Foreplay and Arousal

The Orchid garden

Chapter 4

Foreplay is the equivalent to an appetizer of a passionate meal for two. If done right it can leave you hungry and eagerly anticipating the main course. But if hurriedly approached and thrown together it can show your lack of knowledge, skill, and appreciation of your partner. One way to start the process early is to create a strong sense of expectation during day. Shave, groom your pubic hair, moisturize, and apply your perfume or cologne. Brush teeth, floss, and use mouthwash. Ultimately, create an overarching plan that builds excitement and stay aware to nuances of sexual response. Using your all of your senses to touch, caress, kiss, cuddle, play, whisper, breathe, lick, and suck, you lay the brickwork and create momentum for intercourse. Although many couples neglect this stage of lovemaking, particularly as they age, it is extremely

important to remember that arousal is built as a cycle, not an endpoint. Foreplay is an essential pre-condition to allow both partners, but especially women, to reach orgasm. It is a myth that a woman (or man) reaches orgasm every time she or he has sex. It is not necessary to have an orgasm to enjoy sex, nor is it a requirement for both parties to simultaneously reach orgasm. As you may have already learned, the male arousal cycle is faster and shorter than females.

This is often why a woman needs more time before a man experiences his pleasure. Arousal is not created by one source, instead through different stimuli (and all of the five senses). Visually the body is aroused through sight, but auditory stimuli based on environmental sounds and the human voice also create a certain mood. Olfactory arousal makes use of smell, such as a trademark perfume or clean sheets. Kinesthetic uses physical activity like touch. This is related to tactile stimuli: the feeling of someone’s skin, clothing, hair, and the memories associated with these tactile experiences.


The Veiled Garden

Arousal does not occur like an on and off button, but has different levels that waver in and out of intensity. While men and women experience the same four or five stages of arousal, they do not do so in the same physical and emotional ways.

1) In stage one, there is no arousal. For example, you are at work or doing chores. 2) The second stage is a state of low arousal when you’re getting turned on, but can lose that sensation easily. This stage can be exited through a bit of foreplay. His penis usually starts becoming erect, and her vagina usually begins to slowly lubricate. 3) With more sexual stimulation you can reach the third stage, which may lead you to the point of no return. If the erogenous zones are stimulated properly, they pass into the plateau stage. Your heart is thumping, face flush, and you have a feeling of being on the edge. The penis is fully erect, the vagina has dilated to accommodate the penis, but the latter also contracts to provide greater resistance and a heightened sensation during intercourse. 4) The fourth is orgasm, which lasts only a few seconds. It is the release stage for hopefully both husband and wife. At this time the penis ejects semen

in bursts (ejaculation), and the vagina alternately contracts and releases several times. It is the peak of the sexual experience. 5) The final stage is afterglow and relaxation. This is the recovery period where both partners feel peaceful and relaxed; the penis becomes soft, and the vagina no longer secrets lubricating fluid. Eroticism Eroticism is state of arousal that uses the power of suggestion or anticipation to create sexual desire. To feel erotic you have to lose your inhibitions to allow the body to feel new experiences. We are not referring to losing inhibitions that are our natural antibodies against immoral thoughts and actions, just allowing them to free flow like poetry or music. In a highly sexualized society where little is forbidden, just creating that aura creates erotic tension. Eroticism is also about communication, where one spouse sends a coded message and the other needs to decode it. The words you say, or the body language you convey with an underlying message is all you need. It could be playing footsie under the dinner table or meeting with your spouse for a lunchtime date, hoping you won’t be discovered, or going to a motel for a quickie and tearing each other’s clothes off, you can let your imagination run wild. Whatever you find turns you on, try them out in the privacy of your own little world. You can be turned on by the memory of any senses, objects, and some of these you will discover over time. To be erotic you do not even have to lay a finger on your spouse. It can be a phone call or text message.

The Veiled Garden

Alternatively you can use the power of touch in creative ways that send shudders down your partner’s spine. It is not so much the action, but what you are thinking about at the time. If you consider that this man or woman is the most beautiful or sexiest person on the planet, that message from the brain to the body will change how you touch. The more unexpected and surprising it is the more effective it is. Let your imagination run wild. We cover fantasies in a separate section, and keeping them in check. The rest is art, and the world is your canvas.

Unless you are newly married or in a constant state of arousal, most couples need some time to turn on the sex drive. The more stressful the day, the more time it requires. Each spouse may need encouragement, such as a vote of confidence that he or she looks attractive and beautiful. Just like saying, “I love you”, saying “You look cute today” or something more nuanced can start to prepare the body in unseen ways. The physical signs of attraction (and thereby arousal) are not just

feelings below the belt. When we are attracted to someone our eyes dilate. Conversely, when we dislike someone, our pupils contract. The language of love in part means giving meaningful eye contact and affectionate glances. The tone of your voice also adds to the language of love. Speaking in a lower intimate tone adds to sensuality. Whispering and hushed tones work better than loud animated conversations. The more specific you can be the better. Recognizes your partner’s successes. Sex begins before the bedroom. And remember, a woman may need up to 30 minutes to reach peak arousal, so start early! There is no perfect time to have sex with your spouse. Your daily To-Do list will never end. No matter how well you manage yourself, you will get tired and you may not reach the romantic peak. If one person is a night owl and the other an early bird, getting your energy cycles to match is not easy. In the morning you may be rested, but daily chores, the oncoming work commute, or just the fact that it is light out may diminish the romance. In the evening, orchestrating a desired mood, candlelit dinner, and dimmed bedroom may be close to perfect, but by the end you are exhausted. The best advice is to experiment as far as physical limits, and if you like numbers use the 70 percent solution. If you can get 70 percent of your needs and requirements, then go for it. No one is counting here, and the point is that you set realistic expectations given your circumstances. Not every night is like the 4th of July, and that is why we have different days of the year. Very few people would want to ‘celebrate’ so thoroughly, so often.

