The Power of Touch and Sex – Touch Me Please
Touch is a powerful thing. It plays a huge part in how we interact with and show love to each other.
Remember your dating phase? That time when you spent so much quality time together with that special person, talking about all kinds of things, or just staying on the phone and nobody had to say a thing?
How about your hands? They were constantly all over each other. Well today, I want to focus on bringing the touch back into your relationship.
Touch in Relationships
Touch in relationships is a big deal. For example, most of us have heard some of the research about babies who weren’t touched in orphanages and faraway countries and how significantly it damaged them. Touch is a critical ingredient we all long for and need.
I find it interesting in the way our culture presents humanity as if we’re individual units. Actually, we are really more of a herd, a tribe, and a group – much like many animals in the animal kingdom. We really do need to be touched. We need to be physically affirmed.
Touch is very important to human beings. It’s important that we touch each other. You can see it from kindergarten all the way through college. Kids touching each other, hugging each other, pushing each other around, playing sports, and wrestling together.
This is something that’s so primitive and part of who we are. When I say “primitive,” I mean it is kind of a primal need. It doesn’t need to be labeled as a negative or bad thing. It’s wonderful that we love to be touched.
I have a dog named Moses, and he is a fun-loving part of our family. When I come home, he makes sure that I give him attention because he just wants to be touched. Touch is important to animals. We’re animals in the sense that we are creatures, and we love to be touched.Touch is very important to human beings. It’s important that we touch each other. Click To Tweet
Touch and Dating
When you were dating, you were touching a lot. Let’s take a moment to remember that for a minute.
You had the touch frenzies. You were out of control sometimes with touch and that was part of the regimen in which you convinced your spouse that you would love and cherish them. That was part of how you showed you would take care of them. That was how you demonstrated you would meet their touch needs because you were actively touching them.
Touch in Your Relationship Now
How is touch in your relationship today?
Maybe you’ve been married for five, ten, or fifteen years or maybe you’re in a longer-term relationship. Is your touching still active today? How intentional are you about performing a back rub, shoulder rub, foot rub, or the long touch?
I’m not talking about the quick “love you honey, see you later” touch, but the touch that says, “I love you honey, and I’m staying here for a while. I want to enjoy your body. I want to touch you with my eyes. I want to touch your skin.”
I’m not even necessarily talking about touch in a sexual or foreplay way. I’m talking about the nonsexual touch.
How frequently are you touching your significant other? Has it fallen off? Has it been reduced to just a little peck on the cheek, or is it really alive and well? If your spouse had to rate you on a scale of one to ten, what would they say?
Would they say, “They’re not a 10 Dr. Weiss, they’re over the top at a 25. I mean they’re all over me all the time. I love it. I don’t think I’m ever around them where they’re not engaging me physically.”
That’s awesome if that’s the case, but I can tell you the touch between millions of couples drops off. It’s not immediate. It happens gradually over time.
They get to touching the kids, the dog, managing life, paying bills, working hard, and being tired. When all these things happen, the touch just seems to take a secondary place or a third place or twentieth place.
I mean seriously, take a moment and really evaluate how much time you touched your spouse every day. How about in the last seven days or the last thirty days?
When to Touch
When are you touching them? It is important to touch your partner or spouse throughout the day. Are you touching them in the morning? What’s your morning touch look like when you wake up? Do you hug, do you cuddle, do you spoon, and do you touch their legs?
What’s your touch look like during the day if you’re home? Maybe you have to work all day and you don’t get to see each other, so there’s an absence of touch.
When they come home, is it a hug and kiss? What about after the kids go to bed? Do you sit in front of a TV just looking at a screen? Are you on our phone? Are you on the computer? Does the keyboard get more affection than your spouse?Make touch a priority. Lower the importance of things in your life that get more touch and attention then your spouse. Click To Tweet
The Touch Priority
Touch is not really a priority in our world. Your spouse needs touch daily or they will become touch starved. In many marriages, this is becoming the norm as people are avoiding real relationships to check trending news, the latest thing on some webpage, or getting sucked into games.
For example, the Fortnite online game is being cited as a source of conflict in a growing number of divorce cases. Over 200 divorce cases in the UK have already cited that the game was creating problems in their marriages and a factor contributing to the couples separation according to CNBC. I bet those husbands were touching their gaming keyboards a lot more than their wives.
What about before going to bed? Is there touch going on then or do you both just crawl in and turn your backs the other way, make yourself comfortable, and go to sleep without touching?
I touch my wife as often as I can every morning, noon, and night. I’m very fortunate that she works with me in my office, so I can just go in her office, hug her, and kiss her when I want to. That is how I practice touch daily, but what does your touch life look like?
