Along with my "Risks and Dangers" posts (here), this "Other than Sex" post is pretty popular around some of the advice communtiies I'm involved in. Not only are they alternatives to actually having sex, but if you are currently sexually active, they can intensify the experience.
Other Than Sex
"Romantic activity," or "sexual activity," usually occurs in layers, relying on the partners' mutual comfort levels. It's okay to retrace your steps a bit and mix things up a little--my partner and I often enjoy just kissing or making out, even though we've gone further than that before. The exciting thing is you learn something new everytime.
Most importantly--more importantly than anything otherwise on this list (except possibly the "Risks & Dangers" section at the end) is that you make sure you take note of what your partner enjoys. He or she may like something that I haven't even mentioned, or he/she may not like some of the things--everyone's an individual, feel free to experiment. ^^
The order-of-occurence can vary, but this is a list and description of a few "romantic" activities, from mildest and most innocent to most explicit.
2. Closed-mouth kissing, when lips meet lips
3. Kissing with tongue (or as my best friend calls them, "freaky kisses").
4. "Make-out sessions" usually involve kissing and can be carried out in a wide range of ways, starting with a position where you keep your hands on the waist, shoulders, or around the neck of your partner. You can move your hands up and down over their backs, down their sides and arms, tangle your fingers in their hair or trace patterns on their neck for a slightly more "erotic" feel. Never underestimate the power of a light touch--guys often like the gentle feel of a woman's hands, while ladies like to feel treasured and precious. A harder grip can be pleasing as well, and light scratching is also often a turn-on. Make-out sessions can also include "necking," being "felt up," or "heavy petting."
5. Necking involves the sucking, kissing, or licking of your partner's neck, shoulder, the adjoining area, or collarbone. You can also lick the ear or nibble the earlobe. Light, playful biting is allowed. Though not considered "necking," other forms of kissing are also fun to play around with. Licking or kissing the palm is often considered very erotic. Similarly, the inside of the wrist and elbow are also incredibly sensitive to that kind of stimulation. Other sensitive areas include the nape of the neck, the spine, the base of the spine, behind the knee, the stomach, the ankle, and--yes--the foot. Feel free to use your hands and fingertips in conjunction with your mouth.
6. Being felt up is when your partner touches your upper body int he chest region.. It typically involves stroking, lightly squeezing or pinching, rubbing or massaging the breasts/pectorals and nipples. Typically you do this through the clothes at first--later, as you get more comfortable with your partner, you may allow him/her to put his/her hand up your shirt, over or under your bra, etc. It really depends on what you're comfortable with, and when. You can also take off your shirt/upper body clothing, but that usually doesn't happen till later. (Personally, I thought this felt kind of wierd at first and it didn't really get me turned on, but as I got more used to it, and my partner discovered what I liked, it's become a much-fun activity.)
7. "Necking Extended"...I know. You're like, "Say what?" But I don't really know what to call this stage, but it's when mouth activity and "kisses" extend past the "chaste" areas. Licking, sucking, nibbling extends to the breasts/pectorals, nipples, and chest. Chests and nipples are not sensitive exclusively for women--some guys really like to have their pecs played with. Others don't. The most important thing to do in any of these situations is to take note of what your partner is enjoying.
8. "Heavy petting" is the next stage and involves hand activity below the waistline. Like "being felt up," this can be done with or without clothes. You can feel, stroke, rub, press, or squeeze your partner through his/her pants or undergarments, and he/she can rub or touch you through your own. Grabbing, squeezing, and massaging the buttocks can also be pleasureable. But please, as you go through any of these stages, TAKE NOTE OF WHAT YOUR PARTNER LIKES. Some things may make him or her uncomfortable, just as they might make you uncomfortable. Likewise, many of the things you enjoy he or she will enjoy as well. You can also engage in heavy-petting without clothes. At this point your partner may penetrate you (presuming you are female) with a finger (termed "fingering"). Make sure you let him/her know if you're comfortable with this or not. It may bother you, or make you uncomfortable if you're particularly tight or if he or she is rough. You may bring each other to orgasm during this stage. Though you're not obligated to do anything that makes you uncomfortable, a man with a teased erection can be in a lot of pain, and if you've been petting for a long time it would probably be merciful to "allow" him to orgasm, whether you do it (via a handjob) or he does it himself. (see below for legal information)
9. Then there's the "dry hump." Forgive me for that ridiculous phrase--"dry hump" makes me think of horny Chihauhaus for reasons best left unsaid--but again, I can't think of what else to call it. People define this differently all over the place. To me, it's when someone is rubbing their fully-clothed nether regions against their partner's fully-clothed nether regions, usually in a movement mimicking sex. Some, though few, women can only achieve orgasm this way, because of the clitoral stimulation and the kind of friction afforded by the cloth. (see here for legal and health information).
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