There are lots of reasons why you might explore non-penetrative sex, or be asked to participate in non-penetrative sex.
Some polyamorous lovers reserve penetrative sex for their primary partner, so occasions may arise during hookups or threesomes when penetration is not in the cards.
Why Some People Avoid Sexual Penetration
Politics before Penetration
Some people practice non-penetrative sex as a political act. This was more widespread in the late 80s, after radical feminist Andrea Dworkin wrote Intercourse, a book that declared all penetrative heterosexual sex to be rape. In my opinion, this notion is not just man-hating but woman-hating too. But occasionally I meet someone from this school of thought.
It isn’t very often that you’ll meet the hot-virgin archetype saving sexual penetration for The One, while still engaging in everything but. But it takes all kinds, and not all technical virgins are staying home eating pizza. Some are out having threeways, just avoiding the old in and out.
Medical Conditions that Prevent Penetration
More commonly, women who suffer from vulvodynia or vaginismus shouldn’t have to go without sex altogether. These conditions are poorly understood, sometimes dismissed as frigidity. Women with vulvodynia experience horrific burning sensations or “cut glass” feelings in and around their pussies, and vaginismus can mean the muscles are painfully clamped. New research is pointing towards physical causes, not psychological ones.
Women who can’t have sex for these reasons still have a libido and sexual needs, but penetrative sex is painful or impossible. Non-penetrative sex means they can enjoy making love on their own terms.
Practical Safe Sex
Non-penetrative sex can be about safety, reducing the risk of STIs. Please note that all sexual contact carries risks, and non-penetrative sex does not guarantee safety. It is a reduced risk. It is, however, the best guarantee of avoiding pregnancy.
Those who can’t take hormonal forms of birth control may not want to take the risk of less dependable forms of contraception. Not having penetrative sex reduces the risk of pregnancy. (Of course, she can still get pregnant if you or someone else ejaculates on her thighs or pussy, or if semen is on someone’s hand.)
Kink and BDSM
Non-penetrative sex can be a form or manifestation of kink. It can be a form of submission, dominance, restraint, bondage, orgasm denial, sensation play, or any number of fetish and kink practices.
Teasing and Temptation
Finally, non-penetrative sex can simply be an alternative or a waiting game to penetrative sex, or a way of diversifying pleasure and avoiding routines.
How to Get It On without Penetration
Enjoy long make-out sessions. Massage. Striptease. Voyeurism and exhibitionism. Girl on girl. Guy on guy. Make love to her pussy with your tongue—make it the central event instead of foreplay. Erotic nipple torture, his and hers. Tit fucking. Fuck between her legs or ass cheeks. Clitoral stimulation with your hands. Dry humping, or penis-against-vagina humping. Rimming. Sensation play. Role play. Bondage. S&M. Mutual masturbation. Simultaneous masturbation. Phone sex. Dick sucking. Sixty nine. Frottage. Bukkake. Dirty talking. Water sports. Shower sex. Dress up. Crossdressing. Foot sex. Rope play. Erotic asphyxiation. Underwater exploration. Fantasy play for kinks that are impossible in real life. Props. Erotic shaving.
The list is literally endless.
Non-penetrative sex can be incredibly satisfying for everyone involved. It means expanding your imagination, taking your time, and experimenting. Everyone should try it, or be open to it.
Why or how do you enjoy sex without penetration? Share your experience in the comments!