Why outercourse is just as good (if not better) than intercourse

When roughly 25 percent of women can consistently reach orgasm through vaginal sex, it’s time we examined the alternatives. Here’s a really strong case for why outercourse is where the pleasure is at.

When it comes to sex, society tends to focus on penetration as the end game. Movies, books and public conversations are all about intercourse and filled with harmful myths.

Yet for many women – and even some men – outercourse is a far more pleasurable alternative, which can make sex a lot more fun for both parties. So, it’s about time we give it a bit more priority and airtime.

What is outercourse?

What exactly is outercourse? Well, as the name suggests, it refers to any sexual activities outside the body.

“For some, outercourse refers to any erotic or sensual activity that does not include penis-in-vagina-penetration,” sex therapist and author Dr Rosie King says.

“For others, outercourse means no penetration of any kind, including fingers, sex toys, and anal sex.”

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She goes on to say that outercourse can range from “kissing to massage, manual or oral stimulation, frottage (rubbing body parts together), mutual masturbation, self-stimulation with a partner and use of sex toys”.

This can be a good option for a range of reasons, like preference, pain avoidance, an alternative if you don’t have a condom and/or missed the pill and/or want to avoid pregnancy during ovulation. Plus, it has a lower risk of STI transmission.

A better time for women (and men)

For many women, outercourse provides a far more pleasurable and consistently enjoyable time than penetration or intercourse. It can also be a good addition to intercourse to make sure orgasms are on the table and everyone’s having a good time.

In fact, only 25 percent of women say they are consistently orgasmic during vaginal intercourse.

What’s more, as Dr King claims, “only 15 to 20 percent of women reach orgasm through penis-in-vagina sex alone, which means that 80-85 percent of women don’t.”

Indeed, a study in America reported that 95 percent of heterosexual men, 89 percent of gay men and 88 percent of bisexual men say they usually-to-always organism when intimate.

This is opposed to only 65 percent of heterosexual women, 86 percent of lesbians and 65 percent of bisexual women claiming the same.

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound good enough to me.

Outercourse can also help men who experience premature or delayed ejaculation and/or performance anxiety.

As Dr King says, outercourse can help men relax or bring both parties to climax without “often unsuccessful humping.”

Clinical psychosexual and relationship therapist, Jocelyn Klug, believes outercourse can also help couples connect.

“For many men, penetration causes anxiety and finding pleasure through outercourse activities can be a wonderful way to maintain connection,” she says.

How outercourse can help those who experience painful sex

Dr King says many women experience painful penetration or dyspareunia: pain in the genital area or pelvic during sexual intercourse.

This can include women who have conditions such as tight pelvic floors vaginismus or vulvodynia.

There are a myriad of causes of painful intercourse, she says, including problems originating from the vulva, the vagina, the pelvic floor and the pelvic organs.

For these women, outercourse can provide a healthy and pleasurable alternative and one that avoids pain.

Outercourse can also contribute to a more long-lasting sex drive. Dr King claims that pushing through painful penetration can contribute to the development of “loss of libido or sexual aversion which can be difficult to treat.”

Whereas, outercourse avoids these problems while providing pleasure.

It removes pressure

Outercourse can remove a great deal of pressure associated with penetration.

“Without the pressure to have penetration – which for some women can be an uncomfortable or painful experience – focusing on outercourse can allow relaxation and pleasure,” Klug explains.

For men who experience erection difficulties in particular, “removing pressure can lead to a far more pleasurable experience if you open yourself to a greater repertoire of outercourse activities,” Klug says.

She adds that when we “think outside of the square, there are many pleasurable sexual activities that two people can enjoy, both in giving and receiving pleasure. The goal should be pleasure, not performance.”

Tips and advice

Dr King says the most important tip for outercourse is changing your attitude from thinking that “sex equals penetration”.

Instead, practice what feels good for you and your sexual partner and be open “to add more variety to your sex life and learn about each other’s likes and dislikes.”

Klug adds that have been conditioned to associate sex with intercourse alone, whereas expanding one’s repertoire could result in “pleasure and connection on a level previously unexplored.”

It’s important to make sure you and your sexual partner are on the same page about what outercourse means to you and what you’re happy to try/not to try.

At the end of the day, it’s all about communication and having a good time.