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What is intercourse?

Intercourse is a form of lovemaking that is often well suited to men's orgasm and pleasure, but not necessarily to that of women. Vagina-to- penis intercourse may give only indirect clitoral stimulation. To reach orgasm during vagina-to-penis intercourse, many women need direct and sometimes prolonged clitoral stimulation, both before and during intercourse. Many women with male partners who get infrequent erections, find that sexual pleasure actually increases, partly because penetration by the penis is no longer the focus of lovemaking. Standard male definitions call all the touching, licking, sucking, and caressing that turns us on "foreplay" to the big act—intercourse. However "outercourse," all the other stuff that we do in bed, can be as important as intercourse or more so.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

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Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

America's best-selling book on all aspects of women's health With more than four million copies sold, "Our Bodies, Ourselves" is "the" classic resource that women of all ages can turn to for...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.