Just about anywhere on Rosie’s blond fur is a spot that she loves to be touched — tummy, lower back, behind her ears, under her chin, and who can blame her? Furthermore, she has nary a hesitance to use her body to ask for the touch she wants. You’ve probably seen it in all kinds of animal behavior, but domesticated animals sure have figured out how to get their affection out of us. She’ll walk right up into my personal space to coax me into giving her attention.
I can guess that most of us have similar stories about how innocently willing our pets receive and give physical attention. Yet, the sexologist in me can’t avoid contrasting how we treat these bundles of affection and how differently we treat our own bodies’ need for touch. “Need” I say that the difference is stark?
We now have nearly a century of research showing that our bodies need touch on a regular basis simply to survive! Yet, our society is way beyond touch deprived. What excuse do we really have to avoid the deep longing of being known by touch and the healthy, life-giving experience of skin stimulation? Do we dare give ourselves or our loved ones the kind of rigorous petting that the cute and cuddly animal in all of us longs for and deserves?
For those of you who only have your own two hands to stimulate your needy skin, there are ways to create pleasurable touch with brushes, feathers, vibrators, and anything really (not just for your genitals and orifices). Have you tried those circular wire framed tools on a handle that can sit around the crown of your head like a dozen tiny little fingers massaging your scalp (I’ve seen them called “the Tingler”)? I’m doing it right now (eyes rolling back into my head…). All of these things can give you a kind of touch that energizes and keeps your skin responsive.
Furthermore, what would be so outrageously “out of line” about asking a good friend to, instead of going to the umpteenth movie, you give each other mutual, non-sexual massage for an evening? If this possibility made you uncomfortable (it makes even me a little uncomfortable) – it just goes to show how far we have distanced ourselves from our basic, innocent need for touch.