Written by Emily Nagoski, Ph.D.
In prepping for it at first I was like, "What the hell is there to say about foreplay?" But then I got going and it turns out I have any number of thing to say about it.
I did not get to say most of those things during the interview. We got a bit sidetracked on orgasm, and whether or not they should call me "Dr Emily." They asked, "Should we call you Dr. Emily?" and I said "No no, please just call me Emily." And then they called me Dr. Emily the whole time.
Anyway, here are some of the things I wanted to say but didn't:
Same stimulation, different experience. Our perception of sensation is context-dependent. So the first thing you know about being spectacular at foreplay is that an erotic setting is absolutely crucial, and when you get the setting right, almost anything you do can be potentially erotic.
That being said, men often require no more of an erotic context than their partner wanting to have sex with them.
Hands and feet, by contrast are VERY sensitive to temperature and localized sensation. So on a hand, an ice cube would be WAY intense. However, you can run the very tip of your tongue slowly from the wrist and up the palm and along the middle finger, exhaling gradually all the way (warm breath), and then blow along the wet trail you left. Both the slight temperature change the slow movement play into the sensitivities of the hand. You can do this to a penis too, of course; but it'll be a very different experience because the cock is wired very differently.
I don't know why, but it turns out that alternating these two kinds of sensations makes for a pretty intense experience. Delicately run the tip of your tongue from the inside of your partner's wrist, across their palm, and along their middle finger, then suck on that finger. You can do the same thing to a cock.
Given that under the right circumstances ANY sensation can be erotic, it hardly matters WHAT you do, so long as you do it an erotic context.
Also, confidence and joy. Okay.