People often assume that sexual touch and physical touch are the same thing. Another common assumption is that, a sexual person must also enjoy being touched. For much of my life, I made these assumptions as well. I loved having sex so much, that I was sure Physical Touch would be my top love language. I was certain that, with all the kissing, caressing, and humping; it would be my number one -How could it not be? While doing the test, I was surprised to see that so many of my answers proved otherwise. With Physical Touch coming in at number 4, I reflected back to some instances where I was being touched, but I didn’t feel loved.
I remember a time, years ago, when I was lying beside my boyfriend. We were both naked, as we just finished having sex; his arm was draped over my body, and my head was nestled underneath his chin on his chest. All was right with the world, until he started rubbing my arm, up and down. The feeling of his hand against my skin had changed. The caressing of his hand that had just ignited our 30-minute love making session, suddenly felt like a catheter, stopping my blood flow. I remember wanting him to stop, but because I didn’t want to sound mean – I said nothing. Recently, I was on the sofa with my guy, as we watched Netflix. He was sitting up and I was resting my head on his lap. In that position I felt safe, secured, and precious; I could’ve stayed in that position forever. When his hands moved from around my waist and started to rub on my breasts; those feelings began to fade. I tried ignoring it at first, because I knew that he was happy touching me in that way; eventually it was all I could focus on. It went from being something I could ignore to annoying. Again, I didn’t want to come across as unaffectionate; so, I placed my hands over his to stop the motion.
On both occasions, a person that I loved was delivering love to me, but it was in the form that best suited them. It wasn’t the first time those actions had taken place, but it was the first time I had processed them that way. I needed to find some reason or logic as to why, in those moments, I shut down and, in a way felt slightly offended.
For centuries, a woman’s body was the property of her father, and after marriage it became the property of her husband. It’s still common to hear women relinquish their bodies to their husbands on demand (I was exhausted, but when my man wants it, I give it!). It’s been instilled in women that a wife’s duty is to see to it that her husband was satisfied. For a time, if he wanted to have sex and she did not, he was within the full rights of the law, to use his male-domination to either convince his wife and/or dominate her into submission. Even though there are laws that exist against these acts today (depending on where you are in the world and if violence is involved), many women still believe that their bodies are not their own. Sure, if a stranger touched me, I could handle the situation quite abruptly and without hesitation. But when love is involved the once clear line begins to blur.
From birth, it’s easy to overlook all the times when a person’s body is not their own. We’ve all seen the child writhing and screeching, as their being passed around like a dessert plate for people to “ooh” and “ahh” at them – We’ve all been this child at least once. Try counting how many times your parents or family told you to give a hug or a kiss to someone that you didn’t want to – If you could even remember, you would lose count. When we’re in school, if a classmate hit us, or invaded our personal space, we were told to be nice, shake hands, and hug. Once out of the womb, we were repeatedly forced to lower our bodily-boundaries for people that we knew and loved. The roads run parallel for both sexes until approximately puberty. After puberty, boys were taught to take power and control of their bodies, while girls are taught to protect bodies, but only for the later use of a man (Don’t you want to be perfect for your husband on your wedding night?). With this rhetoric it’s no wonder why I had issues declaring my body as my own.
I first had to learn that my body was my own; entering into a relationship did not give my partner rights to my body. The second thing I had to learn was, not wanting to be touched did not mean a lack of love. There are certain touches the register certain emotions, and those emotions control how I feel in my relationships. I’m a sexual being that likes sex, writes about sex, and I get a lot of sexual attention from strangers; it’s imperative that, in my relationship, I feel loved. I prefer hand holding to random ass-slaps while walking down the street, innocent kisses over childish grabs and/or pokes at my breasts, and standing big-spoon cuddles over fingers poking at my holes. One touch says I love and cherish you, the other says I want to fuck you, I want to possess you, to own you, and that your body is not yours, it’s mine.
When I allow my partner(s) to explore my body as their momentary playground, it’s with much love, excitement, and sensuality. But when the sun sets, and the park closes, so does the playground inside of it. When my partner(s) continue playing after the park closes, it’s a direct disrespect of the rules and boundaries that were set in place.
Maintaining control is of the utmost importance for me, and understanding that Physical Touch is not the same for everyone.