When Touch Gets Touchy

Every couple is different. Every couple has its own unique dynamics and ways of connecting.

Yet so many issues are the same from couple to couple and when it comes to sexual dysfunction, we see many of the same patterns in couples from all age groups and backgrounds.

An example of this is what happens to touch between partners having sexual issues. It goes something like this: For whatever reason—low desire, low arousal, orgasm issues, painful intercourse—sex is just not going well.  She says, I want to touch him but I’m scared that it will lead to something more and  I don’t want to send him mixed messages. So she abstains not just from sexual initiative but from touch in general (this often happens subconsciously, by the way).  When touch does happen,  it is calculated and in many cases, only happens when there is a built-in boundary preventing it or making it difficult to lead to more intense sexual activity. Examples of these built-in boundaries include hug/kiss before someone has to run to work, touching on the sidewalk, only touching in front of the children, etc.

This is yet another way that sexual dysfunction creates tension in the relationship and has couples feeling very stuck in a cycle of frustration, loneliness, disconnection.  And is it also why it is so important that sexual functioning be viewed as a key piece of relationship health; not just because it provides a sense of vibrancy, pleasure, and closeness, but because when it’s not going well it affects even the most simple tap, high-five, and hug.

Don’t Miss Our Latest Blogs!
Sign up for our Newsletter.

** By submitting your information, you agree to receive email from Maze periodically; you can opt out at any time. Maze does not share email addresses nor any other personal or medical data with third parties.