What is Outercourse?
Non-penetrative sex or outercourse is sexual activity that usually does not include sexual penetration. It generally excludes the penetrative aspects of vaginal, anal, or oral sexual activity, but includes various forms of sexual and non-sexual activity, such as frottage, mutual masturbation, kissing, or cuddling. Some forms of non-penetrative sex, particularly when termed outercourse, include penetrative aspects, such as penetration that may result from forms of fingering or oral sex.
People engage in non-penetrative sex for a variety of reasons, including as a form of foreplay or as a primary or preferred sexual act. Heterosexual couples may engage in non-penetrative sex as an alternative to penile-vaginal penetration, to preserve virginity, or as a type of birth control. Same-sex couples may also engage in non-penetrative sex to preserve virginity, with gay males using it as an alternative to anal penetration.
Although sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs) such as herpes, HPV, and pubic lice can be transmitted through non-penetrative genital-genital or genital-body sexual activity, non-penetrative sex may be used as a form of safer sex because it is less likely that body fluids (the main source of STI/STD transmission) will be exchanged during the activities, especially with regard to aspects that are exclusively non-penetrative.
Frot: two men rubbing their penises together to create sexual sensations
Frottage is the general term for the act of rubbing any part of the body, including the buttocks, the breasts, abdomen, thighs, feet, hands, legs and sexual organs against the sexual organ of another person; this is done whether naked or clothed and is more commonly known as dry humping or dry sex. When frottage includes genital-genital rubbing, it is sometimes called genito-genital or GG rubbing.
Couples may engage in frottage as a form of foreplay or simply as a method to achieve sexual gratification without the penetrative aspects of vaginal, anal or oral sex, which may also be their personal way of preserving virginity or their way of practicing safer sex. Often, young people will engage in frottage as an earlier stage of sexual intimacy before their idea of more explicit sexual contact is desired.
Other terms associated with frottage are:
- Princeton rub, Ivy League rub, and so on are slang terms referring to male-male frot or intercrural sex or both, presumably surviving from the days when these colleges only admitted men. W. H. Auden was proud of having been the first person to use the terms Princeton rub and Princeton first-year in print.
- The term frottage derives from the French verb frotter (i.e., to rub). Three terms derive from frotter. These include frottage, the sexual act involving rubbing; frot, the sexual act that refers exclusively to male-male genital rubbing without penetration (but may also be referred to as frottage); and frotteurism, a paraphilia involving obsession with frottage or performing frottage non-consensually (e.g., pressing one’s genitals against a stranger on a crowded subway); this was once called “frottage,” but the usage is no longer acceptable.
Mutual masturbation (also called manual intercourse) usually involves the manual stimulation of genitals by two or more people who stimulate themselves or one another. This may be done in situations where the participants do not feel ready, physically able, socially at liberty, or willing to engage in any penetrative sex act, or a particular penetrative sex act, but still wish to engage in a mutual sexual activity. It is also done as part of a full repertoire of sexual activity, where it may be used as foreplay, while, for others, it is the primary sexual activity of choice.
Types of mutual masturbation include the handjob (the manual sexual stimulation of the penis or scrotum by a person on a male) and fingering (the manual sexual stimulation of the vagina, clitoris or other parts of the vulva, by a person on a female). Sexual stimulation of the genitals by using the feet may also be included, and so may manual stimulation of the anus.
Like frottage in general, mutual masturbation may be used as an alternative to penile-vaginal penetration, to preserve virginity or to prevent pregnancy. It might result in one or more of the partners achieving orgasm. If no bodily fluids are exchanged (as is common), mutual masturbation is a form of safe sex, and greatly reduces the risk of transmission of sexual diseases.
In partnered manual genital stroking to reach orgasm or expanded orgasm, both people focus on creating and experiencing an orgasm in one person. Typically, one person lies down pant-less, while his or her partner sits alongside. The partner who is sitting uses his or her hands and fingers (typically with a lubricant) to slowly stroke the penis or clitoris and other genitals of the partner. Expanded orgasm as a mutual masturbation technique reportedly creates orgasm experiences more intense and extensive than what can be described as, or included in the definition of, a regular orgasm. It includes a range of sensations that include orgasms that are full-bodied, and orgasms that last from a few minutes to many hours. However, this technique is not without risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections, in particular HIV. A person using his or her finger, with a small wound, to stimulate a woman’s genitals could be infected with HIV found in her vagina’s fluids; likewise regarding a man’s semen containing HIV, which could infect a partner who has a small exposed wound on his or her skin.
Non-penetrative sex may sometimes be divided into acts that are exclusively non-penetrative and those that are not.
Exclusively non-penetrative sexual acts include:
Axillary intercourse: (slang: “bagpiping”, in reference to the underarm manner in which bagpipes are played; directing traffic, or pit-wank, a variant of the term tit-wank, are also terms for axillary intercourse). It is a sexual variant where the penis is inserted in the other person’s armpit.
Bundling: a courtship tradition in some Christian communities that was opposed by the religious right and has largely died out. The two young people were each in a sack tied up at the neck, and put in a bed together for the night.
Erotic massage: rubbing of the body to create pleasure and relaxation. This can be done between two or more people of any gender and sexual orientation. It can involve the use of oils (heated or otherwise) or just the individual’s hands. It is also known as sensual massage.
Footjob: sexually stimulating one individual’s penis with another individual’s feet. In some cases it can be part of a foot fetish. One individual places their feet around the penis and caresses it until orgasm is achieved. Variations where the clitoris is stimulated by feet also occur.
Frot: act of genital-genital rubbing between males (especially penis-to-penis contact).
Handjob: the manual sexual stimulation of another person’s penis, often as a form of mutual masturbation.
Intercrural sex: when the penis is stimulated by placing it between another individual’s thighs. Lubrication may be used to allow the penis to move more freely between the thighs.
Intergluteal sex: stimulation of the penis using the buttocks, often used as a form of mutual masturbation. It differs from anal sex because no penetration of the anus occurs. The penis is stimulated by moving between the buttocks.
Kissing: the touching of one person’s lips against another person’s can be regarded as a sexual act, especially deep kissing (French kissing) where one person inserts his tongue into the partner’s mouth. Kissing may also be done on other parts of the body and is commonly a part of foreplay.
Mammary intercourse: the stimulation of the penis by placing the penis between the breasts and moving the penis up and down to create pleasure.
Stimulation of nipples: when one partner caresses (either manually or orally) the nipples of their partner. Any individual can participate in this act and it can be done in pairs or groups.
Tribadism: a form of lesbian sex where women rub genitalia against each other (either rubbing genitalia together or rubbing one’s genitalia against other parts of another individual’s body).
Fingering: stimulation of the vagina, vulva, clitoris in particular, or anus, with the fingers. It is often used as a form of mutual masturbation.
Oral sex: stimulation of the genitals using the mouth and throat. It is known as fellatio when the act is performed on a penis, and cunnilingus when performed on female genitalia. A specific type of oral sex, anilingus, is the stimulation of the anus using the mouth.
Stimulation using a vibrator: a partner or group of individuals may stimulate each other’s genitals using a vibrator.