Cathy: Does quality of touch matter when you’re on a date or hooking up? I’m Cathy Vartuli from TheIntimacyDojo.com.
Yoni: I’m Yoni Alkan from ElementsofSexuality.com.
Liz: I’m Dr. Liz from SexPositivePsych.com
Caroline: I’m Caroline Carrington from Jewel in the Lotus Coaching.
Female Speaker: I’m the talking librarian who is off screen.
Liz: She’s a sexy librarian.
Liz: Sexy, sparkly librarian.
Cathy: And so, it’s New Year’s Eve and we were having this great conversation while …
Liz: Tying the wires of 2016.
Cathy: Yeah. And we wanted to capture some of these thoughts and ideas. And we were talking about how the quality of the touch helps you indicate what you want to do. But I think there’s a lot of people out there, I know I’ve dated someone, that don’t – no one has ever helped them connect the dots. We’re kind of expecting. You just know.
Cathy: You get a little education behind the bleachers in seventh grade, someone is reading. I literally remember the course teacher’s daughter had one of those dirty books. It was like romance one with dirty scenes in it and we were all reading it and like trying to figure out sex. And I mean that was the whole of sex education besides the birds and the beanstalk.
How do people know how to give higher quality touch?
Yoni: Don’t worry. Guys learn from porn so it’s way better.
Liz: A lot of women these days learn from porn too.
Yoni: That’s true.
Liz: The thing I’ve heard said by a lot of different sex educators is learning how to have sex by watching porns like learning how to drive by watching the Fast and the Furious. And like yeah, technically, they’re driving but most people don’t drive like that.
Caroline: And they’re acting in porn.
Yoni: Yeah, true.
Liz: Having been to a party at Kink.com when they have their upper floor parties, you get to see what actually happens when they’re filming a porn and there’s all sort of breaks that they take to like have a snack and drink some water, chat with each other, say hello. It’s not what you think it is.
Caroline: You mean people don’t just jump the pizza guy?
Liz: No, unfortunately.
Cathy: So how do you define quality of touch when you’re romantic or sexy with someone?
Caroline: Well, in our previous video, I was actually differentiating between the intention behind the touch and the quality of touch. So for me to touch with touching without any intention, it’s just – I mean you put your hand on.
Caroline: And it’s just not going anywhere. There’s no finesse behind it. And when I teach and I’m talking to people about looking at how firm you are, how likely you’re touching on the right legs.
Caroline: Talking about intention, do you want put the sexual intention behind your touch or do you want put more of the mothering? I’m not good with the sexual. It’s really hard. But you can put – when I’m with my students, sometimes what they need even though they come for a super sexy session with me, that isn’t what they need. They need to be held and nurtured.
So thinking about what the person needs or what it is you want to offer them, I think that really helps with the intention. And then actually going and learning how to touch somebody because you’re right, nobody teaches you. You’re just magically expected to know.
Cathy: And there are some really good classes out there. But I think the first thing is just to put your presence and your intention in your hands as opposed to – I used to always like, what do I – oh, I remember reading a book and I’ve got to touch this way and I’m supposed to do this for 3 seconds and I was in here or up here. There wasn’t any presence. But when you’re just letting your fingers enjoy touching someone, it can be really sensual.
Liz: Yeah. I think for me too when I’m touching, what I’m thinking about as well is like what depth am I touching? Am I touching just the surface of their skin? Am I trying to touch a little bit deeper? Am I trying to give them a touch that goes all the way through them that makes them felt seen and heard and held?
And those don’t necessarily have to be different firmnesses or hardnesses of touch because you can touch someone in a way that goes through all the way through them with your intention without putting a lot of pressure on to their skin or their muscles.
Yoni: And we both do partner dancing.
Yoni: And in it – one of the things that I love learning was about the connection that you make. And basically, you make connection with whichever body part that you connect with.
Yoni: It could be hands holding hands but it could be shoulder to shoulder or whatever. And the idea behind it is that not only do – not only am I touching her back of her hand, she is touching me as well. And this is reciprocal. And if I keep just a dead hand, not like a dead but like a stiff hand then this doesn’t feel right. We need to live. Yes, this is organic. We move against one another.
Liz: It’s an interaction. It’s a conversation.
Liz: The same way that it happens when we talk about kissing, being a conversation or being a dance. Touch is that same way. The way that you receive touch also impacts the way that someone touches you.
We’ve all been in this situation where you touch someone and they kind of leaned into the touch and you could feel that they want that touch. And then that time where you touch someone and they’re kind of like pulling away from the touch and you could tell they don’t really want that touch or they tense under your touch. And the way that they are receiving the touch tells you a lot about where they’re at and how that attraction is going as well.
Caroline: Something else that I find can be really fun to play with is there can be like you in a giving role and somebody else was receiving. Like what if you blew those lines a little? Because so often we could be like, “Oh, it’s their turn and it’s my turn.”
So we can give for somebody else. But what if we dial into how good it actually feels as give into somebody else on our skin. So even as givers, the quality of the touch changes, I’m enjoying this far too much for a video, the quality of the touch changes when I dial into how good it actually feels on my skin.
Liz: And when I let myself be fully present to the touch, it feels different for her than if I’m distracted.
Liz: Like if you were to continue touching me while I’m talking here and pay attention here and I’m distracted, it’s not going to be the same for her because …
Caroline: Because I have to work harder.
