Forgotten Foreplay

Sex expert Emily Morse is one of the most renowned representatives of her métier. In her column, she writes about things that move the consumers. This month, she explains why foreplay is not only an extremely important element when people have sex but also when they go shopping for adult products.


There is electricity the first time two people hold hands. There is a build-up of excitement as they look into each other’s eyes, their feelings compounding as they slowly lean in to kiss. The power of anticipation and shared desire is undeniable, and is what forms the soul of foreplay. Foreplay is the key to sexual arousal, and is, unfortunately, one of the first things to disappear from many relationships.

As host of the Sex with Emily podcast, people constantly ask me how they can bring excitement back to the bedroom – and the answer is almost always “more foreplay.” This is not just a suggestion, it’s a REQUIREMENT. I’m on a mission to make foreplay a priority for everyone, and I’m hereby enlisting you into my arousal army!

If you work in adult retail, it’s very easy to slip into the same mindset as people in stale relationships. The longer you work in a store, the easier it is to ignore some of the most arousing products that surround you every day. Customers walking into your shop are looking for pleasure, and the natural reaction is to jump right to products that will deliver an amazing orgasm. And, while there’s certainly no shortage of great toys that will do that, I’m asking you to help people stop and think about things they can use BEFORE shooting for the big “O.”

Before the First Touch

Nothing has the power to arouse us more than our own imaginations. Stimulating visual scenes or provocative texts describing what one lover has in store for the other can become the foundation to an amazing intimate experience. Start thinking about the types of products that help to set the mood before the first touch. Suggesting lingerie, erotica, candles, games, or costumes is a perfect way to get things heated up. This foreplay can start right in your store! Set up an area where customers can take a selfie holding a new toy or outfit to send to their partner. Help them set the scene in their head, then encourage them to share with their lover.

The Big Tease

Congratulations – you’ve gotten your customer and their lover all hot and bothered, but let’s keep building that anticipation. It’s time to introduce them to all those fantastic tools for teasing. Ticklers, crops, paddles, cuffs and blindfolds are amazing ways to explore a variety of sensations. There is something for everyone when it comes to teasing. Suggest sensual massage, or light bondage even. And, DO NOT forget flavoured lube for oral play.

Bringing it Home

Once you begin to emphasise foreplay as a mandatory part of your customers’ intimate journey, you’ll start to view these products as more than just accessories. Helping them consider the bigger picture will not only improve their sex lives, it just might improve your business.

Emily Morse is a Doctor of Human Sexuality, and founder and host of the iTunes Top-Rated podcast Sex with Emily.  As an expert, author, and star of television and radio programs, she has inspired millions of listeners and followers to make sex a priority, enhance communication, and strengthen their relationships.  To learn more or to subscribe to her podcast, visit