Stop thinking a minute and just breathe, close your eyes and feel what it’s like to be in your body right now. In the last exercises, I have been asking you to be aware of sensations, now let’s put those skillz to use. I want to share some thoughts about conscious touch and awareness in your fingertips.
Lots of things happen when our bodies begin to get aroused. Our heart rate changes, our chemistry changes, breathing changes and so on. Slowing down and noticing how those changes occur takes concentration, and for some can be a trigger to escape. By becoming aware of touch and sensation we can bring ourselves back into the experience, enhance our pleasure and connect more deeply with our partners.
A great way to start is by learning the differences between giving and receiving, taking and allowing touch, what Dr. Betty Martin refers to as the “four quadrants” of touch. You can use these quadrants to drill down into your intentions with touch, and by doing so, you will be able to connect more deeply to the sensations at your fingertips.
Giving and taking refer to how touch is delivered. I can touch you for your pleasure, giving, and/or for mine, taking. when I give touch for your pleasure, my intention and focus are on you, on your responses whether verbal or through sound and motion, to your instructions and to your guidance. When I touch you for my pleasure, I may be curious or intrigued by the texture or temperature of your skin, by the softness of your hair or the curve of your hip. My intention is to explore for my own sake, to learn your body and how it responds.
Receiving and allowing are how I interact with sensation. To receive, I must ask for or communicate what I would like, how and where and in what way. Receiving intentionally empowers me to guide and seek my own pleasure in my own way. I often work with this quadrant in sessions because it is the most difficult for many people, but ultimately one of the surest ways to erotic empowerment. Allowing is when I give permission for my lover to explore me. Done intentionally, it is when my lovers asks permission and I give them access to my body to play. “Asks” can be verbal or non, but it is key to allowing with intention.
A dark side of all of this is tolerating, when I “put up” with touch that I don’t want or in ways that I don’t enjoy, or when I give touch that I am not interested in. Please don’t tolerate touch. Take these ideas and experiment. See if you can really get a handle on the sometimes subtle differences between each quadrant of touch. In doing so, you will develop more tools to engage your body in intentional and embodied ways. I bet you will also have a lot of fun.
Remember, practice practice practice!