1: The Science of Touch
If you want to become a better (self)lover and deepen the intimate connection with yourself and/or others, improving the quality of your touch is super important. This is not only about techniques, it’s about that extra bit of magic within the touch, ‘The sorcerers’ Touch’. In this module we dive into touch;
- our believes and (unwritten) rules about touch
- how to touch more profoundly
- and how to Experience touch more profoundly
So that you can become a better (self)lover.
If you feel like you don’t always know how to touch yourself and/or others or feel insecure about how to touch, this module is for you. Or if you want to learn how to get even more out of touch, this is for you.
Read the following sentences a couple of times in a slow pace:
Human beings need touch.
Touch is vital for life.
Touch is connection.
Touch is Life
What happens if you read these sentences a couple of times, slowly, absorbing each word?
What do you notice in yourself? Thoughts, feelings, movements, tension, relaxation, emotions? Not so much at all?
Human beings need touch, touch is vital for life.
A need means that it is something that is necessary, is essential rather than just desirable or pleasurable. Touch is what we need to survive.
Now this might seem exaggerated to you. You might think, what I need to survive is food and shelter, warmth and water, touch is just for fun and wellbeing. But perhaps these examples help to convince you: In the first half of the 20th century babies 90 percent of the babies in the orphanage in America died. The ten percent who did survive had been removed from the orphanage for a short period and stayed in a foster family for a while. And there is a vast amount of research that reveals that infants develop better and faster when they receive loving touch.
But not only for infants, touch is vital, also for adults, touch has a strong physiological, biochemical influence; it lowers blood pressure, cortisol levels, and it stimulates vagal tone and brain activity. Touch and tactile training literally change how our brains are wired. This research indicates that touch is vital for the smooth progression of biological processes in our bodies that are important for our survival. And the fact that our brains are flexible and able to rewire by practicing means that we can learn again to cultivate these benefits of touch, even when we were deprived of them in earlier experiences in life.
By practicing mindful touch, we can start to feel more sensations again, making our entire body more orgasmic and receptive to pleasure.
The entire body orgasmic? Yes. There is this misconception that only genital stimulation can cause an orgasm. It is true that in the genitals we have the most nerve endings of the body, but our hands make a third place after the genitals and the lips. And many nerve endings, means many opportunities for pleasure. However, the hands are mostly used instrumentally, we use them for instance to feel in our pocket and distinguish our key from a pack of gum, but there is great potential for pleasure in our hands waiting to be explored.
Other zones in the body are commonly known as erogenous zones, the most familiar being the lips, nipples and anus, but less familiar are the ears, the neck, feet, lower belly, groin, and what about eyelids, the scalp, the back, the waist, inner legs, buns, inner arms, arm pits, calves… well, that’s starting to look like the whole body is very sensitive to touch and pleasure isn’t it? And that is not so strange, look at the human body, we are these naked animals, with on some places tiny hairs that have a function as tactile hairs to feel already before the skin is touched and to protect the skin against damage, for instance on our outer arms and legs. In other places we have only very soft hairs, where the skin is very thin and sensitive, like our inner arms. In some places we are completely naked, making us even more sensitive to touch there, like our hands, lips and genitals.
So, our entire body is super sensitive to touch and can experience pleasurable, erotic sensations. In other words, touch can be sex. Touching a hand can be sex, touching genitals can be sex.
However, touch is not always about sex. Touching a hand can be about sex, but often isn’t and touching genitals can also be about sex, but often it isn’t. Touch can be instrumental, loving, caring, it can be an expression of power or submission, it can be playful or aggressive, supportive, soothing etc. As I said before, touch is essential for our survival. That is why touch therapy is so helpful, it is not only good for the muscles, but for the entire system. On a more fundamental level, touch helps us to interact with the world around us: through heat, pain and mechanical changes, which help us to be safe and comfortable enough. Like Michelangelo said: ‘To touch can be to give life’.
Although we know that touch is not only about sex, touch often is mistaken for sex, or we are afraid that one is mistaken for the other and thus we become all tensed up around touch, and choose better safe than sorry to not touch at all in schools, at work, among friends or within a family. This might seem safer and healthier but then we deprive ourselves from this important life elixir and we become less educated and also less sensitive to touch; we don’t know how to do touch well anymore. And that is sad, to not have access to this great potential of pleasure and connection.
And there is also hope, because we can learn it again. If your tactile functions are working, you can learn to get access to this life elixir again!
In order to become better at touch, we have to start with separating touch and sex and start with touch that is not intended to be about sex. We follow the work of Dr. Betty Martin here, who emphasizes a new foundation for giving and receiving touch, which can completely shift the thoughts and believes you had about touch until now.
So now it’s time for some action!
 Hansen, ‘The Truth about Teaching and Touching’.
 Barnett, ‘Keep in Touch’; Ardiel en Rankin, ‘The Importance of Touch in Development’; Duhn, ‘The Importance of Touch in the Development of Attachment’.
 Debowska e.a., ‘Functional and Structural Neuroplasticity Induced by Short-Term Tactile Training Based on Braille Reading’.
 Dr. Betty Martin en with Robyn Dalzen, The Art of Receiving and Giving: The Wheel of Consent.
Watch Chapter 1 For Free!
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