With most couples busier than ever, sex often takes a backseat to work responsibilities, and even sleep.

In her best-selling book, “The Female Brain” (Broadway, 2007), Dr. Louann Brizendine cites some conventional wisdom from sex therapists about foreplay. “For women, foreplay is everything that happens twenty-four hours preceding [sex]. For men, it’s everything that happens three minutes before.”

Regardless, of what your exact foreplay time frame is, it’s something that cannot be overlooked or ignored, experts say. But for most busy couples, getting your partner in the mood often takes a back seat to kids, bills, and Blackberry.

Here are some tips on putting the fore back in play:

Keep it simple:
Foreplay doesn’t have to be an elaborate production of rose petals and champagne. For many couples it is a loving look, a smile, a warm touch, or a hug. Being kind, positive, and a good listener, all contribute to effective foreplay. Something so seemingly simple is actually very important because foreplay is critical and communicates interest, desire, and attraction, not just in words but behaviors. Foreplay also helps produce happy hormones like dopamines and endorphins. There is nothing more positive than making your partner feel good about themselves.

Schedule time together:
Just as you schedule time for you children, you need to do the same for love and intimacy, because it’s not going to just happen magically. Going for a walk, playing golf, eating pizza at the park, and just having fun together, like friends do, are all forms of foreplay. As is being kind and complimenting each other.

Work smart, not hard:
Do not think of foreplay as a time drain. Foreplay can really be something as simple as a note on the windshield, a picture in their suitcase, or a text message.

Take some risks:
Share a fantasy from the past. Some couples may be threatened by this. But remember, a fantasy is just a fantasy. You don’t have to act it out in real life.

Change it up:
One of the staples of a healthy sex life is diversity. So be creative and remember that making love is not the only way to have sex. Other forms of sexual encounters do not rely as much on foreplay and can be quite exciting and satisfying as well.

Better Than a Year of Therapy

We have often heard from clients, many of whom themselves are therapists, that our 3-day program is worth more than a year of 45-minute weekly therapy sessions. Come experience what many other couples have found to be a more satisfying, comfortable, private, cost effective, and time-efficient way to nourish or heal your relationship.