30 Days of Great Sex

Step 2: Foreplay, New-Millennium Style

What if you decided, along with your playmate, to limit regular old sex for 30 days and, instead, tried out new ways of relating with your minds, hearts, mouths and bodies? That's just what this doctor is ordering to get you to new heights of shared intimacy and off-the-scale pleasure. You don't have to abandon sex entirely, but at least for this week, try to keep your clothes on! Believe me, it will pay off -- and add delight to your forays between the sheets.

The first step is to start a "love journal." This can be a velvet-bound notebook, electronic organizer or any other device that appeals to your fancies and that you will use. Keep your journal in a place where you can get to it in those early hours of the day, before workaday doings have gotten your brain cells too distracted. This is the best time to "journal," a reliable technique for inner growth and personal assessment that has been recommended for centuries. Use your love journal to answer the following questions: What turns me on sexually? What are the qualities in a mate or lover that get my motor running? (Is it having my hair brushed, being growled at with a flirtatious smile over a cup of steaming coffee or reading sexy love notes left on the fridge? Is it a well-developed backside, messy hair, or feeling warm breath all over your neck?) Try to focus on every possible aspect of what gets you started. Write down every thought that you can, every day. Watch for patterns. Watch for what your partner really does to you -- or what you wish he would. During week one, let your journal be your guide. Try out some of your turn-ons with your partner and also keep indulging in your thoughts of foreplay fantasies. Be daring and keep notes on how you feel.

In another part of this journal, write down your vision for a successful sexual relationship -- its qualities and characteristics. You may want to discuss this with your partner before you attempt to make your list. For example, do you want to have partner sex daily with multiple orgasms or are you satisfied to have sex on the full moon and not fall asleep during the act? (You get the picture.) Having a vision for what you want in a sexual relationship will help to guide you and keep you on track. That way, you'll know when you have reached your goals and know how to tell when you are far afield from your pursuits. As you grow in your sexual relationship, you will move closer to your ideal.

Now then, it's time to explore your foreplay patterns and skills. Did you know that the mouth is a sexual organ? When people kiss deeply, hormonal production kicks in and arousal cues are sent throughout the body. No wonder romantic stories are so filled with those deep, passionate, daylong, steamy kisses. I always like the scene in Bull Durham where Kevin Costner talks about his own style of foreplay. He describes his pattern of indulging in hours-long kisses, and Susan Sarandon realizes from this what a great lover he is.

Learning how to be a good kisser takes intention and skill. Try different kissing styles and techniques with your lover. One exercise worth trying is to breathe into each other's mouths, consciously sharing breaths. At first, you may feel afraid to lose your breath, but then, gradually, you may learn to appreciate the intimacy this evokes. Keeping eye contact (not closing your eyes) while you kiss also heats up the connection. In his landmark book, Passionate Marriage, Dr. David Schnarch talks about wall-socket sex between couples who are daring enough to go for the highest levels of intimacy they can tolerate. This usually involves what he calls "eyes open" sex. Kissing with your eyes open is a great way to start this process and deepen your sexual bond. From there, you can build to having "eyes open" sex. Something wonderful to look forward to!

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