Petting involves touching the genitals to incite arousal in your partner. It also involves “rubbing” the body of one partner against the body of the other, allowing sexual pleasure and orgasm in one or both partners. During petting, both partners are usually naked, however, what distinguishes petting and an actual sexual intercourse in this case is the lack of penetration during petting. 

There is no penetration during petting – the sexual organ does not enter the partner’s body. That is why petting is said to be an imitation of sexual intercourse. It therefore poses a significantly lower risk for pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases compared to an actual intercourse, although the risk still exists. 

Usually both partners are fully or partially dressed, so there is contact between the genitals, but through clothing. Partners can also be without clothes. As there is no exchange of body fluids during petting, it is also often referred to as dry sex. Despite the fact that there is no exchange of body fluids at that time, the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases can still occur. Some sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes are transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. Therefore, petting is not completely safe, only the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases is lower because there is no penetration during petting. 

If a partner ejaculates and both partners are dressed during the petting, it is not possible for pregnancy to occur. Sperm, like bacteria and viruses, do not pass through clothing. Thus, there can be no infection with sexually transmitted diseases if at least one of the partners wears clothes that cover the genitals. For example, if a man ejaculates near the opening of the vagina and the partners are without clothes, there is little chance of getting pregnant, but there is a high possibility of infections or sexually transmitted diseases. 

What needs to be taken care of is that partners can get carried away during petting and have an actual sexual intercourse without being ready for it. Therefore, if you decide to try petting, you need to set your boundaries clearly and let your partner know that he / she must respect them. Otherwise, sex can simply happen, and then there will be a much higher chance of pregnancy.