Total Intimacy’s Third Pillar: Foreplay


Foreplay, It's More Than Physical

When we hear the word “foreplay” we rarely think about things that happen outside of the bedroom. We typically visualize the actions that take place just before the sex act, like: running a hot bath, lighting scented candles, playing soft music on the stereo and turning down the lights. And yes, these acts all qualify as foreplay because they all have the potential to get you and your spouse ready for the main event. But did you know that the best foreplay is not physical, but is instead mental, emotional and spiritual? We refer to this kind as Wholistic Foreplay and it represents the third pillar in our 4 Pillars of Total Intimacy. 

Wholistic Foreplay transcends the bedroom and goes beyond the things you do five minutes before penetration. Wholism is a theory that the parts of a whole are intimately interconnected and should be considered together when trying to understand a particular thing. That’s the essence of wholistic foreplay for us. We believe the best foreplay is at work all the time, even when the act of physical intimacy is not in your immediate future. And this makes sense because sex is a physical manifestation of a spiritual reality (we’ll talk more about this in our next article). 

1 Corinthians 7:3 says, “The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs” (NLT). According to the Apostle Paul, husbands and wives have sexual needs. Part of our job description as “spouse” is to fulfill those needs. This is different from merely performing the physical act of sex with your partner. We must go further in an attempt to ensure the act is enjoyable and pleasurable for both husband and wife. And most married couples would agree that if they only focused on the moment of penetration, one or both parties would remain in a state of perpetual sexual dissatisfaction. This is why wholistic foreplay is so important, because its aim is mutual satisfaction.

Merriam-Webster defines foreplay as “erotic stimulation preceding sexual intercourse.” But there’s a secondary definition as well: “Action or behavior that precedes an event.” Wholistic foreplay is a behavior that is always at work to maintain a level of spiritual oneness in the overall relationship. Wholistic foreplay cares about the moment right before the sex act just as much as the time during the week when sex isn’t an immediate option. 

Here are some ways to expand your horizons in the foreplay arena so that your physical intimacy can be more enjoyable:

  1. Focus on Arousal: Have you noticed how often you either speed through or skip the parts of the sexual experience that would lead to greater arousal? Many times we just want to get to the moment of penetration. But you and your spouse probably need more time to warm up so that the big moment will feel more enjoyable. Next time, try focusing on the things that contribute to greater arousal: kissing, caressing, rubbing and whispering things to each other. Focus on being sensual and tender with one another. This will heighten your level of mutual satisfaction.
  2. Remember the Spiritual: Keep in mind that sex is a physical sign of a spiritual reality. In other words, sex is physical oneness created by God to accompany spiritual oneness (marriage). That means you’ll always enjoy the sex act more when the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of your relationship are in sync. So watch how you speak to each other and pay attention to your emotional connectedness. Some of your best sexual experiences will occur when you are aligned with each other outside the bedroom. It has to work this way because that’s how God designed it. 
  3. Consider the Visual: You or your partner might be prone to visual stimulation so it’s a good idea to switch up your look every-so-often to keep things from getting predictable. Consider everything from wearing a sexy outfit to common grooming. You’d be surprised how much of a turn-on a haircut or a trimmed beard can be. Don’t underestimate the power of letting your hair down before bed.

God designed sex to be enjoyable for both husband and wife, and it is well within our power to make this a reality in our marriages today. If you begin to incorporate the principles of wholistic foreplay you’ll notice an uptick in your total intimacy. 


John and April Nixon are content creators with a passion for relationship coaching. You can catch them live every Wednesday night at 9 p.m. EST on their Just John & April YouTube channel. Follow them on IG and FB @justjohnandapril.” 

This article is part of our 2022 September/October Issue
Subscribe –>



More from John and April Nixon
Intimacy is God’s Idea
Let’s face it; most of us aren’t comfortable talking about intimacy. It...
Read More
Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.