Good touch has the power to heal and, in a sense, to create. It influences the production of growth hormone in infants. It has the power to alleviate the effects of depression and emotional distress. Scientists believe that touch can trigger the creation of new neurons in the brain.
But man, when touch is bad… it’s just a hot mess! Pandemonium can result, particularly in romantic relationships. Literal physical, emotional and mental chaos!
See, when you have a casual tactile encounter that is lackluster, you can simply walk away. But what if the offending party is your wife who still hasn’t figured out how to “tuck her teeth”, or your husband who insists on grabbing your lady parts with all the force that he might use to strangle a dog? What if it’s your partner of twenty years who still hasn’t figured out that you hate feathers and ear blowing almost as much as you despise the smell of hot breath and saliva in the morning (which he/she also generously heaps on you while trying to get a little before work).
Few intimate experiences are worse than having to put up with an inept, unskilled, impatient, or selectively deaf partner in bed. You know you’ve been there. Maybe you’ve even been an offender yourself. Stop it! All of you–bumbling sexual idiots and cowardly silent endurers alike. This must end.
Because it causes people to shut down. I’m hearing about too many sexless marriages out here, people! And it’s likely not because people are prudes–which is the easy answer that is typically assumed. I’d wager that oftentimes it’s the boredom and mistrust that compounds after enduring someone who ignores your needs, desires, suggestions, complaints, time and time again. It’s no longer wanting to hit the brick wall of your girlfriend’s ego when you try to give her some pointers on her reverse cowgirl. It’s muscles that automatically tense up from the muscle memory of painful thrusts. Or, it’s knowing your partner is not enjoying intimacy and watching them remain silent, making no attempt to give you any clue as to what would please them.
Check out this article from MakingSexEasy about Enduring Unpleasant Touch and how it erodes intimacy in relationships. Unfortunately, many people behave in long term relationships act as if it is their right to touch their partners in whatever way they want. It’s another one of those damned expectations. They figure the chase is over and that they can coast from here on out. Their ring, marriage contract, joint deed to the house or whatever is like their relationship proof of purchase, and they can now do with their toy as they please.
They do not take criticism or suggestion well. They think if a certain technique worked once or with other partners, it should be employed ad nauseam, forever, til death. They have no understanding of timing or of the fact that sexual tastes can be varied. They don’t recognize that since this person is their highly regarded long term partner, that is all the more reason to be that much more sensitive, considerate, attuned to what they want/like/need–to work continuously to develop a true connection and sexual skill that is compatible with this unique individual.
Others sit by like little mice, afraid to rock the boat. Missionary is the last position they want to be in, but they put up with it and just turn on CNN until it’s over. Sex has become such a drag that they keep a few bottles of wine on hand just for a quick buzz to help them get through it whenever they decide to give in. They feel unfulfilled, and bored, and pathetic, and afraid of upsetting their partner. Stop playing the victim and open your mouth! To communicate, I mean.
Here’s a novel thought: you do not own the person you are in relationship with. They still have the right to consent, say “yes”, “no”, “I like that”, “get the hell out of there with that”–and you don’t have the right to make them feel guilty or inadequate. People who are into BDSM talk about the importance of establishing boundaries, cues, and even code words that help to build trust during sex. It only works if people communicate AND listen to each other. When everyone knows that they will be heard, and develop memories of actually being fulfilled, increased desire naturally results.
Why is this kind of trust-building mechanism not the norm with sexual relationships in general? Trust is essential to the exploration of intimacy and it is not free. It has to be earned and maintained or things will devolve. Before you know it you’ll be checking your calendar to see how many months til your birthday in order to find out how much longer you’ll have to wait until your next booty ration!
(SIGH!) I don’t know what it’s gonna take people, but if the setup you’ve got isn’t working, you gotta do something different. Even Pavlov’s dog wised up at some point. Get a clue!