Wednesday, September 11, 2013

On Touch

Sillyone at Teetering on the Brink of Normalcy writes about the importance of touch, and I want to both point to her thoughtful post, and also add my "me too."

I don't think I can overestimate how important touch is to me. I'm a tactile person, and I need to both touch and be touched. It's how I show affection, and how I feel connected to those I love. Just as Sillyone says, the Sensual Goddess and I are always touching. If we're sitting watching TV, I run my fingers through her thick hair. If I pass her in the kitchen, I'll quickly trace my fingers over her shoulder or down her arm, or even give her a quick smack on the ass (if no kids are around!) Friends have told her how adorable it is that we still hold hands while walking, but I'm not trying to be "adorable" - I just can't imagine being with someone and not exchanging those little touches. Actually, I'll go further than that - I could not be with someone who didn't want touch.

I'm not talking about groping or sexual touch - though post-lovemaking touch is as sweet as it gets. There's nothing better than laying naked on the bed, relaxed and sated, her warm body snuggled against me, one of my arms holding her to me, as my fingers slowly trace lines...moving up and down her arms...her spine. That's a sensual delight that's hard to beat.

Sillyone writes about paying attention to how much couples touch, and being surprised at how little she sees it. I will now be paying attention to this too.

Addendum: Sillyone just left a comment, and I realize I need to write a little more. I think touch is not just important as part of an intimate relationship, but between everyone you feel affection for. Her comment about her mother brought back a very powerful memory. My father, who I'm thinking about more than usual today, spent his last few months bed-ridden in hospitals and rehab facilities. I visited as much as humanly possible, and would always hold his hand and stroke him as I sat with him. One time he was on his side, so I decided to rub his back. His sense of relief was *palpable*. I could hardly believe how much he craved that physical human contact, so I continued for a long time. I felt terrible afterwards that he'd been laying there for so long with no one to really touch him, but very happy that I'd made the discovery in time to give him some relief. I realized that maybe I'd been a little afraid to touch him, but I never hesitated again.


  1. Beautiful post. I think you said it better than I did.

    You know, beyond couples, I am also starting to pay attention to adults in general. After thinking about this some more, I realized that while I touch my husband in small ways all the time, I am not doing it with my mother. She is 72 and single, just recently moved to a new city. She's very alone. It breaks my heart to think about the fact that someone so important to me could be so isolated and without the small physical reminders that I do love her, despite the fact that she is crazy. I am going to work on that.

  2. This is great, and I meant to comment on sillyone's post also, but it slipped my mind.

    I couldn't agree more with both of you. I'm a very tactile person also - it's how I was raised. I'm affectionate by nature, and it's the thing I crave most when I'm separated from the ones I love.

    On a similar, somewhat related note - I find signs of affection between men amusing. Because so many are anti- touch when it comes to other men. Personally, I try to let others lead with their actions, but I'm a hand shaker at least. For those I know well (and I have a couple of great guy friends that I've known for a long time), they get big giant bear hugs. I find it amusing that it makes some

  3. Thank you for making sure I saw Sillyone's post and for sharing your thoughts! You are a very lucky man. I am envious - Hubby has a pathological aversion to touch, especially in public. It makes me incredibly sad. I died a little bit inside each day for ten years as he pulled away until I was completely shut down. Philip resurrected me! He found it precious that I'd ride along in his car with my hand resting on his knee with a big smile on my face - such a luxury to be able to touch him!

    I was part of choral group in high school that traveled around to nursing homes in the summer. They taught us that it was crucial to talk with the residents and TOUCH THEM! I was very intentional about holding my dad's hand when he was in hospice and I give my mom a hug and rub on her as much as I can. Her smile is always worth it.

    You are such a good man! And a great writer.

  4. Much like everyone else before me, I couldn't agree more. Touch is integral to connecting, to grounding emotional feeling with a physical one. It is the first thing I crave when alone for long stretches of time.

    Ans since my cultural background is a fiery European one, I have always been surrounded my men and women who touch, hold and show affection. My parents still hold hands in public, which I adore.

    Thank you for this beautiful post, Max...

  5. Indeed and thoughtfully expressed. I always say - touch me, hold me, feel me and then touch me some more.

    Xxoo, Ella

  6. Great post... I will have to go read Sillyone's post. I think touch is important... very important. However, I was involved with a woman who HATED being touched. Holding hands, my hands on her shoulders if we were standing in line... just anything. I am a 'high touch' kind of guy... I love to touch and be touched.

    Re: my Dad. He had had a stroke and was dying. I remember sitting in a room with him just rubbing his back. One of the great moments of that time was that he rolled over and looked at me... and told me how great it was to not be alone. *sighs*