Editor’s note: This article is referring to situations between loving, trusting partners! Please do not misconstrue it to mean that you should invite unwanted touch of any sort.
Have you ever wanted someone to touch you sexually, but your body wouldn’t let you enjoy it?
I know I have.
In the past, I let lovers touch me sexually or would even have sex when I didn’t really want to. I thought that was what I needed to do to be a good girlfriend and please my partner. At the time, I had no idea of the effect unwanted touch had on my body.
Until the day my body showed me the effect.
I was lying in bed with a lover who was slowly and softly running his hands over my body. In the past I would have been in my head worrying while he was touching me–worrying about how my body looked, if I should be touching him back, or if this touch would lead to sex.
But now, after spending time doing healing work around sex, I was consciously relaxing my body, and allowing myself to be fully present to his touch.
Suddenly, my body started involuntarily shaking and tears started rolling down my face. I could feel that something in my body wanted to be released, and my mind started flashing back to every time I had let someone touch me when I didn’t want them to.
In that moment, I became very aware that every time I had allowed unwanted touch, my body had created a small layer of energetic protection from touch. And after years of allowing unwanted touch, that layer had grown thick.
I cried and shook while my lover held me, until I felt this layer of protection fully release.
Then I asked him to start touching me again.
Without this invisible layer of protection on my body, I could feel his touch in a way I had never felt touch before. I could feel his touch fully penetrating through my skin, and deep into my body, awakening every cell into vibration.
My whole body felt electrified. It was incredible.
I thought I knew what touch felt like—but until that day, I realized, I had no idea.
In my private practice as a women’s sexuality coach, many of my clients tell me they allow unwanted touch for the same reasons I did.
And, I get it. It can feel hard to be honest about not wanting touch.
And, if your sexual energy is blocked, like mine was for 20 years (I suffered from a condition that caused sex to be painful for 20 years), you may not even want sexual touch.
Many of my clients also tell me they feel numb when someone touches them. And, I get that too. I felt numb to touch for years.
But, trust me, there is an enormity of amazing sensation available to you through touch. More than you ever imagined possible.
If you feel numb to touch, or want to increase the amount and depth of sensation you feel during touch, try these steps the next time you are offered touch:
Be as present as you can, and up your attention to how you are really feeling.
2. Don’t ignore it.
If you feel numb, allow yourself to feel the numbness. Breathe and relax into the numbness and see what happens. If you give your full attention to numbness, it will often shift.
3. Pay attention to the subtle sensations you feel.
Often we experience sensation but don’t have enough presence to notice. Paying attention to subtle sensations will increase them. Subtle sensations can be incredibly pleasurable when you pay attention to them.
Touch can both harm or heal. But, the good news is, (with the exception of violating touch) whether it harms or heals is up to us. It’s up to us to say no to unwanted touch, and it’s up to us to show up fully present and receptive to wanted touch.
May we all have the courage to show up for healing, so we can begin to have a sex life we love.
Author: Sarah Kennedy
Editor: Renée Picard