No doubt about it: Slow sex is the most satisfying. Most sex experts say that lots of leisurely, playful, whole-body sensuality is the best open act for a satisfying sexual experience.
See also: 6 ways to make lovemaking great
But what do you do when there's no time for extended erotic play? Sometimes lovers — especially those who have just fallen in love — want a fevered, rip-your-clothes-off quickie. Established couples, too, can enjoy the occasional quickie. Test-drive these suggestions (and precautions) to make the most of your next brief encounter.
1. Heat up the anticipation. Compared with young lovers, older adults, both men and women, need more warm-up time to become aroused. Quickies don't allow much. Fortunately, you can make quickies feel erotically longer than they really are.
Begin them before the two of you get together. If you have to travel to enjoy your brief rendezvous, get on the phone and talk or text about how much your lover excites you and how eager you are to get together. By the time you fall into each other's arms, you'll both be partially aroused.
2. Make quickies as sensual and playful as time allows. Don't just throw off your clothes and reach for your lover's undercarriage. To whatever extent possible, savor kissing, hugging, whole-body massage and whispered endearments as you unbutton and unzip each other. The more sensuality you can include, the more gratifying your quickie will be.
3. Savor the setting. Limited time does not rule out sexy ambiance. Arrange for your tryst to include scented candles, massage lotion and a portable music player. Stop by a market and pick up some treats to feed one another: strawberries and whipped cream, perhaps, or chilled shrimp and spicy cocktail sauce.
4. Use a lubricant. A commercial lube — necessary even when older couples have all the time in the world — becomes crucial for quickies. For older women, a lubricant often provides the difference between comfortable and painful genital play. Lubes also enhance the pleasure of genital touch, making them a boon for older men too.
Never squirt lubricant directly on the genitals — unless you're a fan of cold and jarring sensations. Instead, place a teaspoon or so in your hand, then use your fingers to warm it up before applying. Use the lubricant generously. If it dries on the skin, simply apply some more. Lubricants are available over the counter at pharmacies, usually near the contraceptives. (Water-based lubricants do not stain clothing or linens.)
5. To get off, get your buzz on. The faster the sexual pace, the more difficult it is for women to have orgasms. As a result, a vibrator may come in handy. Older men with similar orgasm issues can try a vibrating penis sleeve. Online sex-toy emporiums carry selections of both.
6. Arrange small surprises. Erotic novelty heightens arousal. If you've dreamed of experimenting with new sex toys, different caresses or sex in an unusual location, a quickie presents the perfect opportunity to try some new moves.
7. Treasure the afterglow. Unless the flight attendant is demanding that you vacate the lavatory this instant, after you both finish, extend your quickie by holding each other close, kissing, cuddling and confiding. If you must endure "sweet sorrow" immediately, keep in touch by phone or email.
8. Quick! Schedule your next quickie. If you and your lover enjoy quickies, why not work them into your sexual routine? Make periodic quickie dates. Then take turns orchestrating the setting and embellishments.
Longtime sex counselor Michael Castleman answers sexuality questions at GreatSexAfter40.com.