The Power And Science Of Sexual Touch

close up of couple smiling about to kiss
Sex, Self

What happens in our bodies when we touch each other sexually? Why is touch so powerful?

During orgasm and beyond, it continues to be released. And while you are laying in your lover's arms, brushing lips, holding hands, it is there, creating feelings of contentment, calmness and security that seem to come from your mate.

This "cuddle hormone" flows to the rescue of what otherwise could be a short-lived relationship, says Crenshaw. It's the "hormonal superglue" that keeps us connected to one another long after the initial rush of love and lust wear out. It's what makes casual sex so difficult—oxytocin creates "feelings" for the other person. It ruins what should have been a quick getaway. The Chemistry of Love

Oxytocin's effects are not always welcome. For people who lack love or a desire for intimacy with their partner, touching may not feel good. According to Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute and author of Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure & Satisfaction,

Sometimes people touch each other but one or both people don't feel "turned on" by it. The release of oxytocin does NOT guarantee feelings of arousal or closeness. It can feel good to be touched but not arousing. Similarly, even if oxytocin is released, if one doesn't feel close to or trusting of the person touching them, their emotional response (dread, fear, annoyance, etc) can make them experience the event as not-pleasurable or as a turn-off rather than a turn-on.

Really enjoying touch and the bonding power that oxytocin delivers requires the ability to tolerate or embrace intimacy. When touch doesn't feel good, something is off kilter with the relationship. WebMD Explores Falling In Love

Though science can explain what makes us feel romantic, loved, attached, it can't capture the beauty and power of those feelings. Luckily, poets have long since canonized the power of touch between two lovers.

So the bed, as though consciously, has received its two lovers. And the door is shut. Muse, you must wait outside: They don't need you, now, to prompt their whispered endearments, their hands won't be idle, fingers will learn what to do in those hidden parts where Love's unnoticed darts transfix the flesh...

Believe me, love's acme of pleasure must not be hurried, but drawn insensibly on—and when you've found those places a woman adores to have touched up, don't let any feeling of shame prevent you, go right in.


This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.