Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Importance of Non-Sexual Touch

According to Gary Chapman’s best-selling book, “The Five Love Languages” physical touch is one of the ways in which we express love to one another. To us, as guys, this sounds great. We all tend to think that sexual intimacy not only fulfills this role of expressing love, but is something to enjoy as well.

Unfortunately, our wives don’t see it that way. To them, sexual expressions of love are pretty-much one way; that is, them expressing love to us, but not receiving it from us. Part of that is because we’re the ones with the strong sexual desire. So, to our wives, our sexual encounters aren’t about us expressing our love towards them, as much as they are about us having our needs be satisfied by them.

Another part of this problem can be that most women don’t receive enough sexual orgasms to really believe that when they have sex, they’ll have an orgasm. There are a number of reasons for this, both emotional and physical. Some common ones are:
  • Lack of sexual frequency – The less frequent, the harder it is for her to have an orgasm
  • Lack of sufficient stimulation – When it’s over quick, she doesn’t get enough stimulation to have an orgasm
  • Emotional hurts – Whether we realize it or not, we’re pretty good at unintentionally hurting our wives
  • No emotional connection – For a woman to have an orgasm, she needs to have a solid emotional connection with her husband outside of the bed
  • Not feeling loved – Yes, for her, it’s not the sex that makes her feel loved, sex comes out of feeling loved
  • Tiredness – By bedtime, most women are exhausted. They don’t have the emotional or physical energy to invest in lovemaking
  • Lack of romance – This ties in with “not feeling loved.” When romance is lacking in the marriage, she feels like sex is a chore, not a joy
  • Poor self-esteem – A woman’s self-esteem affects her ability to enjoy sex. If she’s self-conscious about being overweight, she won’t want to be seen, even though you want to see her. If she’s feeling bad about herself, she’ll feel as if she can’t be loved.

This list is by no means complete, nor is it intended to be. These are just some of the more common reasons why a woman won’t receive a sexual orgasm. Okay, so what does that have to do with touch?

Since men have such a strong sexual desire, when we touch our wives, there are pretty much always some sexual thoughts running around someplace in our minds. Our original intention may not have been sexual, but the act of touching her often brings about those thoughts. We typically follow them, to see where they might lead.

The result of that is that our wives think that every time we touch them, we’re just after sex. While I’d have to say that there is some element of truth to that supposition, it’s actually blocking non-sexual intimacy in the marriage.

There is nothing wrong with sex playing a major role in the marriage; it should. But, sex shouldn’t be something that puts our wives on guard, it should be something that we enjoy together as a couple. If touch leads to sex, that’s not a problem; but if it doesn’t lead to sex, that shouldn’t be a problem either. Physical touch, whether sexual or non-sexual is an important part of maintaining emotional intimacy in the marriage.

Our wives need to learn that just because we touch them, that doesn’t mean that we’re expecting to jump in bed (or the sofa, or the kitchen table). They need to realize that touch, in and of itself, is an important expression of love.

Okay, so we beat on our wives for their wrong attitudes, right? Wrong! The only way that our wives are going to be able to accept touch as an expression of non-sexual love is when they can experientially see that our touch doesn’t mean “sex.” In other words, we’re going to have to show them. We’re going to have to start touching them, in ways that aren’t sexual and without sexual goals. That’s the only thing that is going to make it so that they don’t think every touch is about sex.

It’s only when our wives can accept our touch as being about something other than sex that they can begin to accept it as being an expression of love. So, give her lots of non-sexual touch, so that she can begin to receive that type of expression of love as well.
  • Hugs
  • Backrubs
  • Foot rubs
  • Lightly touching her back or the back of her neck
  • Cuddling in bed
  • Cuddling on the sofa

You get the idea. Of course, those things can and sometimes do lead to sex. But, the point is that they don’t have to. That’s the point that you need to get across to her. But first, you need to get it across to yourself.

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