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    The Importance of Touch
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD posted:
    Psychologist Barry McCarthy explains that couples can enhance their relationship by recognizing that there are five gears — or dimensions — of touch.

    First Gear: Affectionate Touch (e.g. hugging)
    Second Gear: Non-Genital Sensual Touch (e.g. foot rub)
    Third Gear: Intermixing genital and non-genital touch in a playful way (e.g. full body massage)
    Fourth Gear: Erotic, Non-Intercourse Touch (e.g. rubbing, vibrator)
    Fifth Gear: Intercourse

    Do you use all of these types of touch in your relationship? If so, how does this affect your relationship?
    Have you gotten caught in the common problem of touching only for affection or intercourse? If so , how has this affected your relationship?

    If you would like to read more in detail about this topic in my The Art of Relationships blog, click here.

    Dr. Becker-Phelps's discussions and her responses in those discussions are for general educational purposes only. If you need help for an emotional or behavioral problem, please seek the assistance of a psychologist or other qualified mental health professional.

    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
    Here's the link for The Importance of Touch blog entry.
    sluggo45692 responded:
    I truly believe that touching is one of the most important things in a relationship. Near the end of my marriage (3 yrs near the end) my ex wouldn't hold my hand in public, didn't want to hug me, very rarely kissed me. She always wanted the foot rub and massages, but wouldn't give back any physical return.

    My gf and I now are always holding hands, hugging, snuggling when we can, and just making sure we are there for each other. I can't stand a body massage on my self, but I never have a problem of showing my love through touch with her. I think we all just need to know our partners are there with us and are going to be with us. Touching each other is a way for us to know they are real. Just seeing and hearing them are not enough. We as human beings need that touching and to be touched to be reassured.

    So if you love each other, give a hug. You'll never regret it.
    dfromspencer responded:
    Excellent blog, Dr. Leslie!!!

    Touching, our very fist experience in life! When we are born, we do not see. When we are born, we do not hear. When we are born, our first sensation is feel. Even in the womb, our only sensation is feel. We have the sensation of warmth, and love. But we cannot see, or even hear, tho some think we can. I believe we can only feel the vibrations from speech? Feel, our very first sensation!

    I believe that is why we humans need to feel and be felt? It was our first sensation. All humans, and some species of primates need this feeling of warmth and love, and acceptance! Thus, we have our family units, and love interests. Each and everyone of us need, want, desire the touch of another! And so we do.

    There were times I was accused of touching too much. Too much? How much could be too much? I held her hand. I hugged her often. I gave her massages, both sensual, and regular muscle relaxation. I kissed her, both on the cheek, and on her lips. I put my arms around her for support when she cried. I spooned with her before bed, and in bed. How much is too much? I still haven't figured that one out?

    Touch, our very first sensation. Touch, something we do every day. We touch each others lives. We even touch strangers with handshakes. Touch, feel, every one of us does it. We need to do it. And, most importantly, we have to share our touch with the one we love!!! In all the right ways.

    I love the feel of a woman! They are so smooth, so soft! I never could understand why a woman would want to touch me? I am not smooth, I am not soft! And yet, they do. We all need to touch each other, it is our way of showing affection.

    Go ahead, show your affection!!!

    rohvannyn replied to sluggo45692's response:
    A very valuable reminder. Thank you! I'm steadily training myself to be better at accepting touch, and giving it back to. I think I'm getting more used to it and I'm pleased at having made some progress at least. Dennis, you are so right.

    'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ
    sluggo45692 replied to rohvannyn's response:
    Hi Roh,
    I'm glad your trying to be better at giving and receiving touch. I have a couple of suggestions that might help. My gf was very uncomfortable with being touched when we first got together. Her prior partners (husband & lover) were basically climb on and go. Foreplay for them was a bj and never returning the favor. I'm the complete opposite.
    I have stated in many of my post, that I a great believer in showering together. In the health and beauty section of most stores are a pair of defolating gloves. They are great. They're cheap and fun to use. Having them used on you and using them on your partner can have a great affect on your skin and relationship. Your washing your anxiety away and helping your skin get softer.
    Afterwards a body rub down for you and your partner. Trade off on who gives one time and who receives the next. After it's done, you or your partner will be very relaxed and feel very loved. Don't forget to throw some kisses on body parts always shows how much you care for each other. It doesn't have to be sexual, just sensual.
    All of this takes time. You have to slow you schedule down to enjoy it. The only way to enjoy anything is slowly. It has to be savored as life it's self.
    I hope you and your partner take the time and embrace each moment together. Good Luck
    sluggo45692 replied to dfromspencer's response:
    Hi Dennis,

    I was told the same from my EX-wife. She also keep telling me that she was sexually frustrated. I'm sorry, but touching really goes with having sex. Every woman I have been with after her couldn't believe it. They all loved the touching and the attention. My gf now thinks my ex was a complete fool and now my gf has the better deal. I really am not trying to blow my own horn. It took me a while to believe in myself enough to even think I could even please a woman again after her.

    I feel the same about women as you do. There is nothing that feels, taste, or smells better than a woman. I've been all over the world, been married 19 years, and have enjoyed the company of "few" ladies. I wouldn't give it up for nothing. It doesn't even have to be sex involved. Just the sensual contact of a woman. No man could ask for anything more. Even with my first date as a young man, I had to hold her hand and feel her skin. Nothing sexual, just loving the touch of another human being.

    We all have had dry times for partners, but I always knew I would find someone who wants the same as I want. There are just to many woman out there who need to feel loved. Hope everyone finds someone who gives and receives love. That's all we can hope and ask for. Good Luck
    dfromspencer replied to sluggo45692's response:
    Thanks Sluggo! And you are right! There is someone out there for everyone! Patience is a virtue alright!!! LOL!


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