Sexual health is an essential aspect of our lives, and it’s critical to approach it in a way that’s healthy and safe for everyone involved.

One practice that’s increasingly becoming popular among individuals and couples who want to limit the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), while still enjoying sexual intimacy, is outercourse.

Outercourse is an umbrella term used to describe non-penetrative sexual activities, including kissing, hugging, rubbing, and touching, but without the penetration involved in vaginal sex, anal sex, and oral sex.

In this blog post, we’ll examine outercourse, its benefits, how to practice it, and what sexual acts count as outercourse.

What is outercourse, and how does it work?

Outercourse is a practice that involves sexual activities that don’t involve penetration or penetrative sex, making it a safer and healthier way to enjoy intimacy for individuals and couples.

It typically involves kissing, cuddling, hugging, rubbing, grinding, and using sex toys in certain ways. Practising outercourse doesn’t guarantee complete protection from STIs or pregnancy, but it significantly reduces the risk.

Unlike other methods of contraception, such as hormonal birth control, which can have side effects, outercourse is a natural, safer, and more straightforward way of enjoying sexual pleasure.

What are the benefits of outercourse?

Outercourse has several benefits.

Safe and healthy sexual practice

Outercourse is a safer way to enjoy sexual intimacy as it reduces the risk of STIs and unintended pregnancies.

No side effects

Unlike hormonal birth control, outercourse has no side effects such as nausea, weight gain, or mood swings.

More intimate and meaningful sexual experiences

Outercourse allows couples to explore other sexual activities that are intimate and meaningful that don’t involve penetration. This can lead to more sharing more sexual intimacy, like sharing sexual fantasies, which can increase the connection between two people.

An outercourse sexual activity overview

Several sexual activities can be considered outercourse, including:

  • Kissing, cuddling, hugging, and other forms of non-penetrative skin to skin contact
  • Rubbing or grinding genitals against each other
  • Erotic massage
  • Mutual masturbation
  • Body-to-body rubbing
  • Using sex toys

Remember that outercourse doesn’t have a strict definition, and different people may define it differently. The critical thing is to find a level of sexual activity that you’re comfortable with that works for you and your partner.

How do you practice outercourse?

The good thing about outercourse is that you can explore different sexual activities you’re comfortable with, making it easy to find a practice that works for you. Here are some tips on how to practice outercourse.


Communication is key when it comes to outercourse. Talk to your partner about what you’re comfortable with and what activities you want to explore.

Set boundaries

Establish boundaries with your partner to ensure that you both know what is and isn’t acceptable.

Explore different sexual activities

Try different sexual activities such as kissing, rubbing, and grinding to find a level of sexual activity that you’re comfortable with.

Final thoughts

Outercourse is an excellent option for individuals and couples who want to enjoy sexual intimacy while limiting the risk of unintended pregnancies or contracting STIs that comes with oral, anal, or vaginal penetration. Remember to communicate with your partner and establish clear boundaries to ensure you’re both comfortable and enjoying the experience.

Despite our best efforts, STIs can still be passed on, even with certain forms of outercourse. So if you think you might have an STI, it’s always better to get tested.

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