Have you ever been doing something mundane, like washing dishes, and had your partner walk up behind you and lightly touch your waist or run their hands over the backs of your arms? Do you remember the little shiver of pleasure you felt? The immediate arousal? Did it completely change your mood? Were you suddenly thinking about having some time alone with your partner, and craving more touch? Sensual touching is one of the most powerful things we can do - for connection within our relationships, and for our sex lives!
One great thing about sensual touching is that there's really no “wrong” way to do it. You simply do what feels good to you and your partner. Many people enjoy long, light strokes of the fingertips over their exposed skin. Drawing light circles with fingertips is also a great option. Gentle scratching can provide a completely different, and very arousing, sensation. Some people enjoy brief moments of harder scratching, which gives a sense of urgency and passion. Massage, with varying pressure depending upon location and personal preference, can also be a great form of sensual touch. There are so many ways to touch, and there's something that works for everyone!
Another great thing about sensual touch is that it can happen anywhere, at any time, and still be both exciting and appropriate. It could be sliding your palm lightly up and down your partner's open hand as you sit together at yet another dull PTA meeting. Perhaps a brush of your fingers over the sensitive skin at the back and sides of your partner's neck as they sit working at the computer. Or maybe you'll spend hours exploring each other in the bedroom, discovering all of your most sensitive places, through touch. This type of touch, in even the most mundane of circumstances, helps couples maintain a feeling of connection and desire. This connection is vital to a healthy, enthusiastic sex life!
If you've never taken the opportunity to really explore your partner, it's time! Take turns looking at, touching, and even tasting every inch of each other. Experiment with different types of touch in each area; you'll know when you've found something really great when you feel the shiver, hear the little intake of breath, or a little moan. Don't be afraid to talk to each other, either! Ask questions, like “How does this feel?” Tell each other what you like or don't like - “I love the way that feels!” “You can be a little rougher there...” “The curve of your hip is so sexy!” - We all need feedback to know what works, and to have some confidence!
If you're not sure where to begin, try this:
Have your partner lay on their stomach. You are going to touch each area of their body, from head to toe, and back to front. Take your time! This should be a very slow, sensual process, that leaves you knowing your partner more intimately than ever. You can start by massaging the scalp in slow circles. Move down to their neck, then over the shoulders. You'll then work your way down each arm, one at a time, all the way to the tips of the fingers. Don't forget sensitive places like the inside of the wrist and the palm of the hand! After you have made your way down each arm to the fingertips, move back to the shoulders and make your way down the back. The back is a great place to experiment with different types of touch, because most people enjoy a wide variety of sensations in this area. Continue your exploration past the lower back and over the buttocks. Massage for the muscles is wonderful; a light run of a finger straight down the center, and a gentle tracing of the area where the curve of the buttocks meets the upper thigh are both very arousing forms of touch in this area. From there, you will move on down the backs of the legs (don't forget the back of the knees!) and the feet, all the way to the tips of their toes.
At this point, it is time for your partner to roll over. Once again, you start at the top. A gentle scalp massage, followed by the light touch of your fingers over your partners face – trace the shape of their lips, or the line of their jaw. You'll move down over the throat, to the collarbones, and out over the shoulders. Just like before, you'll move down the arms to the fingertips (don't forget the sensitive inner elbow and underarm areas!). When you are done with this, make your way back to the collarbone area, and then down the torso. When moving over the chest, remember that the nipples aren't the only sensitive area! The sides of the ribcage, the curve underneath the breasts or pectoral muscles, and the center of the chest (between breasts or muscles) are all very sensitive areas and need attention, too! Continue to make your way down the torso, tracing the rib cage, curve of the waist, and hip bone areas, until you get to the genital area.
You may think, “Okay, this is it! I'm there! This is where we stop! It's time for sex!” You're wrong. I want you to continue touching and exploring, just as you've done with the rest of the body. Your goal here is exploration, and knowing each other's bodies more completely, not orgasm. Experiment with different types of touch here, as with other areas. Open your partner's legs and touch every part of them, including the very sensitive perineum (area between the scrotum and anus, or vaginal opening and anus). Once you have touched and explored, don't forget to move on! Let the tension build - you still need to make your way down both legs and feet, to the tips of the toes. Once you have explored and touched everywhere, feel free to revisit anything you both particularly enjoyed!
Taking the time to do this with your partner is invaluable! You will know each other more intimately, have a better understanding of likes and dislikes, and connect on a different level than before. There is a thrilling vulnerability that comes with being so exposed to another person, and a power that comes from knowing another person's body so well. It becomes easier, after an activity like this, to incorporate sensual touch into your daily lives in smaller ways. You'll find yourself wanting to touch more. Remember: there's no “wrong” way, so just enjoy!