NON-sexual touch

Tomorrow I start a week plus of sexual tips, so I thought it would be good to do a non-sexual touch tip for Friday.

Clearly, the sexuality of touch is in the mind of the beholder. What if your wife touches you in a way that she sees as non-sexual, and it gets you turned on? Then for you it’s sexual, for her it’s not, and you are both right. Likewise, you can touch her in a way that is sexual for you, but not sexual for her. You can touch her in a way that leaves you aroused, but it can still be non-sexual for her, if you don’t make a point of letting her know how much it turned you on. That is the key – let it be non-sexual for her by not putting your arousal out there for her.

Many wives need more touch that is non-sexual. They need touch that doesn’t carry any hint of sexual desire. They need touch with no sexual strings attached. They need to feel that they are loved for more than sex, and that their guy wants to touch them for something more than to satisfy his sexual desires. If a woman needs this, you can’t convince her of it by your words that you feel this way. Only your actions will prove it, and only repeating those actions over and over will result in her really believing it.

Is suppressing your sexual urges, and even hiding your arousal, dishonest? I see it as making a choice – a choice to set aside your sexual needs so you can give her what she needs.

[This post first appeared June 11, 2010.]

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11 Comments on “NON-sexual touch

  1. “They need touch that does not carry any hint of sexual desire. They need touch with no sexual strings attached.” I agree with the second but believe that the first is neither possible or desirable [assuming that I am a man with normal sexual desire].

    Sexual desire is part of who I am and how I relate to my wife. It is virtually impossible for me to touch my wife without some desire arising within. And, in fact, it is enjoyable for her to know that she stirs me. What is critical is that she knows that, while I may desire explicitly sexual touch, that for the love of her I am willing to subordinate my sexual desires at that moment to touch or caress her in the way she desires.

    I think it is important to not deny or deligitimize our sexual desires as men but rather to demonstrate that the love of Christ controls our desires. We honor our wive’s need for non-sexual touch by acknowledging our desires but not making them primary.

  2. Something hit me as odd when I read this. And after thinking about it, I realized that I, too, need ‘non-sexual touch’ from her, just as you described it, with ‘no strings attatched’- that is without the expectation attatched that we are going to make love.

    And further thought led me to realize that the reason I need this, as well, is because it is an affirmation of her love that she wants to just be close to me.

    Sleeping nude and cuddling; long, lingering hugs and love pats communicate this well to me.

    Do these things lead to obvious arousal? Sometimes, yes they do even as sometimes I just love having her close to me where I can breather her in.

    Some women may need what you say, but if I do become aroused I will not hide it from her! To me (and she agrees), that would be denying her the pleasure of knowing that she arouses me. And I am her husband, after all, and the only one that she is allowed to turn on with her presence, her body and her deliberate touch!

    I guess everyone is different, even while we are all so much the same!

    Especially as we are being good, just as we are created to be!

  3. @marseille55 – If your bride can handle the reality of your arousal, then it’s all good. Unfortunately many women have not reached that point, and can’t really receive what they need if they are aware of his arousal.

    I’m not big on hiding anything in marriage, but if it’s hurting her, if it’s preventing her from reviving what she needs, if it’s keeping her from growing and healing, then discretion seems wise to me.

    I do speak from experience here. I think my bride always knew there was some arousal even when I kept it from her, but she needed to not have it put out there. As she got healed, she became both more awarer of, and more interested in, my arousal. In time she came to understand how touch charged me sexually, and would even volunteer to help me resolve that. What a blessing it was to watch her grow into that! Would she have gotten to the same place had a I not “hidden” my sexual arousal? Maybe, but it would have taken more time and would have been more difficult for both of us. For us, in our situation, it was the right move. For some couples it is a good thing, for some it’s not necessary, and maybe for some it’s a bad thing.

    • I understand your point. At the same time , I think that in the interest of improving communication and helping her appreciate that I am wired differently, we can say something like “Honey – I am delighted to give you a back rub or leg rub. Please know that Mr Happy may act like he wants to dance . If that happens, it is because I am enjoying the giving you the back rub, not that I am expecting sex. ”

      This, to me, helps begin that conversation that is far too lacking between husbands and wives, which is that my arousal is simply part of who I am and, while different from the way my wife gets aroused, is not wrong or inferior.

    • Paul, I just wanted to say that you have provided a very good example of how wisdom, derived and put in action from a heart of love and respect, can guide one in a correct and therefore useful, course of action that benefits the one who needs the benefit.

      That is why there is never a ‘hard and fast’ rule (no pun intended) where human sexuality is concerned ( in this case we are discussing, ‘hiding your arousal’) because responses, understood from wisdom, need to be tailorerd to the individual needs of the person that you desire to show love to.

      After all, Jesus is never recorded to have healed the same way twice!

      This, too, is being good, just as we were created to be!

      • @ – You are so right. Nothing is one-size-fits-all. The real trick is to learn which of the “one-size-fits-most” do and do not apply to one’s marriage.

  4. Hi, thought I would chime in here, since I’m a rarity… A person of the feminine persuasion who’s love language is physical touch. I have an almost opposite nature as what’s been expressed on here, I like most, if not all, of our touches to lead to lovemaking. I adore the non-sexual touches I get outside the bedroom, the affectionate and flirty touches, but I also need to be laid down and touched and caressed and “primed” for intercourse. My beloved is NOT a “touchy-feely” guy, and I think that’s mainly because of physical abuse when he was a kid, but he says no to that. -__-
    It’s causing a ton of heartache between us, because my love tank empties out and isn’t refilled fully until we have been intimate, which isn’t nearly as often as I’d like. I just wonder if there are men who feel this way? Or am I totally unique in this? And is there anything I can do to draw him out of this shell that keeps him from touching me?

    • @Neko – I think your feelings and reactions are what most (all) women would have if they were sexually healthy and in a healthy relationship. Sadly such women are rare.

      It is certainly possible your guy is avoiding touch, or sex, due to past injury. He might be doing this and be totally unaware of it. Anything you can do to move him towards freedom and mental health will bleed over into other areas. It can be a very slow journey, you have my prayers.

  5. I’m a woman who has trouble understanding what the term “nonsexual touch” even means when it comes to marriage. Sometimes I feel like folks are speaking some foreign language when they describe women.

    • @Temple – You , and your man, are blessed that you don’t get it.

      In short I think non-sexual touch means touch without feeling any pressure to be sexual. If a woman never feels pressured, if sex is a good thing, then non-sexual does not apply to her.


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