In fact, a decent bit of well-executed foreplay can sort out one of the fundamental biological differences between men and women and the cause of a lot of disappointment for women everywhere: men come quicker. Men can go from cold to hot almost instantaneously while a woman's fire needs to be stoked a bit first. Foreplay can help you to meet somewhere in between. It also increases the chance of you having an orgasm and that's got to be a good thing!
1) Try a three-minute snog
Snogging is probably the most basic form of foreplay and though it's a technique that's often overlooked, it's still one that's guaranteed to send temperatures from tepid to torrid without even breaking a sweat. So you're thinking, "Yeah right, we kiss all the time and it's hardly like sparks and fireworks ". You have a quick peck on your way to work and a bit of a smooch in front of the telly, but how often do you really snog like you did when you first met?
Three minutes is actually quite a long time (you get three minutes to decide whether you've met the love of your life on a speed date, for example) and we defy you not to be tearing each other's kit off after having a proper tight three minute lip-lock. Easy.
2) Get started before you've started
Foreplay can happen anywhere and any time. And since you can get started before you've even got home from the office/school run/gym, you can save time and find yourself racing home with glee, eager to get started. Try sending him a saucy text message to get you both in the mood.
If you feel a bit clueless as to what to write, start here and fill in the blanks: "When I get home I'm going to..." or "I love it when you...". Or just let him know that you haven't got any knickers on. Needless to say, camera phones can take this sexual tête-à-tête to a whole new level, just take extra care when selecting the "To" field.
If text sex makes you feel a bit daft, you could always slip a pair of your sexiest (clean!) knickers into his suitcase before he goes off on his weekend away. And if you're out to dinner, you can't beat a bit of sub-tabletop foot frottage.
3) Show, don't tell
Your partner is not psychic. You know what turns you on but how is he supposed to know if you don't show him? So give him a demonstration. Instant turn-on.
4) Master the art of the sexy massage
As one of the most ancient arts around, massage is one of the easiest ways make you feel more intimate with each other. You can take turns or one of you can concentrate on the other, but first make sure you won't have any interruptions! Cover your mattress with a towel, grab some sexily scented oil and get to work.
Unless your partner is incredibly ticklish, start by lightly stroking them all over before moving slowly from one area of the body to the other, specifically avoiding anything naughty (save that for later!). Remember not to rush, otherwise there's absolutely no point. Continue adding more pressure using your body weight, not your arm strength and check with your (now utterly helpless) partner whether the pressure's ok. Make sure you pay extra special attention to the areas that don't get a look-in during sex - feet, ankles, calves, shoulders and head. When you reckon the time is right, shift the focus from massage to more explicitly sexual activities and take it from there...
5) Get vocal
The prevalence of those £1.50 a minute phone sex lines proves that talking dirty is one of those things that really gets a man going in the trouser department. It's not as difficult as it sounds and you'll soon get over any initial embarrassment once you see just how effective it can be. Read a few smutty novels first if you want to get more comfortable with the idea.
Remember that talking dirty doesn't actually have to be dirty - you can say plenty of sensual things without using words you don't want to (although most men really seem to enjoy the filthy words for sexual body parts!). If you feel like you won't be able to say anything without bursting out laughing, or if you can't do it while he's watching, dim the lights and make your first attempts by lowering your voice to a breathy whisper. Subject matter? How big he is (only if he is - there's no point lying!), how good he is, what you like about what he's doing, what you're going to do to him next... Trust us, when you see what it does to him, you'll soon get the hang of it!