, & Post-Orgasm. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 7, 2020, from


Last updated: 3 Jan 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.