Almost every sex manual emphasises the need for adequate foreplay. Most men have learned that foreplay is essential to their wives’ enjoyment of lovemaking, but they generally minimise their own need because they are fully aroused for lovemaking at the sight of their beloved’s nude body. Yet, current research has revealed that it is easier for a man to retard his ejaculation after a long period of foreplay than after sudden arousal. Besides, as he learns how affectionately to arouse his wife, he will attain in her response intense excitement himself, and it will enrich his own climax.
How long the couple should spend in foreplay may vary with each couple’s need, depending somewhat upon their temperaments and cultural background. But it is never wise to be in a hurry. A modest inexperienced bride may require thirty or more minutes in preparation for lovemaking. After she becomes more experienced, the preparatory time may be reduced to ten or fifteen minutes; occasional exceptions during her emotional cycle when she is particularly amorous may reduce the time even further.
There is no universal pattern for arousing a woman to lovemaking. Some women are stimulated by having their breasts caressed, others are not. Furthermore, a woman’s emotional cycle may make it enjoyable for her on some occasions, but not on others. For this reason, a wife should freely instruct her husband through verbal responses and by placing his hands where she wants him to caress her tenderly. Generally, a thoughtful husband may gently massage his wife’s neck, shoulders, and breast to arouse her until blood rushes to the nipples and they become firm and erect, though care should be taken not to irritate the nipples by too vigorous action. Any tender fondling and kissing on the upper body will help to arouse her. Gradually, the husband should move his hands gently down his wife’s body until he contacts the vulva region, mindful to keep his fingernails smoothly filed to avoid producing any discomfort (which could cause her heating emotions to become suddenly chilled).
As the husband is tenderly caressing the clitoris or vaginal area with his hand, the couple will probably be lying on the bed with the wife on her back. If she will spread her legs, keeping her feet flat on the bed, and pull them up toward her body, it will be helpful for them both. The husband finds this voluntary act of cooperation very exciting, and it makes most sensitive areas accessible to his caressing fingers. It is best for the husband to fondle the area around the clitoris, but he should not start foreplay there at first because of potential irritation. As the area starts to engorge with blood, it becomes the primary source of excitement to the wife and is then ready for direct stimulation.
On arousal, her breathing will be more rapid, her face may grimace as if in pain, and she may groan audibly – and her husband finds this all very exhilarating. The most noticeable change will take place in the vaginal area, where she becomes very moist and the inner lips (labia minora) begin to swell several times their normal size until they form a hood over the clitoris, which may no longer be felt by his fingers. At this point, it usually becomes unnecessary to maintain direct contact with the clitoris, for any motion in the vaginal region will vibrate against the thick layers of the swollen hood and transmit the movements to the clitoris indirectly. This further will amplify passion in the wife.
The vigour with which the husband massages this vital area should be determined by the wife. Some prefer it slow and easy, while others enjoy vigorous motion. Some wives like to vary the motion within one lovemaking experience; others may choose to modify it according to their mood. Most important, the husband should be extremely gentle and sensitive to his wife’s needs at this point.
The mounting passions and tensions in a wife at this stage can be likened to pushing a cart uphill. As one gradually approaches the top, the peak seems to become steeper; then with a final thrust, the cart will be on the uphill side. So, a thoughtful husband will not suspend his motion in the midst of their love play. If he does, her emotional cart will immediately descend and he will have to regain the emotional loss. This explains why many women cool somewhat during the time it takes a husband to remove his fingers from her vaginal area and place his penis inside, particularly if he has any clothing to remove. With practice, he can learn to continue the massaging love play while putting the penis into place. This will help his wife continue her climb toward a high emotional peak. After the husband learns more self-control, he may stimulate his wife’s clitoris with a lubricated penis. Some wives may prefer this to the husband’s fingers. Then it is easily slipped into the vagina when she is ready.
Many an inexperienced husband misunderstands a very important signal from his wife. When his fingers are caressing the vaginal area and he finds it well lubricated, he may consider that to be the signal that she is ready for coitus. This is not true! Until her labia minora are heavily swollen by influx of ample supply of blood, the sensitive areas of her vagina will not even be included in their lovemaking. If he proceeds before that, he will probably reach orgasm just as this swelling takes place, and she will be left unfulfilled. His relaxing penis will then be unable to continue the motion on the sides of the vagina and the clitoris necessary to bring her to climax. This common misunderstanding probably has kept more loving partners from learning to reach simultaneous orgasms than anything else.
Culled from The Act of Marriage by Tim and Beverly Lahaye.