The girl with a hankering for romance might find that a little innocent flirting is just laying the foundation for sexual foreplay. What might seem like just a sweet little encounter could actually be giving the guy a mixed message. And in the end it could lead you to more sexual intimacy than you had imagined.

Just playing around can get your motors running without you even realizing it, and suddenly you’ve left romantic mode and moved into sexy girl mode. That’s why I’m going to call all this kind of play “sex games.” Check them out.

The big rub down

It’s so wonderful when your guy gives you a massage, isn’t it? You’ve been stressed all day, and the touching and rubbing just make you feel so relieved. He’s really an amazing guy to give so much without getting anything in return.

Or is he? I mean, he might be a great guy, but there is also more to it than just a kind gesture. For the average guy, touching you is a sexual thing. He feels your curves, he smells your skin, and he’s thinking about what’s underneath your clothes.

If you talk to your guy friend about this and he’s all denying it, just ask him how many massages he gives to his 83-year-old grandmother and see if that doesn’t gross him out. Why? Because it’s a sexual thing.

Tickle fight

Ah, the tickle fight. You giggle; he tickles you more. You squirm; he grabs ahold of you. Harmless, nonsexual fun. Right? Or is there more to this as well?

Just like the back rub, the tickle fight can get all your juices flowing. Your blood gets pumping. Your hormones start raging. And you can see the ending coming: He tickles you. You laugh, squirm, scream, and giggle. You fall down. He lands on top of you. You suddenly both realize how much you like each other as you gaze into each other’s eyes … and bam! Your lips meet, and it’s pure kissing bliss. The start of the perfect relationship.

But what’s going through his head at the same time? He also imagines an ending: He tickles. You both laugh and look at each other longingly. You fall into each other’s arms, kiss passionately, and spend the next hour having sex.

Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true. That’s how he’s thinking. And if you talk to a guy who says, “No way, we aren’t all thinking about sex when we have tickle fights,” then ask him the same thing as for the back rub: How many of his buddies does he have tickle fights with? I bet he says none. Hmm, now why is that? Because it’s a sexual thing.

Nap time

It’s just so cozy. It’s a lazy Saturday. Your parents are out. You’re watching an old movie together, and then it hits you. You’re both tired, it’s so comfortable being together, so why not take a nap? I mean, it’s harmless, right?

So you cuddle up in the best position ever, the spoon. In this close position you can feel his heart beat. He’s warm all over. He’s breathing on your neck. Your mouth starts to water. Let me just say that it doesn’t take a psychic to figure out where this is going. It’s foreplay.

If you are taking naps with guys, then you’re feeding your raging hormones and his and making it almost impossible not to go farther. I don’t want to sound like a total prude here, but just think about it. Don’t lie down together and you can save yourself from falling into sexual temptation that God’s Word warns us against.

Skin on skin

As you continue to slide down the slippery slope of sexual intimacy, the next thing you are likely to hear from your guy is how much he just loves to feel skin on skin. It’s not about sex, just the warm feeling of flesh against flesh.

But don’t kid yourself: If this isn’t foreplay, then I don’t know what is. And foreplay is for the express purpose of getting our bodies ready for intercourse. It’s impossible for a guy to lie next to you skin on skin and not imagine having sex with you. It’s just where his mind goes.

The proverbial slippery slope

Jesus makes it clear that our sins aren’t just in our actions but start in our minds. In fact, He’s so clear on this that He says in Matthew 5:28 that just thinking about having sex with someone is counted against you just as if you actually had sex with that person.

Read it for yourself: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).

You can’t get around this. This isn’t some ancient, out-of-date concept that we gave up on years ago. It’s the Word of God written down for all to see and all to be judged by. If you are going to let your guy daydream about having sex with you, then you’ve essentially led him down the path of disobedience. And God is very clear about sexual sin.

I know that you probably don’t want to disobey God. I know you want to have a great relationship with Him and to be holy and righteous. And I know that you love Him and talk to Him and pray to Him and that you didn’t mean to fall into temptation. That’s why I’ve said all this.

The more you realize the truth about your own sexuality, the more you can control yourself and be obedient to His Word. This is no longer a game; it has ramifications both spiritually and physically, not to mention emotionally. Be safe. Be real. And stop the game. Sex isn’t made for that.

Adapted from Technical Virgin: How Far Is Too Far by Hayley DiMarco. Used by permission of Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, copyright © 2006. All rights to this material are reserved. Materials are not to be distributed to other web locations for retrieval, published in other media, or mirrored at other sites without written permission from Baker Publishing Group.