Outercourse: Why Sex Without Insertion is Being Redefined & Gaining Popularity

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Outercourse has often been lumped into the same category as abstinence. But now, people who are looking for sexual activity options without intercourse are redefining this term. 

Sexual Nostalgia = Strengthened Intimacy

Remember when “making out” and dry humping caused youthful excitement and wonderfully strange sensations of pleasure? 

Some therapists advise returning to a sex-free state to reenergize relationships and sexual feelings. Being unable to fulfill sexual desires for penetration is said to create intense urges and heightened feelings—essentially, the horniness from pre-sex days. 

Sometimes knowing your partner well sexually can quite possibly lead to bedroom boredom. Perhaps communication has become stilted. Reverting to outercourse, focusing on communication, agreeing to try new sexual things—may all help rekindle relationship sparks. 

Science has found that people draw on nostalgic memories when they feel disconnected, so it makes sense to use sexual nostalgia and memories of past fantasies to withdraw from a relationship. This reflection is sometimes needed to re-bond with a partner. 

Orgasmic Denial = Intense Sexual Arousal 

Orgasmic denial is the act of experiencing or allowing someone else to experience a high level of sexual arousal and pleasure for a long time without allowing an orgasm. It’s an area of erotic experimentation for some, and a key part of a dominant/submissive relationship for others.


Erotic sexual denial can help strengthen intimacy with a partner and lead both partners to higher levels of sexual stimulation—without actually orgasming. Taking a dominant role and holding off your partner’s orgasm for an extended time frame may help to give them more intense orgasms when you do finally give them that climax.


This denial technique, also referred to as edging, peaking, surfing or teasing, can also create an intense orgasm during solo masturbation. While thought to help with orgasmic control, deliberately holding yourself back from orgasm may create an amplified sexual experience and can heighten anticipation.


Whether to practice orgasmic denial for a short, or long, period is personal preference and should be discussed with a partner. As with many sexual preferences and experimentation, communication can help define the sexual tension you and your partner are looking to reach. 



Sexual Abstinence = Health Issues


For some people, refraining from penetrative intercourse is a conscious decision in an effort to preserve virginity or avoid painful sex. In some relationships, age and/or medical conditions can make penetration impossible. Many relationships focus on the intimacy of partnership and find other ways to fulfill sexual desires that don’t involve penetrative sex. 


While refraining from sex may make some individuals desire it less—it can also boost desire in others. As an example, think of both of these sayings: ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ and ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’. Depending on a person’s outlook, abstaining from sex can create different preferences. 


According to research, sexual abstinence can create changes in your body.


Physically, not having intercourse can also affect a person’s body in different ways. According to medical resources, not having regular intercourse can lead to vaginal tightening and thinning of delicate vaginal tissue. Unfortunately, many women dealing with menopausal symptoms or other painful sex conditions find themselves having intercourse less and less, which can actually exacerbate their condition even more. 


Sex has been shown to relieve stress, so forgoing it may lead to feeling anxiety. Research by the New England Research Institute found regular lovemaking made life-threatening heart conditions less likely to develop. Their findings concluded that men who have sex at least twice a week may cut their risk of heart disease by 50%. 


Sexual activities also count as exercise for a lot of people. Sex typically burns about 5 calories each minute, which is equal to a brisk walk. 


Additional research found regular sex boosts the immune system. While another study found men who had sex once a week were less likely to experience erectile dysfunction (ED). 



Orgasms without Penetration = Healthy Benefits


While we’ve discussed various changes that can take place when intercourse stops taking place, the benefits of orgasms without penetration should be considered.


Having an orgasm, with or without penetration, can release healthy sexual hormones, such as prolactin and oxytocin, that promote restful sleep.


Research also found not only sex, but emotional closeness can help improve memory. 


Additional research found orgasms to be capable of providing pain relief. Orgasms have been found to help with chronic back and leg pain, headaches, menstrual cramps, and arthritic aches. 



Discussing Outercourse Options with Your Partner


Mentally, sex can mean male virility, female muliebrity, youthfulness, and other connotations that can mean different things to different people. Lack of sex may lead to resentment, anger, and rising tensions. Yes, studies have found couples fight more when they stop having sex. The Kinsey Institute found a link between sex lives and relationship stability. 

So, how do you address not having intercourse with your partner?

Perhaps this decision is not entirely out of the blue. Your partner may be sensing a change in your sexual activities before you even begin this discussion. 

It’s going to take open communication, showing feelings, and healthy compromise to talk about outercourse. Determine if this is a temporary situation—or a long-term fix. Determine the pros and cons. Consider your reasons why outercourse appeals to you. 

Outercourse should not be a form of partner punishment or a control mechanism. 

Having outercourse can still lead to satisfaction for both partners. It can be used to strengthen intimacy and reformulate your sex life. Make sure to communicate and discuss your reasons honestly—and share how you hope outercourse can help both of you. 

Consider discussing options with a therapist or counselor who can help guide communications and considerations. 

Outercourse may be the ideal way to jumpstart intimacy and may lead to better sexual experiences. For many, outercourse is just a different way to enjoy sex. 

Have you tried outercourse? What was your experience with sexual activities that did not involve penetration? Please send me your questions and comments. I would love to hear from you.

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