Outercourse — Sex Without Penetration

So here’s a term that’s new to me: “outercourse”, as opposed to intercourse. Basically, sexual stuff other than penetration, and somehow distinct from mere foreplay.

This term “outercourse” refers to sex that isn’t intercourse and doesn’t involve penetration. It can include kissing, touching, erotic massage and using sex toys, just to name a few options.

“When we equate intercourse and sex and call everything that comes before intercourse ‘foreplay,’ we are buying into the cultural script that sex should proceed as follows: foreplay (just enough to get her ready for intercourse), intercourse (during which both women and men orgasm), and game over,” Mintz said. But sex doesn’t have to involve intercourse at all. Even when it does, other forms of stimulation can add to the experience and may improve the odds of reaching orgasm.

Herbenick suggested that couples take a lesson from the early days of their relationship. “Sometimes, when people are first getting together, they spend time making out and touching each other’s genitals long before they start having oral sex or intercourse with each other,” she explained. “All too often, once oral sex and intercourse become part of their routine, the rest fades away — which is too bad, considering how powerful genital touching can be.”

It’s true that making out tends to give way to sex as your relationship matures, but is that somehow less than ideal?

Sexy Corte and I often invest a lot of time, creativity, and energy into foreplay (with various games, bondage, toys, etc.), but then we have sex. SC requires clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm, but still strongly prefers to climax with penetration.

I definitely see the argument for more and better foreplay — and the importance of recognizing that the vast majority of women require clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm — but I’m not sure I get the idea of outercourse and sex without penetration. What do you think? What role does outercourse have in your marriage?

4 comments

    1. I’m not completely sure, but yes, I think the idea is to focus less on penetration as the apex of sex and to value non-penetrative activities more highly. (The author doesn’t mention anal sex, but does mention oral sex as not “outercourse”.) Calling outercourse “foreplay” just makes it seem like penetration is the main course.

      I’m just not sure I understand if/why penetration should be avoided? Including more outercourse in the lead-up to penetrative sex seems great, but I’m not sure what’s added by intentionally avoiding penetration.

      1. Yeah, I am feeling confused by it. Seems like semantics to me. But maybe it’s a mindset thing that you can have sexual pleasure without intercourse every time. Sometimes, intercourse is not possible, so other alternatives are good. I mean, if you aren’t a period sex person, then understanding there’s alternatives would be good. I am going to hang my hat on this- I don’t get it. 😀
        Keelie Reason recently posted…Don’t Have Sex FOR Your Spouse Have Sex WITH Your SpouseMy Profile

        1. I get it! Thinking that your partner expects things always to finish with intercourse can produce tension. I love the foreplay part as it plays to my imagination. I think that if you have had your children and are a bit older there is a whole panaply (spelling?) within foreplay sex without having to uses condoms and things.

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