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Sensual Intimacy Without Penetration — 6 Activities to Try Tonight

Sensual Intimacy Without Penetration — 6 Activities to Try Tonight

By Dr. Sadie Allison


It’s a common misconception that sex has to involve penetration. Finding alternative ways of exploring pleasure with your partner can deepen your emotional connection and help you experience new avenues of sexual arousal and satisfaction.

Non-penetrative sex (otherwise known as outercourse), can be particularly beneficial for women who often don’t orgasm during intercourse. According to the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, about 80% of women require clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm.

Even more profound, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists research shows nearly 3 out of 4 women will experience pain during sexual intercourse (clinically termed dyspareunia) at some point in their lives. This can be caused by vaginal dryness and atrophy and/or pelvic pain conditions such as endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, pelvic floor dysfunction and vaginismus. If you experience painful sex, all is not lost! Outercourse intimacy is just what the doctor orders.

sensual intimacy

The benefits of non-penetrative sex

Outercourse can be extremely beneficial for those who experience painful intercourse and seek alternative ways to enjoy intimacy. Here are a few benefits you can look forward to by adding outercourse to your bedroom repertoire:

Deepens emotional intimacy 

Experiencing sensual pleasure is a surefire way to deepen the emotional intimacy between you and your partner. Research from the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships shows that emotional intimacy is often an indicator of long-term relationship satisfaction and couples who develop their emotional closeness tend to report higher levels of happiness and fulfillment. 

Get a better understanding of your partner’s body

Exploring outercourse can foster a deeper understanding of what really pleases your partner and how to better satisfy them. As our bodies change with age, so do our sensual preferences. So it’s wise to invest in the time to re-explore each other with the simple acts of outercourse foreplay, touching and caressing. 

Takes the pressure off of performance 

Sexual performance can cause a lot of anxiety, particularly in women who suffer from dyspareunia and men who experience erectile dysfunction. Outercourse completely takes the focus off of penetrative sex, relieving both people of the anxiety and pressure they feel—which in turn leaves your body and mind open to relax and experience pure pleasure and true connection again.

Offers alternatives for pleasure while avoiding pain 

If you experience painful sex, it’s important to communicate openly with your partner and talk about what’s going on and solutions that can help. Many women suffer in silence—but by taking control of the situation and opening up, you can discover the many ways to get reconnected intimately with your partner, and still have an amazing sex life. So whether you’re new lovers or a long-time couple going through new phases in life, it’s important to have these conversations, as scary or difficult as it may feel.

Six Outercourse Activities You Can Try Tonight 

Outercourse essentially means sensual activities that include zero vaginal penetration with penises, fingers or penetrative sex toys. Instead, you can enjoy sensual kissing, body massage, mutual masturbation, sex toys, oral sex and more!

Here are some fun ideas I love to recommend:

1. Sensual body massage 

A great way to give pleasure to your partner is through physical touch and sensual massage. It can be a loving and nurturing way to bring you closer together and also allow you to get to know each other’s bodies more intimately. By taking your time and slowly exploring their entire body, gliding by every nook and cranny, you can further learn what your partner’s body responds to, and how they like to be touched. Communicate as you go, softly asking their guidance on pressure, speed and technique. You may discover they love gentle circular motions, at the base of their neck, or long, steady stride along their inner thighs.

2. Deep embrace kissing, gyrating and fondling

Think “taking it to 3rd base” with passionate kissing, erotic fondling and gyrating—also known as ‘dry-humping’, can be arousing and deeply satisfying for both parties. By kissing, stroking and squeezing each other’s bodies all over, and rubbing your genitals against your partner’s genitals—with or without clothes on—can offer extreme arousal and satisfaction, minus the penetration. This outercourse play that simulates intercourse is a total mental turn-on and can sometimes even bring you to climax!

3. Mutual masturbation 

Our hands are some of the best sex toys around! Manual stimulation— or mutual masturbation—can be a really fun and erotic way to connect with your partner. This popular form of foreplay is all too often overlooked or forgotten. It’s a true pleasure almost everyone can enjoy and can be quite an art form. Using intimate lubricants and serums will provide the slick and long-lasting glide you want to keep things comfortable and pleasurable for both men and women during mutual masturbation. I recommend dermatologist-tested formulas like science-backed, CBD-infused GoLove. If you two would like to brush-up on mutual masturbation techniques, there’s dozens of ideas in my bestsellers Tickle His Pickle and The Mystery of the Undercover Clitoris

4. Sex toys and bedroom accessories

Sex toys come in all shapes, sizes and functionalities and many are designed specifically for outercourse fun. From clitoral vibrators to erection-enhancement penis rings and nipple toys, the world is your oyster with varieties and options you’ll never run short on. If you are new to toys, you may want to start with a quality clitoral toy like the Womanizer Liberty—a gentle ‘air-pleasure’ clitoris vibe that is known to help women achieve orgasms quickly. For him, ON Arousal Gel is used on the penis to increase blood flow, which enhances sensation and longevity. Introducing sex toys, serums, and bedroom accessories can be a great gateway to exploring new outercourse avenues of pleasure.

5. Oral pleasure

According to a study by The Journal of Sexual Medicine, U.S. women aged 18-92 found that both giving and receiving oral sex were associated with better self-rated health and happiness. Oral sex shifts the focus from penetration and allows both parties to fully let go and relax into pleasure. I encourage you to communicate with your partner openly and without judgment. Express what you like and say specific things to let your partner know he is on the right track like, “Mmm,  I love it when you pleasure me right on that spot”. This is supportive and motivating and ultimately gets you pleasure you desire. Alternatively, if you are giving him oral love, check in and ask “How is this… do you like it when I focus on the top? Would you like me to incorporate my hands?” It’s a process, so have fun on your creative journey to new discoveries!

6. Sensual showering

Showering together can be very romantic and erotic. Caressing each other, embracing and kissing passionately under the hot water can deepen emotional intimacy and be just as satisfying as sex. Set the stage with sexy music you love, dim the lights and light scented candles. Have your preferred sex serum and water-proof sex toys charged and ready to go. The key is to take your time to connect and caress. Proceed slowly as you bathe each other from head-to-toe with a washcloth with your favorite body soap. Take turns washing each other’s hair and be sure to incorporate a sensual scalp massage. Move on to mutual masturbation with some intimate serum. When the time is right, you can give him an orgasm with consistent stroking, and he can use your favorite clitoral sex toy and give you a built-up, well-deserved orgasm. Last step? Finish by taking turns drying each other off with a bath towel. 

Outercourse can be exciting and empowering, and enhance both the relationship, and your sexual satisfaction. This style of non-penetrative sex puts a huge emphasis on emotional connection, effective communication, and creative exploration of each other’s bodies—without the pain or pressure. Outercourse activities can be very satisfying, while honoring and respecting each other’s bodies where they are today. Don’t put off intimacy any longer—go love instead!


Dr. Sadie Allison has been a leading expert on human sexuality for over two decades. She is the creator of GoLove CBD Intimate Serum, the first water-based, sexual health CBD serum designed to ease sexual pain and relax the body, while heightening arousal and pleasure. Dr. Sadie is also Founder of the Tickle Kitty pleasure boutique and the award-winning author and publisher of today’s bestselling line of fun, informative, sex-help books.

Dr. Sadie is quoted regularly in Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Huffpost and Healthline and has given a powerful TEDx Talk. She holds a Doctorate in Human Sexuality and is a member of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors (AASECT), and the International Pelvic Pain Society (IPPS). 

For more information about GoLove CBD Serum or to inquire about 1:1 sex coaching, 

connect with Dr. Sadie here or through Instragram.