To cum, I usually lie on top of my partner and rubbing my crotch against her thigh. This sexual practice is called "rabbing" and refers to non-penetrative sex - that is, various sex activities that do not involve vaginal or anal penetration. In general, caress outside the genitals is called non-penetrating contact sex, and sex on video chat, sexting or dirt-talk is called non-contact sex.
Women, men and people of other identities practice non-penetrative sex for a variety of reasons - both because of physiological characteristics and in order to diversify their sex life. Most women, for example, according to research, require clitoral head stimulation to enhance pleasure and orgasm. At the same time, non-penetrative sex is rarely talked about and even less often viewed as "full". Why do people have non-penetrative sex? Can such sex be considered "real" and what to say to a partner if you don't want to have vaginal sex?
The article explains about extravaginal practices associated with stimulation of the vulva and the term "woman" is used. However, not all women have vulvas, and not all people with vulvas are women. The techniques described in this article may also work for some non-binary and transgender people.
Text: Sasha Kazantseva, host of the telegram channel "I washed my hands"
Who has sex without penetration
For a long time I did not practice penetrative sex due to vaginismus, but when penetration appeared in my life, it was logical not to replace some sensations with others, but simply to expand opportunities. Since then, I have had non-penetrative sex in addition to vaginal stimulation when I want to cum quickly or when I and my partner are too lazy to undress. Someone, in principle, prefers this kind of sex to other practices, others turn to it at certain periods of life (for example, after childbirth), others alternate it with penetration - according to the mood. “I really love penetrative sex, but I love variety even more,” says Alina. - I choose the type of sex according to the situation. For example, during my period I always do non-penetrating because I don't want to pull out my menstrual cup and fiddle with towels. And sometimes my partner doesn't want to penetrate himself."
People may choose to have sex for physical or psychological reasons. For example, due to vestibulodynia (pain syndrome with vaginal penetration), decreased sensitivity of the vaginal walls, previous surgeries, saber pubic bone, a small vagina or a large penis of a partner. “I have reduced sensitivity in the vagina, I practically do not feel anything there,” Madros shares his experience. - In addition, I am now taking antidepressants, because of which I can not get an orgasm. Taken together, this kills the meaning of penetrating sex for me. " It becomes difficult for someone to have vaginal sex during menopause or taking medications; non-penetrative sex can also be a temporary solution during the treatment of STIs and other diseases, as well as in cases where there are no remedies at hand.
Non-penetrating sex can give a lot of new sensations and experiences, enhance or diversify sexual impressions, let you know yourself
and a partner from a new side
For some, sex without penetration is primarily a matter of psychological convenience. For example, Katya says that she lives much better with non-penetrating practices: “I don’t know why, but the very thought of vaginal sex makes me reject, although I like other types”. For example, some may find it more comfortable to have such sex after experiencing violence, while others may be more comfortable because of their role or gender identity.“I perceive myself as a dominant person and psychologically I cannot relax during penetration,” explains Eva. Some people practice non-penetrative sex to eliminate or reduce the risk of pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. Finally, someone may simply not be ready for vaginal contact, like Maya's partner: “For both of us, this is the first relationship, and for a long time we only had non-penetrative sex. Now we also practice penetration, but the girl still has unpleasant sensations from the fingers in the vagina, so she is more pleased with the caress outside."
In turn, men can also refuse penetrative sex. Someone because of psychological, someone - physiological characteristics, some may experience difficulty with an erection or be in a relationship with a partner or partner who does not like this kind of sex. Evgeniy says that he does not like penetrative sex because of the too sensitive head of the penis, besides, he is not interested in penetration: “When I didn’t know that peniso-vaginal sex was not necessary, I tried in every possible way to delay the moment of sex in order to do less, but it is better to avoid it altogether."
At the same time, many people choose sex without penetration simply because they get more pleasure from it. Non-penetrating sex can give a lot of new sensations and experiences, enhance or diversify sexual impressions, allow you to get to know yourself and your partner from a new perspective. According to Hel, it was sex without penetration that helped her explore her physicality and begin to experience the pleasure of sex: “I finally got distracted from my crotch and tried to understand my body. To my surprise, I found that I can cum from caressing my nipples or kissing my feet."
Is this really sex?
In modern culture, sex is often equated with the penis-vaginal act - or at least the act of penetration. For example, instead of a vagina, there might be an anus or mouth, and instead of a penis, fingers or a sex toy. Nevertheless, sexual practices are infinitely varied, and the answer to the question "What is sex?" today sounds like "Anything you want to call your sex." There are no “more correct” or “more real” types of sex - the main thing is that you and your partner do what brings you sexual pleasure and brings you closer. We have long stepped over the moment when sex was considered as a tool for solving reproductive problems and regulated, and we definitely have the right to focus on our personal needs and comfort.
Lyuba complains that penetrating sex is usually considered the default norm, and there is very little information about non-penetrating sex: "Until recently, I considered myself 'sick', 'inferior', obliged to endure painful and unpleasant vaginal sex for myself." Anna talks about her positive experience and says that she has never encountered a misunderstanding: “The principle 'my body is my business' operates in my environment. I know that my partner would like to have penetrative sex more often, but since this is not exactly what I like, he accepts me. Sometimes I ask myself, do we know and use all the techniques? What if there is something else? It upsets me when people don't think of non-penetrative sex as meaningful."
