When it comes to human sexual behavior, most of us know what foreplay is—and its benefits. It increases the intimacy between partners, creating a sense of trust and a higher level of confidence, and increasing the chances that the people involved will get what they want out of the interaction. As you know, I’m all about helping people get what they want out of interactions.
In human sexual behavior, foreplay is a set of emotionally and physically intimate acts between two or more people meant to create sexual arousal and desire for sexual activity. Either or any of the sexual partners may initiate foreplay, and the initiator may not be the active partner during the sexual activity. Foreplay lowers inhibitions and increases emotional intimacy between partners, and implies a certain level of confidence and trust between the partners.
From the author: In human conversational behavior, foreplay is a set of emotionally and physically intimate acts between two or more people meant to create conversational arousal and desire for conversational activity. Yeah, it’s really that simple.
Noted transactional analysis guru Eric Berne concluded that we structure our time socially by interacting with others in one of six ways:
1. Withdrawal: Entering into our own private world; only internal fantasy exists here.
2. Rituals: “Hi there. How are you? Blah, blah, blah.”
3. Pastimes:“Ain’t it awful?” “Have you seen?”
4. Activities: Often group activities, such as playing football; “gold stars” are frequently given according to performance. Mostly a Knower/Judger level of activity.
5. Games: Interactions with ulterior messages and agendas. Always a payoff.
6. Intimacy: Spontaneous, using material from the Learner/Researcher. There are no ulterior transactions or motivations. No agendas. No payoffs. Prejudices and K/J rules set aside.
I‘ve considered authoring a book about intimacy in the workplace, but fear total confusion based on most readers’ interpretation of that word. The concept is that all real quality communication (that without an agenda, accomplishing what both participants really want in their L/Rs) can only be accomplished in intimate conversation. All others produce biased, prejudiced, agenda-ized outcomes.
To successfully engage in intimate conversation, you will experience the conversational definition of foreplay I penned above. Namely, “a set of emotionally and physically intimate acts between two or more people meant to create conversational arousal and desire for conversational activity.”
In sales, some professional trainers call this “bonding and rapport.” It’s you (the salesperson) temporarily ridding yourself of all preconceived agendas (like I have to close this sale) and taking a genuine interest in the other person. It might start with some resources spent in the pastime area. “How ’bout them Cardinals?” But no time is spent in the games area, where we set up others to push their buttons, or corner them so they feel “one down” to get some sort of payoff.
Sooner or later, if someone wants a conversation to be a success, he or she will engage in “a set of emotionally and physically intimate acts between two or more people meant to create conversational arousal and desire for conversational activity.” As per the Wikipedia definition above, “Foreplay lowers inhibitions and increases emotional intimacy between partners, and implies a certain level of confidence and trust between the partners.”
Think about this in terms of the people you converse with on a daily basis. Hell, think about this in terms of your significant other!
Him: Hey, Hilda! Bring me a beer!
Her: Get it yourself!
Him: Great job on the porch furniture, sweetheart. (Foreplay stroke)
Her: Thanks, Harry. It took a lot of time. Glad you like it. (Conversationally aroused)
Him: I bet it took a lot of time. Let’s enjoy it tonight! (Mutual benefit suggestion)
Her: Pull up the chairs, sweetie. I’ll bring the drinks out. (Climax!)
OK. This is way over simplified. But I hope you get the point. Therapists will tell you that good sex rarely occurs under duress. I’m reminded of Eisenhower’s quote: “Leadership is getting other people to want to do what you want them to do.” So long as the stage is set and both participants’ L/Rs are aligned with the direction of the conversation, you can’t lose.
Want improved conversational intercourse? (Google it!) I hope I’ve stimulated you to try engaging in intimate conversation. Great foreplay guarantees success!