Non-penetrative sex or outercourse is sexual activity that usually does not include sexual penetration. It generally excludes the penetrative aspects of vaginal, anal or oral sexual activity, but includes various forms of sexual and non-sexual activity, such as frottage, mutual masturbation, kissing or cuddling. Some definitions of the activity, particularly when termed outercourse, include penetrative aspects (such as penetration that may result from forms of oral or anal sexual activity), especially oral sex.
People engage in non-penetrative sex for a variety of reasons, including as a form of foreplay or as a primary or preferred sexual activity. Heterosexual couples may engage in the activity as an alternative to penile-vaginal penetration, to preserve virginity, or as a form of birth control. Gay and lesbian couples may also engage in the activity to preserve virginity, with gay males using it as an alternative to anal penetration.
Though sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs) such as herpes, HPV and pubic lice can be transmitted through non-penetrative genital-genital and genital-body sexual activity, non-penetrative sex may be used as a form of safer sex because it is less likely that bodily fluids (the main source of STI/STD transmission) will be exchanged during the activities, especially with regard to aspects that are exclusively non-penetrative.