Intimacy skills: Touch. Asking for what you want.
In Couples Counselling we often focus on intimacy. Complains I hear from people are "I just don't know what to do.... I don't know how to touch her.... He never tells me"
It’s not easy to ask, is it? When it comes to intimacy, it’s often even harder to ask for what we want. And when it comes to touch, we often have no idea HOW to ask.
Today I want to share a very simple and easy suggestion that you can practice to get the touch you need.
If you can ask for everything you want in the bedroom - that’s wonderful. Celebrating this!
And, if it isn’t easy for you - you are certainly not alone.
We often don’t know what we want, we often don't ask. If we ask, we ask for what we think we can get, and not for what we really want. Even when we are able to ask, we often give up before we really get what we want. If we ask, it’s often after a period of mental struggle “Shall I ask or is it ok the way it is?” “Shall I ask, or will it ruin the mood?”. "Shall I ask or will my partner be upset?”.
Sometimes, by the time we say anything at all, it comes out with charge, with frustration, or we simply say “not like this, you're doing it wrong, not there, and so on” .... which gives our partner absolutely no idea of what we want, what to do, or what is it exactly we what them to stop doing. So, they simply give up, and we know where that leads.
Here’s a suggestion:
You find something that’s already working, something that you like
You compliment your partner on that
You very specifically ask for 1 and only 1 thing that would make it even better
Repeat as needed
For example, your partner is touching you but it’s too fast and too rough. You say - "I love that you are touching me, and I would really love it you slow down even more". Or "I love feeling your hands and I’d love it if you touched me slower"
Let's say he or she slows down but it’s not enough. So you say - "I love slower touch, and I want you to slow down even more". Or you enthusiastically say "Yes, yes, just like this, keep slowing down. Slower. Slower. Yes, perfect". You can even show just how slow you like it.
You may have to repeat this a few times until the pace is perfect. It’s exactly how you like it.
But now, it’s still too rough. So you say - "I’m loving the pace, keep doing exactly this - and it would be perfect if you touched me even lighter." "I love this, and I’d love a little touch"
So you're asking and pairing it up with an affirmation - that reassures your partner, that tells them you want the touch and it tells them how to make it even better for you.
It gets easier as you practice. You learn about each other. You won’t always have to repeat the same thing.
“I love how your are touching my arms. Can you start all the way at the shoulder and go all the way down to the finger tips and then linger there for a second?”
“I love how your body feels, can you stay still for a moment and let me feel you.”
“Stay exactly where you are and now add more pressure.”
Of course you won’t always have to do this. In the moment of passion you might be saying slower, faster and that’s all you can say. I’m talking about areas that are tricky. Areas where you are learning about each other. Areas where you may be ready to give up.
Don’t give up! Most importantly, please don’t think that your partner can read your mind.
One of the best ways I know how to practice this is the 3 minute game. You can read all about it here: https://www.rovenamagidin.com/post/the-3-minute-game
As always, let me know what you think. I hope it’s helpful. In Couples Counselling and Sex Therapy, it's often simple and gentle practices that open communication, that help people say what's been on their mind for a long time, that help people go through initial awkwardness, and get them to a place where they can laugh and explore together, creating intimacy that's fulfilling and joyous for both of them.
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