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What is Outercourse?

By: Jennah DuBois

Babe Blog: What is outercourse? How to enjoy sex without penetration

An essential part of furthering your sex education (at any age!) is learning about language and possibilities you may have never considered before. By constantly expanding our sexual vocabularies and learning new things, we are taking the shame out of sex. Knowledge and normalization are power, baby! Ultimately, this empowers us to have healthy, happy, and consensual sex lives. Today, we'll dive into the juicy world of ~outercourse~.

What is outercourse?

First things first, let's define what outercourse means so we're all on the same page. Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes outercourse as "sexual activity between individuals that does not involve vaginal or anal intercourse."

Outercourse could look like oral sex, clitoral stimulation, hand jobs, licking, heavy touching, grinding, humping, using vibrators or other sex toys, kissing, paddles, bondage, blindfolds, role-playing, incorporating temperature play, remote-control toys, sensual massages—you name it! Basically, outercourse can be anything that creates erotically sensual pleasure without involving penetration.

Babe Blog: What is outercourse? How to enjoy sex without penetrationWhat’s the difference between outercourse and foreplay?

Another essential part to distinguish before we dive in is that outercourse and foreplay are not the same thing. Outercourse could be foreplay, but foreplay is not always outercourse. Grouping outercourse into the same bracket as foreplay alludes to the idea that penetrative sex is always the goal. And for a lot of folks, it just isn't! This language is important because not only is it more inclusive, but it also expands the idea of sex. Which, of course, we love.

Why is outercourse a good idea?

Let's rewind the tape for a moment. You know when you're first starting to explore your sexuality with someone else? There's a lot of heavy petting, grinding, humping, and, most importantly, curiosity. Making out could last for hours! There is so much interest in tension-building and connecting. Then, for a lot of folks, if penetrative sex is on the table, it often means we forget entirely about all the juicy exploration and continue on with penetration being the height of the sexual experience. The sexual script has been written by the media and culture, and it can be difficult to deviate from it. Outercourse can be just as intimate (and satisfying!) as penetrative sex because it requires intentionality and communication (which, in my opinion, leads to some of the best sex!).

There are countless reasons folks engage in and need non-penetrative sex as an option. For example, outercourse is a fantastic choice for people who experience painful vaginal or anal penetration. Even if someone experiences pain from insertion and internal friction, outercourse is (almost) always on the table. Outercourse can involve the genitals, nipples, buttocks, or anywhere else someone might enjoy erotic touch externally on the body. This type of touch and play can include toys, aids, the hands, and the mouth, or it could be created through rubbing/friction with the bodies. For folks who experience pain from penetration, just taking penetration off the table can reveal even more opportunities clouded by what we "think" we should do. Because of the nature of outercourse, the tasks at hand usually take time and involve taking turns, listening to our partners, and expressing our own needs.

And just in case I'm not being clear enough, OUTERCOURSE IS SEX! 

Babe Blog: What is outercourse? How to enjoy sex without penetrationAdvantages and risks

Outercourse is also an excellent option for penis/vagina owners who aren't using birth control and are trying to steer clear of pregnancy. Because there is no penetration with outercourse, the likelihood of semen getting into the vagina is very unlikely. Now, while this can limit the possibility of pregnancy, it's important to note that STIs are still possible through outercourse sex. So, make sure you are getting tested regularly and chatting openly with your sexual partners about your results. And if you are looking for even more protection, there are options! Dental dams and condoms work wonderfully to protect against the transmission of bodily fluids while still allowing space for lots of fun to be had (also, remember to clean your sex toys).

Can I explore outercourse solo?

Outercourse isn't just all about partner play! While there's the classic option of exploring yourself acoustically (with your hands), there are also incredible toy options to take your outercourse exploration to a whole new level. There are so many different types, shapes, and sizes of vibrators that are fantastic for clitoral, nipple, perineum (taint), or testicle stimulation. Vibrators are all about preference—some folks might like a smaller vibrator head that allows for direct contact. This option can be great for those who need more stimulation to reach orgasm (if orgasm is the goal—sometimes it isn't). Other vibrator heads - like wand vibes - are larger and send sexy vibration waves to more parts of the vulva, not just the clitoris. These bigger heads can feel yummy on different body parts, too. Exploring multiple options can be a spicy, fun way to get to know your body and see what you enjoy using the most. If one toy doesn't work for you, try another one! Our bodies are different and have unique needs and erogenous zones.

If you're someone who loves the humping and grinding sensations, there are toys for that too! And yes, they are fabulous. Just like the vibrators, grinding toys come in all shapes and sizes. Most vibration pads come with a remote control to ride and grind at your leisure with an easy click of a button! AND grind pads aren't just for vulva owners. They can also stimulate the perineum, testicles, and anus too!

Babe Blog: What is outercourse? How to enjoy sex without penetrationA sexual game-changer

Outercourse opens up a world of possibilities for experiencing intimacy and pleasure without the need for penetration. It invites us to widen our understanding of what sex can be, emphasizing connection, communication, and creativity. By exploring outercourse, we can discover new, yummy ways to satisfy our desires, cater to our unique needs, and sweeten our sexual experiences. Whether for personal preference, health reasons, or simply the joy of discovering new sensations, outercourse is a valid and exciting part of a fulfilling sex life. The main takeaway? Sex is all about enjoying and cherishing the journey of pleasure and intimacy, making each experience uniquely yours. By embracing the playful, the curious, and the pleasurable, outercourse can be a part of your sexual repertoire!

 


 

Babeland Guest Writer: Jennah DuBois

 

Jennah DuBois is a trained sex + relationship coach, an educator, and published writer who works to diminish shame and empower people to love, accept, and explore their bodies. After leaving the religious communities she grew up in, Jennah realized just how much religion plays a part in how we view sex and our bodies. She absolutely loves helping people come home to themselves and feel equipped in their relationships. If you want to spend more time with Jennah and learn more about her work, you can find her on Substack & Instagram at @honestsexuality!

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