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Health & Sex

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How to Get More Foreplay

WebMD Commentary from "Redbook" Magazine

By Marion Winik

It's a simple and, yes, slightly sad truth: Although a new partner works long and hard to show you that he's a caring, attentive, and affectionate sort who loves nothing more than to give luxurious foot massages and make out for hours on end, in long-term relationships, the action tends to speed up considerably. You absolutely want — and need — more kissing, caressing, and all that assorted good stuff, but the thought of actually coming out and asking him for those sensual moves makes you cringe. Fortunately, no matter how shy you might be when it comes to X-rated topics, we've got some very effective words that you can bring yourself to say. Here's the plan:

STEP 1: Get your motor running.

Before you ask your guy to lavish attention on your various hot spots, you've gotta get your mood on. After all, while a single thought — it's time for sex! — might be all he needs to get started, you (like many women) probably require some transition between washing the dishes/getting the kids to bed/straightening up and stripping down. Start with some small requests like these to turn up the emotional temperature and help you get psyched for making more sexy suggestions later.

  • "Come give me a hug." A nice, long hug (20 to 30 seconds, to be exact) is proven to jack up a woman's level of oxytocin — a hormone that heightens sexual arousal. Since guys love to learn the technical specs for anything, including the workings of your body, share this little tidbit with your partner, suggests Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of She Comes First. Then, once he's got his arms wrapped around you, put your good feelings into words: "It's so nice to unwind with you" or "I love when you hold me." He'll be encouraged to discover what else he can accomplish with a little patience.

  • "Can you rub my neck (or feet, or head)?" When a man wants to get you into bed, he'll often suggest that he give you a massage. Remind him of how well that tactic worked in the past.

  • "Let's take a shower together." The warmth...the sweet scents...the sexy, slippery feel of it all: Suds and water have a way of moving things in the right direction. Plus, when you open with this suggestion, he'll likely be open to your other steamy ideas.
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