Forget the flowers and the candies and the fancy dinners. If you want to really embody love on Valentine’s Day, rehabilitate touch between you and your sweetie. As a sex therapist, I can’t stress this enough: Touch between partners is the most important ingredient of a strong bond.
Sex therapists often talk about sexual “simmering”— those things you can do that keep feelings of sexual energy, attraction, and arousal alive. And if I had to pick my number one simmering strategy, it would be a commitment to ongoing, daily, tender, nongenital touching.
This has always been important, but never as important as it is today. Most of us who are not actively dating or in the midst of a lustful new relationship are spending much of our time either at work or on our devices.
Too many couples act as if they can spend their days doing chores, working, and taking care of children, as well as being engrossed in our virtual relationships and social media — and then, at the end of the day, jump into bed and expect that pleasurable sexual intercourse will just happen.
That is simply not realistic. There is no “couple connection” going on.
Couples need to feel that they are accessible, available, and engaged with each other. Touch signals physical and emotional accessibility and availability. It tells us that we are physical creatures who live in our bodies. It reminds us that we are special to each other.
So for Valentine’s Day, how about checking in with your partner to see how each of you feel about increasing your daily touch time?
Ask yourself these questions:
• Do we spend any nude time together?
• Do we cuddle or touch at times when we are not going to have sex?
• Do each of us express our love to each other through touch several times a week?
• How does each of us feel about our answers to these questions?
Have a Happy Valentine’s Day.