Evaluate Your Touch
Really evaluate your touch throughout the day. This will help you understand how often you are engaging in touch. You might find yourself saying, “Okay, this is something I’m really good at” or “this is something I really want to be good at.” I can tell you, it’s very important to your spouse.
It may not be their top priority, but the absence of touch is affecting them negatively. I tell people this every week when they fly from all over the country and world to come see me at Heart to Heart Counseling Center.
I can’t tell you how many hundreds and hundreds of spouses say, “They don’t touch me.” I can tell you everyone wants to be touched. Whether it’s a little or a lot, they want to be touched.
The lack of touching can make someone build up resentment toward you depending on how intentional you are making your touch life.
The Power of Touch
Whoever is touching you has a voice in your life. Think about it – the people who have a voice into your heart and life also have access to the power of touch. That’s why I’ve seen many guys go astray to women who touch them, touch their hands, rub their backs, and give them hugs.
I recently counseled a man who developed a place in his heart for his massage therapist because he went there for a year and the touch created an emotional response in him. You want to really make sure this is something you’re on top of, because touching is part of what we agreed to do when we said we would “love, honor, and cherish” our wives. Part of cherishing is touching.
Types of Touch
What are some of the types of touch you give to your spouse? Let’s go through some types of touch. Is your touch obligatory? Does it feel like you have to give them a hug, that you have to touch them, or even have to have sex?
If you’re coming from a place of obligation instead of “I get to,” your spouse is going to feel it. Your touch might actually feel negative to them. You know that cold hug feeling, where you let someone hug you, but you don’t hug back. If it feels cold physically, it’s probably going to feel cold in other areas toward your spouse.
Is your touch of choice the quick, short touch? Those touches happen so fast it’s almost as if they’re hot and you’re going to burn yourself if you actually spend some time holding on. I hope not. Or, does your touch last minutes?
A minute-long shoulder touch and a minute-long back rub here and there goes a long way in building your touch game. Okay, we’re getting warmer, and the touches are getting longer. How about the five- to ten-minute touch session that’s nonsexual?
Touch – Not Sex
When was the last time you spent ten minutes touching your spouse when it wasn’t for, leading to, or during a sexual encounter? When was the last time you just took off their shoes and rubbed their feet? When was the last time you just happened to be walking around and you wanted to hold your wife and touch her? What percentage of your touch leads up to sex?
Guys, this is really important for you to hear. If you look at your touch throughout the course of a week or two, and a majority of touch is leading up to sex, you are building connections between touch and sex. When you touch her, she automatically thinks, “He wants sex.”
Then when your touch is inadequate, your touch could turn into a negative influence. You start getting into that don’t touch me dance at that point, and that’s never a good place to be. So, make sure your touch isn’t about you, but make your touch about them.
Let your touch say, “I want to touch you. I want to please you. I want to relax you. This isn’t about me getting sex.” I’ve talked to thousands of women about touch. Most of them say, “Well, he only touches me when he wants sex.” That’s so sad. Don’t deprive your wife like that. How much of your touch is just playful? Just fun touching, hugging, kissing, and loving? Playful touch is fantastic.Touching doesn't equal sex. Touch is an important part of sex, but sex isn't an important part of touching. Click To Tweet
Touch and Sex
How much touch do you give to your spouse in the sexual dance? How much touching is involved in the foreplay, during, and after sex?
That’s REALLY IMPORTANT touch, so you want to take your time there. Take a minute to read my post about “Upgrading Your Sex Life.” Those sex life tips can help understand sexual touch specific to your spouse and her sex language.
If your spouse has a “patient sexual expression,” then you definitely have to be good at touch.
You can also find principles of intimacy that will help you be intentional with touch in my book, “Intimacy: A Hundred Day Guide to Lasting Relationships” or some of my other marriage books.
The bottom line is you want to affectionately touch your partner. A lack of touch for some people moves them to feeling unloved, unwanted, and unimportant, and it can definitely lead to distance and resentment.
Wrapping Touch Up
If touch is an issue for you, work on it. If this is something you need to really work on, set some goals and check in with your spouse.
Ask them, “Do I give you enough touch? Do you feel touched?” Hopefully, they’ll smile back at you and say, “Yes honey, you’re doing a great job. You’re awesome to me. I feel like if you’re around, I’m probably just moments away from some kind of physical contact.”
I hope that’s your story. I really do, and if it’s not, make it your story. Choose to be an incredible lover of your spouse or your partner so that everybody feels better.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally-known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including Lust Free Living. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.