5 ways to have sex – without actually having it

Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

Hands up if you think penis-in-vagina sex is often the most uninspired, least enjoyable part.

Well, that’s one hand waving in the air – mine!

Tongues and fingers are far more dextrous than a penis will ever be, capable of producing far more varied and exquisite sensations. Body parts arranged in a more inventive fashion and high-tech sex toys (try electrostimulation) turn ordinary orgasms into extraordinary.

Quite apart from wanting something a bit more interesting that the repetitive pump-pump of penetration, there are other reasons why ‘real’ sex is sometimes off the table.

When intercourse isn’t the best idea

You don’t orgasm that way.

You have thrush, cystitis or an outbreak of an STI.

You don’t want to get pregnant.

You don’t have a condom to hand and there’s a safe sex issue.

You’re a virgin and want to stay that way.

You just don’t want to go ‘all the way’ yet.

Penetration is painful.

You suffer from Vaginismus.

You’re having your period.

He’s having erection issues.

You have mobility or other health issues which makes intercourse difficult or impossible.

Said yes to any on the list?

Add some much needed variety to the standard couple sex formula of one-quarter breast/fingers/(if you’re lucky) oral to three-quarters intercourse by trying some of these.


What? You’re avoiding the obvious places to put a penis and instead favouring spots like between the breasts or buttock cheeks.

Why? It’s different, quite exciting and dead easy. It feels great and it’s non-threatening, low effort sex that’s surprisingly sensual and erotic.

How? Use the valley created by your buttock cheeks as an alternative ‘vagina’. Add lube, clench your buttocks together and rotate your pelvis so your bottom is lifted; he thrusts between them.

This technique also works well on breasts. Put some lube between your breasts, hold them together and get him to thrust in-between.


What? ‘Frott’ is French for ‘rub’. You’re essentially rubbing your erogenous zones on something or body parts together to create enough friction to orgasm.

Why? Dry humping or grinding is what you did when you were teenagers and weren’t allowed to go all the way. Recreating it transports you back to those heady hormone-fuelled days.

How? Do it with clothes on or off. Solo, you can hump against stuffed animals, pillows, the arm of a sofa. Adjust the angle to hit the right spot and experiment completely naked, or with different fabrics. Thicker fabrics, like denim, mean you can press harder; thin fabrics like silk makes things slide pleasurably.

If you’re rubbing together naked, add some lube to your genitals and hump each other’s legs, thighs or hip. Or get into missionary position and grind together – underwear on.


What? Touching yourself until you climax, while your partner does the same. Or masturbating each other simultaneously, using your hands.

Why? It’s versatile (plenty of couples did it via Zoom during lockdown) and informative (you get to see up close the techniques your partner uses to bring themselves to climax).

Masturbating yourself while your partner watches is the only true form of safe sex; masturbating each other is also very low risk (assuming you wash your hands before touching yourself afterwards).

How? Shy? Opt for a side-by-side position. Lie facing each other and close your eyes if you feel embarrassed. Old hands? (Sorry but couldn’t resist the pun.). One of you lies on your back, the other kneels between their legs. Or try sitting cross-legged facing each other for the best seats in the house: a satisfying full-frontal view.

Add dirty talk, use a toy, put on a show by stimulating all sorts of hot spots. If you’re apart from each other, put your phone camera on the bed, press record and masturbate over it.


What? Genital massage has been around for thousands of years. The true, unadulterated versions draw heavily on the Kama Sutra and Tantric sex and are preceded by all sorts of bizarre, complicated rituals. I’ve simplified into more practical techniques.

Why? Most of us touch our partner’s genitals in exactly the same way, every single time. Replace that tired touch with these simple but transforming techniques and you reinvent the wheel.

How? Get him to lie on his back on the bed, legs apart and you kneeling between them. Grab some good quality lube and keep it close, so you can top up. The idea is for him to stay in the moment rather than rush to orgasm. If he’s getting too excited, stop, lay both hands on top of his penis and hold, using light pressure, for a minute.

The roll: Hold his testicles between fingers and thumb and roll them gently, slowly and lightly, using the pads of your fingertips. Then place your hands underneath his testicles so they’re resting gently on your fingers and tickle with the pads of your fingers. The lighter the pressure, the more exquisite the sensation.

The spiral: Hold the base of the penis with one hand and take a firm hold of it with the other. Start at the bottom and slide to the top using a circular, twisting motion as you wind toward the head. Picture a corkscrew: that’s the movement you’re imitating.

The fire: Imagine you have a stick between your palms and you’re trying to start a fire. Hold your palms straight, facing each side of his penis. Using a rolling motion, start at the bottom and slide upward, then down again, keeping the motion consistent and rhythmic.


What? The difference between a WBO and your average garden variety is you’ll feel it throughout your body, not just centred in your genital area.

Why? Picture wave-like pulsations of energy surging from head to toe and you’ll get some idea of what it feels like. But there is a catch…it takes tons of practise to master it. The good news is, I’ve done a speeded-up cheat’s version.

How? The basic idea is to get to the ‘almost’ stage a couple of times before letting yourself orgasm through oral sex or hand stimulation.

Start by contracting your pelvic floor muscles and anus a few times: this is how you will move energy throughout your body.

When you feel really aroused, stop moving, squeeze those PC muscles hard and visualise sexual energy moving up your spine. After a moment or two, continue stimulation.

Repeat this several times and then, finally, allow yourself to climax. As the contractions and waves begin, pump that PC muscle, squeeze your anus tight and imagine sending all that orgasmic energy up your spine. Keep breathing rather than hold your breath and keep your PC muscle contracted for as long as you can.

*This article was originally published as one of my Mail Online columns.