Welcome back to The Attraction Doctor
This week, I will conclude our discussion on the importance of touch in dating and relating. We will learn a bit more about how to flirt with touch...not to mention build attraction, persuade, and enliven a relationship! Thus far, if you've missed it, we have looked at:
Now, we will turn our attention to blending these two effects to get the sex life you want. Learn to "turn on" your date or mate. Get them to kiss you, nuzzle you, or make love more easily. Read on and learn how to get your partner to say "yes" to some physical intimacy with a pat, hug, or rub of your own. Learn to be sexy with touch!
Touch is a central way that we share emotions with others. From a simple touch, a person can infer messages of anger, fear, disgust, love gratitude, sympathy, happiness, and sadness (Hertenstein, Holmes, McCullough, & Keltner, 2009). Clearly though, different types of touching convey very different messages. A handshake differs from a hug, which further differs from an intimate caress.
To make some sense of these different types of touch, Heslin (1974) divided touching into five basic categories of increasing intensity and intimacy:
Within the domain of creating loving and satisfying interactions, touch is essential. In the course of a loving relationship, individuals often progress through the hierarchy above in order - from initial social touching, to more loving and sexual contact. This pattern often has the characteristic of beginning with non-vulnerable body parts (hand, arm, shoulder, and upper back) and moving to more vulnerable body parts (lower back, face, neck, chest, and genitals) as the interaction becomes more intimate.
To build passion and "chemistry", it is important to increase the intimacy of touch over time (in just the right way). Don't avoid touching your date or mate. Don't try to lurch forward too quickly either (like going for a kiss after hours of not touching). Instead, follow a slow, steady progression of increasingly intimate touch.
More specifically, use Heslin's (1974) categories as a guide:
Following this progression works in long-term relationships as well. Too often, couples look for sex at the end of an evening, when touching has been absent throughout the day. Perhaps a mate tries to jump too quickly to sexual touch, without laying the attractive, passionate, and affectionate foundations of touch that precede it. As a result, it is often difficult to bridge the distance and sexual interest dies out. Or, more accurately, the attempt to request sex is not "influential" without the proper use of touch.
To alleviate that problem, remember to touch your partner routinely throughout the day. A hug here. A nuzzle there. Quick kisses during a free moment. An arm over the shoulder and a little cuddling on the couch. Don't forget the "satisfying" relationship physical affection behaviors - backrubs/massages, caressing/stroking, cuddling/holding, holding hands, hugging, and kissing.
Routine touching will help build passion in your relationship, whether it is a first date or a long marriage. It will also keep your partner more satisfied and agreeable. Cooperation will improve. Sex will get better. Not to mention a little pat on the hand or a small hug and kiss will make your partner more agreeable to your requests. So, don't forget to touch - then ask for what you want!
Go to www.AttractionDoctor.com for more dating and relationship advice (in helpful categories)!
Until next time...happy dating and relating!
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© 2012 by Jeremy S. Nicholson, M.A., M.S.W., Ph.D. All rights reserved.