Outercourse: Another Way to be Intimate

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Healthy sexuality means being able to:

  • Comfortably discuss your feelings and values with your partner.
  • Initiate sex or say no to sex.
  • Enjoy sexual expression, arousal and orgasm.

But being sexually intimate with someone doesn’t mean having only penetrative (vaginal, anal and/or oral) sexual intercourse. If you want to avoid an unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), it’s perfectly normal to delay sex or try other forms of intimacy.

Other Forms of Sexual Expression

You can enjoy intimacy without intercourse - sometimes called outercourse - through:

  • holding hands
  • hugging
  • kissing
  • massage
  • mutual masturbation
  • stroking

Remember - your entire body can be sexual. Sexual intimacy without intercourse can help you learn what is pleasurable to you and your partner. It also lets you interact sexually without worrying about birth control and transmission of STIs.

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