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     Outercourse is where two people place their genitals together, as though they were about to have intercourse, and proceed to rub back and forth in a sort of "simulated" sexual intercourse. It is very similar to sexual intercourse, except that there is no actual penetration of the penis into the vagina or anus.

Negative Consequences:

     Although there is still the risk of catching a sexually transmitted disease (an STD) and there is still a slight risk of pregnancy, the overall risk is significantly less than with penetration. One other possible negative consequence is that, being caught up in the moment, and already being positioned for full intercourse, it is easy to go ahead and make penetration after all. One thing that is important to remember when practicing this is that a condom still needs to be used because there is an exchange of body fluids during outercourse and because it *IS* possible for a female to get pregnant just from outercourse, although it is a much, much smaller risk than with intercourse. That is because the male's sperm CAN travel from the outside of the labia up into the vagina and can then successfully swim up the vagina to the cervix and fertilize an egg. A typical male ejaculation releases approximately 60 Million sperm, and it only takes one sperm to fertilize an egg. This is not by any means a common occurrence, hence outercourse is much less risky, but it is still possible and you should know that.

Positive Consequences:

     The most significant positive consequence is that outercourse carries much less risk than does sexual intercourse. This is a good alternative to actually having full sexual intercourse and penetration, and we would encourage couples to do this instead of intercourse. This is also very good practice and will allow the two of you to become more comfortable with each other's bodies, with being nude in front of one another, and with how your bodies fit together. It also allows for an experience very close to sexual intercourse, but without any pain involved for the female. It also puts the emphasis where it should be... on the INTIMACY and closeness, rather than on just "doing it". When the time comes where you both feel you are definitely ready to have full intercourse and make penetration, you will be more relaxed and prepared for that, and your first actual intercourse should be easier and better.

Specific Risks:

     Because the genitals come into direct contact, there is the risk of passing a sexually transmitted disease. There is a risk of pregnancy because sperm in the male's pre-cum and ejaculation can still travel from the outside of the vulva or the inner lips/labia into the vagina and up to the cervix even though no actual penetration took place. This is not a high risk, but it is a risk nonetheless. Using condoms and other birth control methods, just as one must do with full intercourse, is the best way to reduce these specific risks to nearly zero.

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