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The Intention of Your Touch

More and more the subject of types of touch comes up in my coaching sessions over and over again.

I see so many patterns where one partner tends to be more playful in their type of touch, and as a result their partner tends to start resisting and withdrawing from their touch in general. This isn't a conscious thing, usually it's a primal body response. Let me give you an example!

My lover is a very playful guy... He likes to poke, tickle, and he's incredibly strong and often underestimates the intensity of those pokes and tickles.

It's definitely not my preferred way of being touched! And the more consistently he pokes and tickles, the more my body starts tightening up around him. My shoulders draw up as though I'm expecting him to try to tickle my neck. My arms clamp down to my side to protect my sensitive armpits. And if he comes up behind me and slides his hand around my waist for a hug, my impulse is to elbow him in the ribs.

If he tries to randomly come up and kiss me, my arms go up in front of my chest and I begin to push against his chest before he's even really tried to touch me. I literally feel like I'm trying to keep him at an arm's length and prevent touch to prevent discomfort.

As a result, my body doesn't know the difference between sensual touch and ticklish touch, because the most dominant form of touch has been ticklish touch. So when he tries to initiate sex or sensual moments, I'm already physically defensive and wanting to elbow him in the ribs!

It takes a significant amount of time for my body to realize that he's not going to tickle me, and then I can relax and open up to more sensual and pleasurable experience. This is going to double the amount of time it takes for me to be able to reach arousal! Because instead of just coaxing my body into pleasurable Bliss, he has to earn my body's trust all over again every time.

Every. Time.

As a result, I've had to become much more vocal and assertive in setting and holding boundaries around touch. Letting him know that it's okay to set aside time to be playful, but that that can't be the majority of our physical interaction. My body simply can't handle it!

Tickle fights and wrestling matches can definitely be fun, but when this is the most dominant way you touch your partner, this is a recipe for sensual armoring and shut down.

And obviously tickling isn't the only form of potentially negative touch to consider. If the only time you touch your partner is when you want to have sex, you're also going to create a problem with resentment and obligation being perceived anytime you touch your partner.

I've also seen cases where some Partners use affectionate touch in a mocking and sarcastic way, only looking to hug or kiss their partner once they've irritated their partner and gotten a rise out of them.

Then there are also Partners who get stuck in the cycle of only using intimacy as a form of making up.

This can have couples stuck in a cycle of creating fights simply so they can experience the passionate reunion of coming together after an argument.

Obviously I don't have to go into the reasons why this is detrimental to your relationship, that should be self-explanatory.

This isn't a comprehensive list, just some examples to get you thinking… I'm also not going into the “WHY” of what the driving factors are behind these types of touch, if you observe these things within yourself, we can definitely talk about this in a coaching session.

So take a few minutes and slip inside your memory bank and see if you observe a specific type of dominant touch you share with your partner.

Do you like to try to create intimacy in a playful way?

Do you find yourself tickling, poking, and seeking to get feisty reactions from your lover through touch?

Do you touch your partner frequently at all? Or do you typically only touch her when you're seeking to have sex?

Do you only touch after moments of heated exchange?

Do you use touch to manipulate, control, or irritate your partner?

Do you withhold touch and use it as a bargaining tool?

Does your partner do any of these things?

Do you touch each other in the same manner, or do you find that you touch each other in completely opposite ways? What are those ways? Is one of you incredibly gentle and sensual, and the other incredibly abrupt and brief?

If you're not sure, just make a mental note to pay attention over the next few days to see how often you and your partner touch, how you touch, as well as how you and your partner respond to those moments.

Once you’ve observed your dominant theme, see if it’s feeding or starving your sensual and sexual moments of their sizzle. Maybe you’ll need to make a few changes! Set new goals…

If you have one of the above touch styles, make it a new goal to touch your partner in a loving and gentle way three times a day and try to curb the desire to be the funny guy. Save those things for the truly playful moments.

Touch Suggestions:

  • Start with less intimate areas (hands, head, upper back, etc)

  • Keep your touch gentle, palms flat, and smoothing as you caress her shoulders and arms, or head and face, etc