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don't touch me! (that way).

How many have of us have said this, thought this, or heard this in a romantic relationship?

When you hear this question, you may hesitate or pause as you are forced to think, what type of touch are we talking about? That's because there are different types of touch.

There are 5 dimensions of touch and people have different preferences. It is important to know what your preference is and to communicate that as it is an opportunity to bring closeness to the relationship and avoid touch that disconnects partners. The majority of couples only use two gears - affection and intercourse. They fall into the trap of believing that sex=intercourse. This results in lower levels of both touch and intercourse and most importantly potential missed opportunities to connect.

Consider where you are at in each of these types of touch and how much you desire of each of these types of touch. Does your partner know this? Do you know what your partner likes?

Affectionate Touch - Clothes on touching such as holding hands, hugging, caressing and kissing. It is not sexual but is foundational for intimate attachment.

Sensual Touch - Non-genital touch or pleasuring that can be clothed, semi-clothed, or nude: this can include a head, back, cuddling on the couch. It can be a touch that bridges affectionate touch that can move into sexual desire at that time or a build up into a later time.

Playful Touch - Intermixes genital touch/pleasuring with non-genital touch while semi clothed or nude. This can include touching in the shower or bath, full body massage, seductive or erotic dancing, playing games, etc. It works to increase sharing of pleasure, playful unpredictability. This may not work if the first types of touch are not occurring.

Erotic Touch - Non-intercourse erotic touch can include manual, oral, rubbing, or vibrator stimulation; can be one way or mutual, and can proceed to orgasm or transition to intercourse. This is the most challenging gear and serves to provide a sense of vitality, creativity, and unpredictability.

Intercourse - Natural continuation of the pleasuring/eroticism process, not a pass-fail sex performance, and it should only be transitioned to at high levels of erotic flow and continue to multiple stimulation during intercourse.


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