Many are accustomed to calling actions such as those described above "petting" or "prelude", but in the current context, this approach does not seem very modern. The term "petting" often means "not sex" or "not quite sex." And even if you don't see a particular practice as meaningful for your sex life, for some it may be basic. “When we equate sex with penetration, and call all other practices“foreplay,”then we fall for the myth of a“sex scenario”: foreplay (necessary to prepare for sex), penetration (during which both a woman and a man experience orgasm) - and that's it, finish.But sex is not synonymous with penetration,”says Laurie Mintz, a professor and researcher in the psychology of sexuality at the University of Florida.
Those who practice non-penetrative sex or are just about to try will definitely not have to suffer from monotony. Firstly, different types of rubbing can be investigated - rubbing with the genitals on any part of the partner's or partner's body, for example, on the vulva, penis, pubic bone, thigh, leg or chin. Rabbing can be practiced even while wearing clothes - this practice is called dry-humping. Some couples practice joint masturbation - mutual or parallel - including the use of sex toys such as clitoral stimulators. Cunnilingus and vulvar fingering also refer to non-penetrative sex. There are also many interesting things outside the genitals: some can experience strong sensations, up to orgasm, from spanking and stimulation of sensitive areas, such as the nipples. Finally, there are non-contact sexual practices such as video link sex, sexting (writing about sexual topics), and sexting (exciting conversations about sex). Several times in my life I managed to finish without physical contact simply from an overabundance of emotions when communicating with an important person for me.
What to do if you don't want penetrative sex
Peniso-vaginal sex in popular culture is usually presented as "true sex", while other types are either little represented or presented as "complementary". Because of this, those who are not suitable for penetration may feel uncomfortable: they believe that something is wrong with them, or think that they are not able to enjoy sex - just because their body is not works according to the mythical standard. It is not surprising that in such realities it can be difficult to talk about your own characteristics.
According to a Swedish study, 47% of young women who experience pain during vaginal penetration with a partner still continue vaginal contacts, 32% do not tell their partners about their discomfort, and 22% imitate pleasure despite the pain. Researchers have documented that women who choose to endure discomfort often considered themselves to be a “secondary” participant in sex with a partner. Finally, almost 70% of the participants noted that they considered their partner's sexual pleasure more important than their own. The study was conducted in 2013, and perhaps things have changed for the better in the past five years - but the sexual pressure on women is still great. Therefore, it is especially important to pay attention to taking care of yourself, formulating your needs and limitations.
Admit to yourself or a loved one that you do not correspond to the mythical "right", and understand
it's not easy in your sexuality
Lyuba found herself in a similar situation: “With one guy I endured vaginal sex for six months, although it hurt me a lot, I didn’t get any pleasure and it was more like rape, but he liked everything; I first tried rabbing with him, once I even managed to finish, but he shamed me and laughed at me, so I didn't ask for it anymore. I asked my ex-girlfriend not to penetrate, but she did not pay attention to these requests, did not take them seriously, thought that I was so shy or something like that."
To refuse vaginal penetration does not need any "good reason" like a medical indication: in an ideal world, there should be a simple "I don't want" enough to give up any sex practice. Unfortunately, vaginal penetration is still often considered the "default" option, appearing simply by consenting to sex. Dasha regularly practices non-penetrating sex - she says that she explains this to potential partners in advance: "I just warn them that I should not be penetrated."An understanding person should have enough general formulations like “I feel psychological discomfort during penetration and I don’t want it”, “when I feel something inside, I have unpleasant sensations, so you don’t need to persuade me” or “I don’t want to have vaginal sex, and I I don’t practice it”. If your partner continues to insist on vaginal sex or other sex practices that you disagree with, it is safer to break off the contact. “In sex, the main thing is that everyone is comfortable, and if my comfort is based on the fact that nothing is included in me, then this must be reckoned with,” Dasha is sure.
This is normal
Although people are often still embarrassed to talk about sex, popular culture constantly broadcasts various "sex norms" - so admitting to yourself or a loved one that you do not correspond to the mythical "right" and understanding your sexuality is not easy. “Discussing your sex and pleasure, showing your partner what you want is extremely important,” says female orgasm researcher Debbie Herbenick of Indiana University, “because the chances of your preferences being discovered by accident are extremely small. Tell each other what you like and dislike."
The more we talk about vulnerable topics and admit our "weirdness", the sooner our features cease to be something "shameful" and become an equivalent and respectable version of the norm, which is usually much broader than we are used to thinking. “In Russian culture, non-penetrating sex is often not taken seriously at all,” says sexologist Daria Berger. - Different people have different definitions of sex: someone thinks that sex took place if there was an orgasm, someone - if there was penetration, for others, just touching the genitals is important. If you understand that sex without penetration is preferable for you - discuss the situation with your partner or partner, tell about your feelings and experiences. Together, look for a solution that will suit everyone involved in the process, in each case it will be individual."
PHOTOS: Nik_Merkulov - stock.adobe.com (1, 2)