Friday, December 27, 2013

Touch Deprived

We live in a technological world.

We are bombarded with information at  an astonishing rate of speed that our forebears would not have been able to comprehend.

We have lost touch with each other.


It is now easier to send a text message than pick up the phone and call someone to wish them "Happy birthday" or "Merry Christmas". Seriously, when was the last time you had a phone call that wasn't a telemarketer or a charity looking for donations?

And  who, exactly, is keeping the card industry going?
 ( apart from me, obviously!)

We feel so inundated with sensory overload; texts landing on our phone, music playing in the background as we surf the web with a million and one ads flashing at as from the sides of the website we are browsing or drop down boxes asking us to sign up for the latest newsletter, phones ringing ( pesky telemarketers!), people talking, cars racing past and sirens wailing. Makes me exhausted just writing it.

I live in blissful peace and quiet, in the countryside, tapping away at my keyboard and seeing clients are about as exciting as it gets around here. Sure my rooster is incredibly loud ( especially at 4am ) and sometimes the neighbours tractor and spraying equipment gets on my nerves. But it is quiet and relaxing .

When I go to the city I feel overwhelmed and just want to retreat back into my cave so I get it. I get that we are overly stimulated on the sensory front and that tends to make a lot of us pull back into our selves, longing for a bit of space, a small gap of solitude to call our own.

The trouble is a lot of us are doing this by withdrawing touch from those around us. I read recently that  the young people in Japan have stopped having sex with each other altogether and that this is having a devastating effect on their economic growth ( or will do in the near future). No sex, no babies, no next generation coming up through the ranks. Some of the reasons given for the no sex was that the females are now earning their own money and are not prepared to give that up to be the domestic goddess their husbands and their society demands.

As a non domestic goddess myself, I can't say I blame them but I know I sure as hell wouldn't be giving up sex for it either. The males, on the other hand,are eschewing sex as they no longer want to give up a large part of their wages to maintain the wife staying at home and all that entails.

Sounds to me like they need a sexual revolution a la 1960 rather than everyone just giving up on sex .

Meanwhile over in the good ol' U S of A kids are being suspended from school for hugging their teacher  and even, in some extreme cases, for little boys kissing a girl in kindergarten.

I mean come on people, this is all getting out of hand.

What we are, as a whole, is touch deprived

We are so disconnected from each other, from our own bodies, from the pure sensual delights that are available to us that we are forgetting how to touch each other

In fact technology in general and porn,specifically are ruining our lives. Okay maybe that is a very broad, sweeping statement but it seems that some people are becoming addicted to the ease of porn and the instant gratification that it brings so much so that it impacts their sex life and not in a good way.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt recently made a movie on this very topic. Don Jon is a typical young guy. He works out, he hangs with his buddies and he goes to clubs looking to score with chicks, which he does on a regular basis. And even though he is so great with the ladies once he is finished having sex with them, it's off to his computer for some porn. Even when he meets the girl he thinks is the love of his life. Even after she catches him and he promises he will stop. ( I won't give you any more info because you really should watch it - great movie)

Young guys have a false idea of what sex looks like from watching too much porn. They have a limited idea of what it entails and that actual feelings are involved.

Girls, on the other hand , often have sex thinking it will bring them love ( yup, even now)

What we all need, however, is to start hugging each other on a regular basis. This will release feel good chemicals like oxytocin and dopamine and help us feel more bonded and connected with each other.

And the hugging and touching shouldn't stop when we are in a relationship. No, quite the opposite in fact. If we want our relationship to flourish and feel deeper and more connected to each other as the years pass we need to keep the touching going, all day, every day.

Sadly, more and more couples are living in sexless marriages when one partner decides to withdraw all sex and touch goes a long with that. Sure, they could divorce but often time they still feel deeply committed to each other, it's just that one partner has taken sex off the table. And so as not to "lead the other partner on" all touch goes with that.

I just read this article over at Elephant Journal about pledging to increase pleasure in our lives and I have to say I agree with her.
It is time for us to Pledge to Take our Pleasure Seriously. To commit to more touching not just to more sex but to more connection, more intimacy and more, just more.

So how do we start?

(1) Greet your friends with a hug. Touch their hand when you are listening to them so that they know that you are.

(2) Make eye contact with people when they are talking to you. Show up and be present.

(3) Ask for hugs when you need them. don't just wait for them to be offered.

(4) Ask your friends if they need a hug when they are having a bad day. then hug them... for 20 seconds.

(5) Ask your partner for hugs. Explain that you are not necessarily wanting sex, you just want a hug.

(6) Call your mother..... just to say hi!

(7) Give thanks for all that you presently have in your life. Especially the relationships that you cherish. Then ring them and tell them you are grateful for them and why. Think of it as a verbal hug.

If you are struggling with feeling touch derived and need some direction to help you move back towards it. If you have issues with touch or intimacy and need someone to help Contact me via Facebook messaging to arrange a session.