Sexual touching, that is hugging, kissing, caressing, massaging, etc. is wonderful. It feels great, it’s fun, it’s safe and according to a recent study how much or how little you are doing it could explain how easy or difficult it is for you to get aroused and orgasm. Debby Herbenick of Salon writes:
…feeling emotionally satisfied in one’s relationship was strongly linked with sexual touching. Finding one’s relationship physically pleasurable was also linked with sexual touching.
Sexual touching was associated, too, with men’s erectile function. Men who didn’t engage in much sexual touching with their partner had more than twice the odds of experiencing erectile problems than men who usually or always engaged in sexual touching.
This was especially the case with women. Women who weren’t touched sexually less often were far less likely to be able to orgasm.
…sexual touching was highly linked with women’s arousal during sex, even after controlling for psychological factors and emotional satisfaction. In fact, women who only sometimes, rarely or never engaged in sexual touching were almost six times more likely to being “never or rarely aroused during sex” compared to women who always engaged in sexual touching. Infrequent sexual touching was also associated with climaxing during sex, particularly for women
Now this isn’t an earth shattering discovery by any means but what is pretty awesome is the fact that sexual touch is being studied at all. Sex is often studied in a very clinical and sterile way but sexual touch is by nature about affection. It is an acknowledgement that sexual pleasure and affection are linked and may effect one another. A sex worker I spoke to told me that some of their clients just want to be touched or held because that’s not something they get in their everyday lives. Being touched and shown affection can be very arousing. I’m glad to see that science is taking that into account and asking how the sex and affection are linked.