Liz: … she has to work much harder to distract me, to bring me out of that. And it’s the same way. A lot of people have had the experience where they’re touching someone and it feels weird and they can’t figure out why and a lot of times it’s that disconnect where you’re not being present to the touch or they’re not being present to the touch or you’re coming at it with different intentions.
Caroline: Or sitting there thinking, “Oh, I need to get the trash and oh, I have to get the groceries.”
Liz: The mental checklist.
Yoni: Yeah. And you mentioned earlier, both of you, different intensities of touch. But basically, there are so many different variations on touch because it’s not just hands. We have our whole body. Each body part, hair, if you have facial hair, if you have head hair, every part of your body can touch and you can touch different parts of the different bodies again depending on consent.
Liz: What you have consent form.
Yoni: Of course. And then you can think about scratching rather than just light caresses or gossamer caresses.
Liz: Oh, gossamer. I like that!
Yoni: It’s gossamer from porn. So basically, butterfly touch.
Liz: Yeah, I like that.
Yoni: Barely touching.
Liz: I’m really glad we shot this video.
Yoni: But I will say one more thing though that there’s a huge difference if we touch skin to skin or if we touch over the clothes.
Liz: Oh yeah.
Yoni: Or if we touch with wetness or with dry whether it would be …
Caroline: How much longer is this video?
Liz: The last thing I would say as well is that I think a lot of people don’t know what kind of touch they like to receive because a lot of people have spent most of their life touching others to try to give that other person pleasure and not tuning into their own pleasure and what they like receiving.
So an exercise I have people do in some of my classes is practice giving touch to another person where you’re actively soliciting or giving feedback, right?
Liz: And what that does, as the person who is having to give feedback who is being touched is you have to figure out what it is you actually want differently.
Cathy: It’s kind of you want to pay attention to it.
Yoni: Could you give an example?
Liz: So the way that I teach people to give feedback when you’re the one receiving touch, if you’re the receptive role, is to start with something that’s working then tell them specifically what it is you want them to do differently, phrased in a positive way. So not that you want them to stop but what you want them to do.
Cathy: Because if you tell them to stop, they kind of freeze up and like, “Oh, nothing is working”
Liz: Well, what if you say like, “Stop touching me so lightly,” does that mean stop touching at all? Does that mean use my nails? Does that mean massaging motion? I have no idea. All I know is what not to do. And there’s a giant infinite level of possibilities.
Liz: So you need to be very specific. So like, “Oh, your fingers feel very warm on me. I would really love if you touch me more slowly.” “Oh, that’s really lovely. Thank you.” And then you give your feedback, right? Thank them for paying attention to the change.
And as the one receiving feedback, it’s also helpful if you can remember to thank them because how awesome is it when people tell you how you’re making them feel good?
Cathy: And be honest.
Caroline: I also really liked how everything is language positively but you started with an appreciation. That feels really good. And I might be using my language.
Liz: Yeah, sure.
Caroline: It would feel even better if you included to ask at the end …
Cathy: Could we try …
Caroline: Could we try, yeah.
Cathy: The nice thing is we have like an experimental date. I love to encourage my clients to do that. Like just spend an hour. It doesn’t have to be about orgasm but it’s about, “Oh wow! That feels really good.” Just discovering because you may not know – excuse me, I like what you do there.
Cathy: I’m not as articulate when you’re doing that. I was fumbling inside.
Yoni: So I’ll just pick this up. You can continue.
Yoni: And say that, oh no! That will not go well.
Cathy: He’s going to lose all words.
Yoni: So I will say this though, if you want to practice touch, you have professional cuddlers. I’m with Cuddlers.com. You can go check it out. You have cuddle parties that you can go. Well, CuddleParty.com.
Yoni: Yeah. I’ve been working on my certification. Go and cuddle with people with consent. Go cuddle with people and …
Liz: Dakinis. There are so many professions that will help you practice your touch.
Cathy: Yeah. And you can practice that. The cuddle parties don’t have to be sexual.
Cathy: You can be just enjoying the touch and learning about your body. And whether at a cuddle party or being sensual, I love to try playing with energy like you can do inhale and exhale just like you would inhale your breath or exhale your breath. You can be like giving energy or taking it and pulling it or kind of gently pushing it into the skin. So you can play around with that and see what feels good to you. In different moods, I like one or the other or both.
Liz: Right. And again, I think like learning how you like to be touched, learning how you like to touch is so helpful. Like the same way that everyone should masturbates. You know what feels good on your genitals.
Cathy: Yeah. So you can tell somebody else.
Liz: Know what feels good all over your body. You’re going to have all sorts of erogenous zones and hot spots that you didn’t even know you have.
Caroline: And it makes you a good lover to be able to share with your partner because most people want to know that they’re doing a good job and they probably want to please you that’s why they’ve been touching you in the first place.
Liz: Like I bet if I could ask each of you right now, wouldn’t you love it if every person that you had sex with told you exactly what to do to have the hottest sex possible? Most of you would say yes.
Caroline: And then you feel like a rockstar.
Liz: Then you feel like a rockstar, right? It’s like you get cheat code to their desire. So you have to know your own cheat code first.
Yoni: I would actually love to hear from you guys what kind of touch makes you go, “Ohh!” It just shuts you off like I did. You go and react.
Cathy: You can talk amongst yourselves. Thanks very much. Leave comments below.