The Four Kinds of Touch

April 29, 2024
Sexual Health Experts in Minnesota

In many relationships, obstacles to physical intimacy can arise, causing couples to refrain from touching altogether, fearing they may ignite desires they cannot fulfill. Unfortunately, this avoidance strategy often exacerbates existing issues, leading to a gradual deterioration of the vital connection between partners. Over time, the absence of physical touch can disrupt nervous system regulation, impede the release of pleasure-inducing hormones and neurotransmitters, and diminish the oxygenation of the brain that occurs during moments of closeness and pleasure shared with a loved one. This absence creates a chasm in the relationship, transforming it into a more platonic dynamic and potentially impacting overall health and aging.

Recognizing the detrimental effects of diminished physical intimacy, it becomes imperative for couples to prioritize touch, even when facing limitations in the bedroom. Engaging in activities such as hugging, massaging, petting, and cuddling can provide similar benefits to full physical intimacy.

Furthermore, expanding one's repertoire of touch can reignite passion and deepen emotional bonds within the relationship.

For individuals undergoing therapies like GAINSWave® for Him and GAINSWave® for Her to reverse atrophy and combat aging, bridging the gap in physical intimacy becomes particularly crucial. By focusing on four distinct types of touch, couples can enhance their connection and maintain intimacy over the long term:


There's touch that makes us feel nurtured and accepted. That's the kind of touch that you would give a baby.


There's therapeutic touch used for healing. This can be deep tissue massage or the lightest effleurage to move lymphatic fluid.


There's sensual touch that's designed to delight our senses and which helps us move into our sensual trance state of relaxation.


And then there's sexual touch, touch that's specifically designed to arouse and stimulate.


Connect with your partner and have them close their eyes. Give them the four kinds of touch and see if they can guess which is which. Then have your partner touch you back with your eyes closed and experience nurturing, healing, sensual and sexual touch. Give each other feedback about what felt best and why. Take this moment to practice giving feedback too. If there was a way your partner could touch you in one of those modalities that would have felt even better in that moment, describe it to them. Some partners like the lightest of touch. Where other partners would find that unnerving.

Effective communication becomes paramount, as preferences for pressure and strokes vary between individuals and can change from day to day.

Here is another exercise you can use as a learning experience to give your partner even more pleasure. One of my books, The Passion Patch helps couples rekindle their closeness. One of the techniques incorporates another aspect of touch that is subtle, yet powerful. It's about how to walk up to your partner. If you're in relationship with a woman, remember that women walk through the world feeling unsafe. Feeling secure is one of the things we appreciate about our partner's holding and snuggling. We feel safe in your arms.


Approaching your partner for physical touch involves more than just the act itself; it's also about the manner in which you approach them. The angle and method of approach can have a significant impact on the experience, despite it seeming unconventional. Through my observations, l've witnessed this dynamic play out repeatedly in various relationships.

Understanding why the angle of approach matters is crucial. Individuals have distinct preferences regarding how they are approached: some prefer direct approaches, while others favor being approached from behind or from a specific side.

For example, personally, I find it uncomfortable when my husband comes straight at my face with puckered lips. While I enjoy kissing him, I feel more at ease when he approaches from my right side and then turns to kiss me. The direct approach feels too confrontational for me.

You might have already discerned this about your partner. If not, you can inquire directly or experiment with different approaches to gauge their response. As you explore various touch techniques, approach them from different angles - front, left side, right side. Reserve the approach from behind for moments when they're actively seeking affection, to avoid startling them with a "sneak attack."

Once you grasp your partner's preferred approach, you can refine your physical interactions to align with their preferences more effectively. Pay close attention and make mental notes during these interactions to enhance your ability to deliver touch in a manner that resonates with them.

Do you know what approach you prefer? If you do, then let your partner know. That way you can increase the amount of pleasure you give and receive starting today.

Keep the touching going! Through thick and thin, being physically close helps you weather whatever life throws your way.

Written By: Susan Bratton for Gainswave