The Veiled Garden

There is no perfect place to have sex. The bedroom may be the most common (it is the most intimate and personal space a husband and wife have), but sometimes even that space can become too routine. In truth, it’s all a balance. First off, if you can avoid mixing the function of your bedroom as a private space with the functions of other rooms like home office or dining area, the bedroom will become your personal haven. Leave the television out. Personalize your bedroom with colors, accents, and furniture that meets both your preferences and wants. If you like to experiment in the bedroom, one good tip is good to have a firm mattress. Also, if you want to experiment with moves on and off the bed, it is best to have a low-height bed frame and mattress. Essentially, the more personalized the space, the more your wants and needs are reflected in that space, and the more comfortable you will be. Many men want their wives to occasionally initiate sex. This may be culturally uncomfortable for most women, but it sure would make many husbands feel more desired. There is nothing bad about initiating sex. You don’t have to grab and pull your man into the bushes, but gentle cues can work wonders. Leave him a naughty voice mail, telling him you can’t wait. Send a naughty text or email to his private email. (Be sure to check the send to address before you send it). At dinner, wrap your leg around his, stroke his foot with yours, or go for the crotch under the table. Meet him at the door and start to undress him. All of the tips we’ve shared for initiating intimacy are given to the women as equal suggestions unless otherwise noted. The burden of foreplay and hinting at sex is not just a man’s job. Own your sexuality and be clear with your intentions.

Touching is a key component of foreplay. It is a basic human need that starts from when we are born and persists until the end. Touch is both an affirmation and a demonstration of affection. It can be sensual and erotic, but also temperate and loving. Although some countries like Italy, Spain, and parts of the Middle East are inclined toward touch in every life, others are not. Touch requires a level of comfort and mutual understanding that truly depends upon the person and their background—most often their upbringing. Some people may be averse to overt touchy-feely behavior, and that is okay. Nevertheless, even non-sexual touching between couples builds intimacy. Snuggling up in a meaningful embrace helps you to bond with your partner at a different level than pure foreplay. A spontaneous hug may lead to other activities, but even if it doesn’t, the symbolic weight of a hug nurtures that intimacy which is so important in marital relations. Underneath our skin lie thousands of sensors, and some areas are more concentrated with them than others. It is natural to use touch, and we recommend taking full advantage of this God given feature from head to toe. Start with the hands or feet and work your way inwards. Move toward the arms, legs, and face. Breasts and genitals should be the last part of the entrée. Especially for men, who are visual creatures, it is easy for them to get stimulated and then want to go straight to intercourse. Besides the breasts and genitals for both men and women, there are other high sensory areas, including the feet, the area behind the knees, earlobes, neck, and naval.

The Veiled Garden

Being naked for both partners obviously gives the maximum skin contact and potential for arousal. However, there may be times when, for example, you want to do a quickie or the wife keeps that element of tease with lingerie, clothed may be the way to go. Couples should make preparations not be disturbed— doors locked, blinds or drapes closed. The dimmer the light, the more sensual the environment. Slowing down the undressing stage, perhaps through a striptease, adds sizzle. For the quickie, you can ask for permission to go wild and playfully tear off the clothes. As each garment comes off, you can throw it wildly. If you are undressing each other, the general approach is top down for women and bottom up for men.

The Role of Foreplay in Islam Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when and how you will. -- Quran 2:223 This may surprise some, and outrage others, but Islam encourages foreplay before sex. In our interpretation, God wills your marriage to be great and accepts the avenues of foreplay, which will make your partnership strong. As far as the methods of mutual stimulation in foreplay are concerned, the Shariah allows the husband

and the wife to see, kiss, touch, smell, and stimulate any part of each other's body. Oral sex is therefore allowed. A single kiss on the vagina is allowed, too. The only restriction is that no foreign object should be used. Though masturbation (self-stimulation of one's genitals until the emission of semen or orgasm) is not allowed, in the case of married persons, there is no problem if the wife stimulates her husband's penis to the point of orgasm. So long as the act does not fall under selfstimulation it is lawful. It is righteous for a man to enter his wife gently, and give foreplay beforehand. In one verse the Quran reads: "Let not the one of you fall upon his wife like a beast falls. It is more appropriate to set a messenger before the act.” A listener then asked, “What is the Envoy O Prophet?” He said, “Kisses and words of love.” And what does Islam teach about orgasm? A very important lesson based on following Prophetic narration says: "If any of you has sex with his wife let he be true to her. If he attains his pleasure before her then he shouldn't hurry her away until she also attains her pleasure" (Anas). Our sexuality is intended by God to be neither incidental nor detrimental to our spirituality. Intimate relations are fully integrated and basic dimensions of that spirituality. As we define, sex is an act that fulfills both the man and woman as God created them. A truly win-win situation when done in legitimate ways leads to a fulfilling married and sexual life.