The Ultimate Guide To Outercourse

13 October 2021

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This Ultimate Guide to Outercourse will introduce you to one of pleasure’s undiscovered gems. We were only recently introduced to the word ‘outercourse’ (thanks, CNN!), and as it neatly describes one of our favourite kinds of sex, we thought we’d write a brief guide. What exactly is outercourse? And what outercourse tips and tricks can you explore in your own bedroom? Or living room, or kitchen, or… you get the idea.

What is outercourse?

Outercourse means simply sex that is non-penetrative. Anything you do that doesn’t involve penetration could be described as ‘outercourse’. That means manual stimulation (hand jobs), oral stimulation (blow jobs), frotting, kissing, playing with sex toys. The list is almost endless.

Generally, when we write about outercourse here, we call it ‘non-penetrative sex’. But neither ‘outercourse’ nor ‘non-penetrative sex’ really works as a label. They’re both defined by their relationship to what many people consider ‘standard’ sex: i.e. penetration. Outercourse is the opposite of intercourse. Non-penetrative sex is the opposite of penetrative sex, and so on.

It’s a conundrum, born from society’s rigid view that there is a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to have sex. This misconception sees penetration as the pinnacle of sexual experience, and everything else as just foreplay. We’ve tackled this misconception before: sex does not have to be about penetration. In fact, sex is about consensual pleasure, whatever form that takes.

Why is outercourse important?

Plenty of people go through life never wanting – or being able – to have ‘intercourse’, i.e. penetrative sex. Everyone’s body works differently. Although there are people who achieve pleasure and orgasm from penetration, there are many who prefer other kinds of stimulation. That could mean manual, oral, or otherwise. What’s more, there are many people who are unable to get or sustain an erection, and who therefore can’t take part in penetrative sex. Others may suffer from conditions such as vaginismus which make penetrative sex uncomfortable or downright painful.

Focusing only on penetrative sex can lead to a lot of people feeling left out of sexual discourse. It can actually make them feel ‘broken’ in some way. As if they cannot enjoy pleasure because their body doesn’t work the way they’ve seen commonly portrayed.

Outercourse, aka ‘non-penetrative sex‘, can open up new avenues of sexual exploration for these people, and it can also help us broaden everyone’s sexual horizons by taking the focus off what’s ‘expected’ and shining a light on different kinds of pleasure.

When engaging in Outercourse, it may seem like a safer alternative to intercourse when it comes to preventing pregnancies and STIs. However, it's important to be aware that there is still a risk of transmitting or acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs) through the exchange of bodily fluids, skin-to-skin contact, which could also lead to pregnancy.

Ultimate Guide to Outercourse tips and tricks

We’re going to skip over the bits you already know – external stimulation, kissing, licking, touching, rubbing together, etc, in favour of slightly more unusual tips you may not have come across yet.

Double masturbation

This requires some manual dexterity, but if you’re up for the challenge it’s well worth the effort! First, you’ll need a lot of lube – all over your genitals, and your partner’s, and your dominant hand as well. The idea with this is to masturbate your partner while at the same time stimulating yourself.

For instance, if your partner has a penis and you have a clit, wrap your hand around their penis then sit close enough to them that your hand is also in contact with your clit. If they lie down and you sit on top facing them you should be able to position yourself so that the knuckles of your thumb rest against your clit while your fingers grip their shaft. If you both have clits, you should again be able to position yourselves closely so that your fingers touch both of you at once.

It may take some time to manoeuvre, but once you’re in position you’ll be able to both experience the same rhythm – like mutual masturbation, but with an extra connection. Swapping round is also a great way to connect with your partner and understand how they like to be stimulated.

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Grinding and sex toys for outercourse

If the tip above was tricky, or you need a little more stimulation than that, couples sex toys like PULSE DUO mean you can get mutual stimulation but without the difficulty. PULSE DUO is designed to wrap around someone’s penis, giving them stimulation through the head and shaft. But it also comes with an external vibrator, which gives stimulation to the clitoris or perineum of their partner.

Moving into the same position (one of you lying down, one on top), PULSE DUO rests against the penis and provides external vibrations for grinding against – so you get that closeness as well as the intense vibrations.

You can also use toys like PULSE DUO in a variety of non-penetrative sex positions – check out our handy guide.

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How does Outercourse help with creativity in the bedroom?

Outercourse offers a remarkable avenue to enhance your creativity within the realm of intimacy. By embracing outercourse, you open yourself up to a whole new world of pleasure beyond traditional penetrative sex. This alternative approach enables you to think outside the box and explore various avenues that arouse and satisfy you on a deeper level.

Engaging in outercourse encourages the flexing of your creative muscle when it comes to sexual expression. It encourages you to think beyond the confines of conventional sexual activities and unlocks the potential for imaginative experimentation. As you venture into this territory, you may discover thrilling new sensations and experiences that you hadn't previously considered.

By directing your attention towards activities beyond intercourse, such as sensual touch, kissing, mutual masturbation, or the use of toys and props, you widen the scope of possibilities for pleasure. This newfound focus on alternative forms of intimacy ultimately fuels your imagination, enabling you to explore uncharted territories and find unique avenues to satisfy both yourself and your partner.

With outercourse, you have the opportunity to expand your understanding and appreciation of what constitutes a fulfilling sex life. It presents an opportunity to break away from societal norms and encourages the personalization of your intimate experiences. This freedom to explore and experiment can have a profound impact on both your individual and shared sexual journeys, invigorating and revitalizing your connection with your own desires and those of your partner.

Ultimately, outercourse offers a means to invigorate your bedroom experiences by fostering creativity, exploration, and a deeper understanding of what truly brings pleasure and satisfaction. Through the liberation of your sexual imagination, you create a space to delight in new sensations, redefine intimacy, and embrace the infinite possibilities that await you and your partner.

Male and female lay in a bed kissing

The Karezza Technique

It’s tempting to look out for new and unusual sex tips but sometimes, if you want to try something you’ve never experienced before, you have to delve back in time. The ‘Karezza Technique’ was developed by Dr Alice Stockhalm in her 1896 book Karezza: Ethics of Marriage. This might sound familiar to you if you’ve explored the more modern practice of mindfulness.

It works like this: you and your partner lie naked together. While it doesn’t have to be on a bed, it should be somewhere comfortable. A sofa or cushions on the floor would work equally well. One of you lies on your back, and the other lies on their side, with their leg thrown over yours. Make sure your genitals are touching. The idea is to let yourselves lie like this for 30 minutes – relaxed, breathing deeply, and making note of all the sensations. Allow yourselves to become aroused, but don’t move on to doing anything other than lying together and breathing together. The idea is that it helps you get to know your body better, by understanding the more subtle sensations that come when you’re not pushing towards the goal of orgasm: you can just lie and enjoy the feeling of skin-to-skin contact.

The technique is being championed by Lousada and Louise Mazanti, authors of new book Real Sex, who explained in Metro that:

“The point of the exercise is to move away from friction-based sex and to create an awareness of more subtle but equally pleasurable sensations. It’s relevant today because pornography tends to focus on the idea that more intensity means better sex.”

Why you should embrace ‘outercourse’

There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to have sex – only what is most pleasurable for you and your partners. Whether you love or loathe the word ‘outercourse’, stumbling across the word – and the techniques – serves as a handy reminder that sex doesn’t have to be penetrative. With some of the tips in our Ultimate Guide To Outercourse, plus manual, oral, and other kinds of stimulation, ‘outercourse’ can be as varied as any ‘intercourse’ would be.

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