Touch, Connection and Pleasure: 2 Things I learned.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an extremely affectionate and touch-oriented person. I spent most of my childhood cuddling or friendly-wrestling with one person or another. Passing my friends in the hallways of my highschool was not possible for me without stopping to give each one a hug and a kiss on the cheek (yes, my European background has taught me well). Before my dog passed, we were practically glued to each other’s cheeks at all times. And any of you who have spent even the slightest amount of time with me know that slowly caressing my skin sends me into an entirely different world. All that to say that touch is a primary way in which I express affection and feel connection to myself and others (and thus, I large part of my work as an indepedent escort).
“The 5 Languages of Love” notes 5 major categories that describe the ways humans experience love and affection. Not surprisingly, touch is one of them. The author writes:
“Babies who are held, hugged, and kissed develop a healthier emotional life than those who are left for long periods of time without physical contact” (p. 109 of the book).
To me, this indicates that all humans need affectionate touch and physical closeness in their lives (yes, even when we grow into adulthood) in order to live healthy lives. Sadly, we live in a culture in which affectionate touch is only more or less acceptable between partners and particularly in the context of sex. Women are allowed more public displays of affection with their friends than men are, so my theory is that there are millions of humans (and probably more men than women) walking around deprived of physical closeness and touch. I would also add that most people are not necessarily aware that they are missing this basic need in their lives.
Because touch is needed. Because we’re human.
I recently had the great pleasure of traveling outside of Ottawa and undergoing a workshop hosted by the Body Electric School. (A real special thank you to the kind gentleman who gifted me with the registration fee.) I really didn’t know what to expect but the workshop description read as follows:
“In a safe, serious and playful space that respects boundaries, embrace pleasure and experience your body as powerful, expressive and sacred…
learn how to more deeply tune in to your body, mind, heart and spirit: to receive more fully from yourself and others, and to give without losing yourself…
learn to focus on the healing potential of sensual/spiritual energy”
I was immediately intrigued and excited to partake in what I anticipated would be a huge learning and healing experience.
Among the things I learned, I would like to share these:
- Experiencing intimate touch and connection does not have to happen exclusively with lovers and people with whom you have sexual relationships with. Of course, there can be a certain kind of safety that exists in these relationships which makes it more comfortable for intimate experiences to happen than in other relationships. But in a room full of strange women who had only just met, every one of us experienced touch in ways that were truly profound and that each one of us needed. And the one necessary and important ingredient was consent. The person on the receiving end was completely in charge of the kinds of and frequency of touch she received, the women doing the serving were following instructions and the body language of the receiver. What would the world look like if everyone was getting their fair share of consensual and loving touch?
- There comes a time in which the pleasure (not necessarily sexual) you feel heightens to a level in which it takes all of your strength to stay with it and not try and jump into the next thing. “Patience!” I told myself. This was particularly interesting since I’ve often considered myself to take things very very slow. However, I’m sure I’m not the only one who can say that, at one point, the pace in my mind changes into a screaming I WANT MORE NOW! So here I am. Practicing patience in moments when I feel as if the next, more pleasurable thing needs to happen right away. I am told that the practice of tantric sex is all about having slow, non-orgasmic sex and learning how to stay in the heightened state of arousal without racing to achieve orgasm. I guess that’ll be my next workshop.
All this to say that Tender Love and Care in the form of touch is a necessity and a luxury (only because it is so precious and apparently quite rare) at the same time. I hope to hear about your experiences of touch and what you know and continue to learn about yourself in relation to these.