Remember when you felt sexually advanced if you'd reached second base?
Well, it’s time to bring your hands back into the bedroom - and not just as a tool for getting your girlfriend off.
“Hands can add so much creativity to sensuality,” says Dr Marianne Brandon., author of Reclaiming Desire: 4 Keys to Finding Your Lost Libido. “Women really like to be teased, and hands are an important part of that intensity building.”
In other words, your digits are capable of sexual stimulation that your penis isn’t - you just have to know how to turn them into your own personal sex toys.
Ready to bring all hands on deck? Try these seven moves to stoke her desire, stat.
Pretend you’re an artist, drawing every edge and crease of her body with your finger.
“This gets her focusing on sensation,” says Brandon.
Trace the border of her lips, her soft inner thighs, the roundness of her breasts - hit every inch of her, with a soft, barely-there touch.
“It’s not tickling,” says Brandon. “Your fingers maintain contact with her skin, but very lightly.” (Hint: Imagine you’re only touching the almost-invisible hairs on her body.)
Save her nipples and clitoris for last, and even then, approach her hot spots slowly.
“Outline her clitoris - don’t touch it directly for a while,” Brandon says. “That will really intensify the experience.”
Adds Monica Lieser, a licensed marital therapist and author of 14 Days of Foreplay: “When you touch those body parts right out of the gate, it’s actually uncomfortable. There’s no anticipation. And anticipation is where desire is.”
During oral sex, your tongue plays a starring role, but your hands deserve a little stage time, too.
“Spreading her lips with your fingers makes her feel more exposed,” says Brandon. “For most women, that level of vulnerability heightens the excitement.”
Plus, by using all of your sexual tools, you show your enthusiasm for going down on her, which helps her relax and makes climaxing easier.
“The more ways you’re interacting with her, the more it appears that you’re enjoying yourself,” Brandon says.
Another way to occupy your hands during oral: grab her hand and give it a quick squeeze. “That’s a lovely way to stay romantically connected,” says Brandon.
News flash: Your go-to strokes and preferred intensity probably won’t work when pleasuring her.
“When men masturbate, their touch is fairly rough,” says Lisa Thomas, a certified sex therapist and founder of OnlineCouch.com. “If they use that much pressure on us, it hurts.”
That means watching her solo sessions can be key to learning the types of touch that turn her on.
One problem: Women are often too shy to let their partners observe. The solution? Ask for a hands-on education.
“I train my couples to use the ‘handwriting technique,’ where she takes your hand and shows you how to touch her in the way that feels best,” Thomas says.
Adds Brandon: “It’s a very intimate act to touch yourself in front of another person. Holding her hand essentially gives her permission to go there.”
Kissing isn’t all about tongue - it’s also about touch.
Holding her face while you lock lips shows that you’re fully engaged: “You’re pulling her in and helping her feel safe,” says Thomas. “Using your hands can make the experience more memorable.”
This is especially true if you haven't slept together yet, since women read way more into a kiss than you do. If you expertly touch her during a make-out session, she’ll likely infer that you’re skilled in the sack, says Thomas.
Sure, picking up a pen isn’t as erotic as other forms of foreplay, but the effort will pay off in dividends.
“When we feel valued and known, we feel connected,” says Lieser. “That’s where intimacy comes from.”
So leave her a note on her nightstand or bathroom mirror; it can be as simple as “I love you” or as sexy as “Thanks for last night. That was amazing.”
As cliché as it sounds, those few words will leave her thinking about you all day long - and ready for a repeat performance.
We’ve all heard this depressing stat: Only about a quarter of women consistently climax from intercourse alone. So why not get your hands in on the action?
In a recent Australian study, 71 per cent of women who had an orgasm during their last encounter said they combined manual stimulation and intercourse.
Your natural sex position for getting her off: spooning.
“You have easy access to her genitals from the front,” says Thomas. Plus, in this position, you’re less focused on thrusting - your bodies are super close, so the amount of work is minimal - making it easier to establish a rhythm when stimulating her.
When she’s going down on you, pleasure her - by playing with her hair.
“When we have our hair brushed or touched, it’s a very connecting experience,” says Lieser. “It illustrates empathy.”
In other words, the simple act of running your fingers through her follicles makes the experience feel more mutual - like you’re both in on the action.
This article was originally published on MensHealth.com