What is Outercourse? A Complete Guide on a New Form of Abstinence

Outercourse is any form of sexual activity that occurs without penis-in-vagina penetration. If you're not familiar with it, here's what to know.

The Promescent Team
Hands on, practical experience – this is our expertise
by The Promescent Team Last updated 12/11/2023
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Can I get pregnant from outercourse?

Outercourse is a sweeping term that refers to almost all sexual activity that doesn't include penile-vaginal sex

While it sounds like foreplay, it doesn't qualify because outercourse typically comes without the expectation of PIV intercourse.

Quick FAQs

Outercourse is generally any form of sexual activity that doesn't involve penis-in-vagina penetration.

Different types of outercourse include erotic massages, kissing, and dry humping.

Some of the benefits of outercourse include reducing the risk of pregnancy and STDS, and discovering new erogenous zones.

Regardless of the reason for abstaining, outercourse is a safe and practical solution for abstinence.

And vaginal penetration is undoubtedly not the only way to enjoy sexual contact. Here’s what you need to know about outercourse.

What is Outercourse?

Some define outercourse as everything except penis-in-vagina penetration. Others use the term to refer to no penetrative sex at all, including:

  • fingers
  • sex toys
  • oral sex
  • anal sex

People engage in outercourse instead of PIV for various reasons, including STD and pregnancy prevention, personal preference, and religious beliefs.

Is Outercourse Considered Abstinence?

Both outercourse and abstinence mean no vaginal sex. At the same time, outercourse and abstinence mean different things to different people.

One person may consider abstinence as abstaining from any sexual contact, while another person only sees penetrative sex as sex.

Types of Outercourse

Erotic massage

Messages can be as sexual or asexual as you desire. Erotic or tantric massages are intentionally sexy and consist of kneading, rubbing, stroking, and even tickling the person with the intention of arousing.

If you want to turn the heat up on the sexy massage, you have a lot of options.

  • candles
  • lighting (ambiance)
  • a bath
  • scented oil
  • female arousal gel


It's scientifically proven that oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin make us happier as humans. Lissing can trigger the release of these chemicals.

But kissing doesn't just have to consist of mouth-to-mouth contact. During the outercourse, take the time to discover your partner's erogenous zones by kissing different parts of their body.

Dry humping

You may think dry humping is only for teenagers. But we've learned a lot since the days of grinding against a pair of denim jeans.

You can experiment with different positions and clothing when engaging in an outercourse that includes dry humping.

Mutual and manual masturbation

Mutual masturbation isn't outercourse for some, while others use it as a mainstay to avoid STD transmission and pregnancy,

You have two types of mutual masturbation sessions.

  1. touching one another's genitals at the same time
  2. touching their own genitalia at the same time, often while looking at one another

Because one type of mutual masturbation involves vaginal penetration, some don't include it in outercourse sexual activity.

Oral sex

Oral sex falls into the same category as mutual masturbation. Some count it as outercourse, while others have a rigid boundary against it.

While there are plenty of colorful words and phrases to describe it, the medical terms for oral sex include:

  • Fellatio - the act of stimulating the penis with tongue, lips, throat, and even teeth
  • Cunninglingus - performed by stimulating the vagina, clitoris, or vulva using the mouth
  • Anilingus - oral sex that consists of stimulation to the anus using the mouth

Sex toys

Sex toys don't mean there must be vaginal penetration. You have plenty of vibrator options meant to stimulate the clitoris and vulva or the head of the penis without the need for penetration.

Benefits of Outercourse

There are a variety of benefits partners get to enjoy with outercourse. Here are a few of them to consider:

Outersex drastically reduces the risk of pregnancy

You may come across stats that claim that outercourse prevents pregnancy 100% of the time. And while pregnancy is not likely, it can happen.

Anytime sex includes the release of semen (including pre-ejaculate), there is a chance of pregnancy.

Always wash your hands after climax to avoid semen coming into contact with the vagina.

You discover new erogenous zones

Some people find that removing PIV from the mix gives people a chance to discover their partner's likes and the places that seem to get them going.

You can use your hands, mouth, and even eyes to stimulate and entice without penetrating sex.

It reduces anxiety during sex

Outercourse comes with the benefits of reducing the risk of pregnancy and STDs. It means that two people can enjoy sexual activity without the fear of what comes with genital contact.

Is pregnancy possible with outercourse?

Anytime there is a chance that semen can come into contact with the vagina, there is a chance of pregnancy.

The easiest way to avoid even a fraction of a chance is to clean up the ejaculate before continuing sexual activity. The semen can transfer to the vulva by dropping or on the finger.

Is an STI possible with outercourse?

The chances of sexually transmitted infections are greater during outercourse than those with pregnancy.

When semen and vaginal wetness are involved, the chances of an STI are higher.

Penetrative sex that includes anal, oral, and sharing sex toys can pass an STI as easily as vaginal intercourse.

Some people choose to wear a condom during outercourse just to be extra careful and safeguard against pregnancy and STIs.


For many people, outercourse means that there will be no penis-in-vagina penetration. For others, outercourse means no penetrative sex, including oral sex and mutual masturbation.

In almost all cases, outercourse can include erotic massages, sensual kissing, and the teenage tradition of dry humping.

The advantages of outercourse include that it sharply reduces the chances of pregnancy and STDs. But, it does not remove the risk entirely.

The Promescent Team

The Promescent Team

Our team has over a decade of experience in the sexual wellness field and are experts in sexual dysfunctions, like premature ejaculation. We help couples and individuals better understand treatment options available for different types of sexual needs and educate the public on all things related to intimacy. All of our authored content is medically reviewed for accuracy and reliability.


Absorption Pharmaceuticals LLC (Promescent) has strict informational citing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic or research institutions, medical associations, and medical experts. We attempt to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references and only citing trustworthy sources. Each article is reviewed, written, and updated by Medical Professionals or authoritative Experts in a specific, related field of practice. You can find out more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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