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In human sexual behavior, foreplay is a set of intimate psychological and physical acts between two or more people meant to create desire for sexual activity and sexual arousal. Either or any of the sexual partners may initiate the foreplay, and they may not be the active partner during the sexual activity.

Any act that creates and enhances sexual desire in a sexual partner may constitute foreplay, including kissing, touching, embracing, talking, and teasing (teasing, in this case, may include methods of satisfaction, such as erotic sexual denial).[1] The manual or oral stimulation of erogenous zones may be considered foreplay, as well as being part of the sex act itself. Sexual role-playing, fetish activities, and BDSM can also be considered foreplay, though they may continue into the sexual activity and not just precede it.



There are many historical references to foreplay, with many artistic depictions. The Ancient Indian work Kama Sutra mentions different types of embracing, kissing, and marking with nails and teeth. [2] It also mentions BDSM activities such as slapping and moaning as "play."[3]

What constitutes foreplay

If yes intimate sexual acts are intended, foreplay-type actions are often classified as flirting, "fooling around" or, in colloquial terms, being "touchy-feely". Since these interactions are non-explicit, there can be misunderstandings about whether an invitation has been extended or accepted. Inadvertent or not, this kind of miscommunication is often termed "leading someone on."

A romantic, intimate, or overtly sexual atmosphere can be considered a gesture of foreplay. Foreplay can begin with non-physical behavior that signals sexual availability. Verbally, foreplay may include compliments, subtle comments with double entendre, and intimate conversations. Non-verbally, foreplay can include provocative clothing, preening gestures, winking, licking or biting one's lips, standing inside a partner's personal space, and holding a gaze longer than is acceptable for casual acquaintances.

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