Ask Olivia – The Power of Touch and How It Affects Our Lives, Emotions and Sex
When you’re a child, touch is an important part of brain development and a normal everyday activity. If you do things like spell a word right, you get a congratulatory pat on the back. Hurt yourself and it gets kissed better. You hold hands to cross the street.
Touch is used to communicate love, fear, protection, pride, happiness, fear and more.
When we grow up, touching gets more complicated. Around puberty we begin to realize that there are different types of touch, and that they can be used different ways. We begin to touch less frequently, and sometimes touch can even make us uncomfortable.
You might not touch one person the same way you touch another person. The same gesture from a friend and someone who wants a relationship can mean totally different things!
As an adult touch can mean all the things it did as children plus more. Touch can mean anger, anxiety, sympathy, desire, and more. Giving or receiving touch can make you feel happy, sad, loved, hurt, relaxed, tense, or accepted, so on and so forth. Withdrawing or refusing touch can cause confusion and despair.
When you enter a romantic or sexual relationship, sexual touch is important and often frequently on the mind. But non-sexual touch can be equally as powerful.
For couples, non-sexual touch communicates connection, unity, teamwork, affection, and love. A hug or a cuddle are powerful tools for communication. Hand holding can decrease stress and even lower your risk for cancer. Touch can alleviate depression and inspire confidence in a relationship.
When you’re single, touch is a big part of flirting and communication. Light touch can indicate playfulness and a desire to get to know one another better. Touch can be used to communicate intent and boost happiness, along with helping to form bonds.
Everyone can benefit from touch in a different way. Tools at our disposal such as physical therapy, pet therapy, even things like cuddle parties have been proven to help the body and mind heal.
Contact between two bodies has a profound effect on our health and well-being. You are more likely to get sick the less you are touched, and people without physical contact are often more prone to depression.
Non-sexual touch can have an especially powerful effect on your sex life, as well!
The beginning of all intimate encounters start with non-intimate ones. Initiating non-sexual touch can help two people break the ice, and may lead to less casual touch.
One example of this is massage. A massage by itself can be a pleasant but platonic encounter, although it frequently makes people feel more sensual, relaxed and open to touch. This can lead to a more exotic body exploration!
Non-intimate touch can strengthen the quantity and quality of your sex life as well. Feeling happier, more connected, and desired will cause people to open up more freely and with greater abandon. Basically - touch leads to more touch!
Touch is applied differently every day, and is responsible for a lot of the information our brain receives. A pleasant, non-sexual touch applied at the right time is a wonderful thing.
If things are tense or need decompressing, offer a hug or a hand to hold. Rubbing noses or nuzzling can seem silly, but it’s very effective as well. A gentle squeeze when you’re happy, a lingering rub when you or your partner are aroused.
There are plenty of times and ways to apply non-sexual touch. If the moment seems right to you, reach out and touch it! You never know what might happen.