Simulated penetration can feel strange, as if it isn’t really sex, more a poor relation — as if you should really be doing something more. It can certainly lead to more, but can also be enjoyed in its own right, whether as cock-rubbing or with one partner’s penis sliding between the recipient partner’s thighs and buttocks.

The perineal ridge, which runs between the anus and the genitals, is, like the anus, full of sensitive nerve endings. That’s why a wet tongue feels so good on it. A wet or lubed penis feels much the same. This might be in a face to face or rear, though non-entry, position. For the active partner, the experience is very like penetration, especially if the receiver closes his legs together.

For both partners, simulated penetration allows for hugging, touch and intimacy, without the more extreme feelings of anal sex. It’s a way of getting close, playing, stimulating each other’s whole body. It can be a great way of establishing feelings of comfort and trust — or, once a relationship is under way, re-confirming those feelings.

With reasonable care, condoms need not be used. The main risk is if one or both men become carried away and, being sufficiently lubed already, proceed to penetration. Even if this is only a case of inserting the tip of the penis, it should never happen, as this is still unprotected, un-safe intercourse.

Should you wish to proceed to penetrative sex, the interruption to put on a condom really can be quite minimal.

— Originally published at © Lifetime Productions International, Ltd. 2008-2009. Reprinted with permission.