I had a sex therapy mentor who said one of the best ways couples can improve their sex is to learn how “to make wild love from the ankles down". I remember trying to mentally figure out what that even looked like and what she meant because how in the world do you make wild love from the ankles down? And then I realized that she was inviting me to think about expanding sexual connection and erotic touch beyond the genitals.
Most of the time couples get stuck in a bit of predictable dance. The dance steps go a little something like this:
STEP 1: Kids go down.
STEP 2: Parents get ready for bed.
STEP 3: Parents start scrolling or reading until one of them makes a move.
STEP 4: They start kissing.
STEP 5: A bit of rubbing here and touching there.
STEP 6: Maybe a little touch of genitals.
STEP 7: They go for orgasm.
STEP 8: Clean up.
It’s basically the same dance that Chandler laid out when he described sex as “fine.”
So how do you go from "fine" to blowing your mind? You focus on connection and touch beyond the genitals. You hit the erogenous zones. You hit the unexpected places with passion and purpose and maybe just a dash of play.
And don't forget the non-sexual touch as a source of connection. One thing I hear often from people is:
"He seems to only touch me when he wants sex. It can make me not want to be touched because I'm not always wanting sex."
Non-sexual touch is an important way we stay connected to our partners. And it teaches partners that soft touch is not only associated with sex. Whether it's cuddling while watching something on Netflix, a longer goodbye hug, a hello squeeze, scratching the back, holding hands...there are a lot of ways to incorporate touch for the sake of connection. And when you have connection, opening up to sex for a lower desire partner is a lot easier.
Remember! Foreplay is everything that happens between a sexual experience. Yup! That means the flirting, the texting, the emotional connection, the touching, the conversations, the laughing, the sharing of the responsibilities around the house (DID YOU KNOW: research shows couples who share household chores have more sex), it's all foreplay. Foreplay isn't just what happens right before we want to have sex. Okay, that said, let's get back to intentional touch.
One of my favorite ways to help people break out of their sex rut is to introduce a massage candle. These are candles that burn at a low temperature so you can pour out the candle oil directly onto the skin. Not only do these candles create an ambiance and set the mood, they can bring fun and an unexpected moment of shaking up the typical routine. Also... having warmed oil dripped or lightly poured on different parts of the body can create new sensations.
Pour the hot oil on the ankles, the collarbone, the spine, behind the knees, the neck, or the back of the hand (focusing on fingertips); really focus on touch and sensation. How do you like to touch? How does your partner like touch? How about experimenting with different pressures with different parts of the body?
If the massage candle doesn't fit your vibe, I'm also a fan of Coconu’s Hemp Infused lubrication. Use it to create relaxation and blood flow to the genitals. By introducing lubrication of some kind, you can provide touch in a way that teases and relaxes. This lubrication is body friendly and its uses are only limited by your imagination. Oh, and I’m regularly asked if Coconu Hemp Infused lube has a pungent smell to it, and I’m happy to report it does not.
A quick lesson in how to touch your partner’s body?
One of the best places to learn is by asking them. How do they like to be touched? Where do they liked to be touched? Where and how don't they like being touched? Whatever the answers may be, you're much more likely to learn them by asking than by trying to read minds.
If you're looking for an awesome touch connection without having to be too vulnerable, here's a great at home exercise:
Simple recipe for an amazing hand massage:
This is a great, non-threatening way to learn to express how you want to be touched and to ask how they want to be touched. And building on Day 2 which was all about communication, this is another great way to expand your skill of communication.
Sit across from or next to each other. One person will be giving the hand massage (giver) and the other will be receiving the hand massage (receiver). You can set a timer (5-10 minutes each hand) so you move through the exercise with both hands and with both partners.
Extends their hand(s) palm up.
Apply some lotion or body oil.
Experiment with different pressures and using different parts of your hand to do the massage.
Try stretching the receivers hands, pulling softly on individual fingers, and maybe rotating them slightly while pulling, or rubbing them from bottom to top.
Apply pressure on the fingertips, backside of knuckles, and pads.
Try asking what the receiver likes or doesn't like, or what they want more of.
Focus on what feels good to you
Talk about what you like
Give feedback on what you want differently (add more pressure, lighten the touch, what locations you liked best)
Remember, telling your partner what felt good and what you liked is perhaps the best way to get more of what you liked!
You can do this same exercise with feet, scalp, and other parts of the body, to learn both how to give and receive sensual touch!