The Pleasure of Touch

Are any of these scenarios familiar? It’s bedtime. You’re tired. You crawl into bed, and your honey moves over to you and puts a hand on your thigh. Is this a suggestion for sex? Scene number two: You’re at the office at your desk. Your boss, who is of the opposite sex, comes over to you and puts his/her hand on your back and strokes you a bit as s/he discusses a business matter, the hand reaching a bit farther down than usual. What does this touch mean?! Finally, a small child runs up to hug you and sit in your lap. Without warning the youngster begins to stroke your breasts. Is this a sexually precocious child? What’s an appropriate response? Perhaps you’ve been the toucher in scenes like these. How have you been responded to? Misunderstood? How often do you really know? 

All these scenarios have in common apprehensions about the meanings and motivations of ordinary touches. Talking clearly about them is a rarity. You may not even be aware that you are participating in an act of touch per se, or that you are making judgments. And if you’re preoccupied with assessing sexual overtones you may be unable to register the sensations to your own body, losing your own body response and “truth” in the process. It’s also likely that pleasure that might have been there for you in any of these events was lost.

You might well question at this point that IF there were sexual innuendos implied, and you felt that was inappropriate, feeling any pleasure in the touch would mean your ethics were questionable. Isn’t pleasure only okay to feel under certain well-defined circumstances, where sex is clearly indicated for you or not?

So when does touch mean sex? In the broadest sense, always, since male/female overtones are inevitable. And if you are a “lover” in life, embodying the rapture of feeling fully, your awareness of your sensuality will naturally rest alongside your comfort with your own inherent sexual nature. If we now ask whether somebody intends a “sexual” overture when s/he touches, of course sometimes it’s so. But where is it written that we need to be uptight or guarded, or — on the other hand — leap into the sack? In learning to be touch aware, discretion and making choices in line with our own desires and true values becomes the rule rather than the exception. You can graciously accept or refuse any “offers” given for concrete sexual expression and experience pleasure of any touch freely, honestly given. You may also find that you’ll be able to read others motivations more readily, being mentally and emotionally uncluttered with worry.

Becoming touch aware enough to determine what communications are within your own morality codes, integrity, and even boundaries — you may be astounded to discover how many of the touch acts in your daily lives are largely determined by unowned, invisible, “negative” factors. As you create your own conscious “touch life,” you unravel the confusions most of us labor under about the relationships among the body — the Biblical “flesh”, pleasure, touch, sensuality and sexuality. You’ll benefit from a new perspective or definition of sexuality, and sensuality, that doesn’t embrace a body/mind split. You will also reap countless pleasurable benefits of caring “touches from the heart.”

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