What is outercourse?

Originally Published: May 14, 1999 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: July 10, 2012
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Dear Alice,

In Free from Pregnancy Worries, you said partake in safer "outercourse" rather than intercourse. What exactly is "outercourse"?

Dear Reader,

Outercourse is lovemaking without penetration into a vagina or an anus. It allows a couple to be sexual, more intimate, and even orgasmic with one another without having sexual intercourse. With outercourse, no semen, vaginal fluids, or blood is shared between partners. As a result, outercourse protects against pregnancy and some sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Some outercourse pleasuring possibilities include hot talk, sexy stares, erotic fantasy, spicy role-plays, sensual massage, showering or bathing together, strip-tease, mutual masturbation, phone or e-mail sex, and dry sex (a.k.a., dry humping, or frottage).

Outercourse is useful:

  • When people choose to abstain from sex or are not ready for intercourse yet
  • If one partner doesn't feel like having intercourse
  • As another sexual option for partners who have already had intercourse
  • If a partner doesn't want to be penetrated (or do something that's penetrating)
  • If a partner is sore or has an infection
  • If people don't have condoms or any other birth control
  • If a woman partner has her period
  • Just for a change

Hope this answers your question.

Alice