May is very special month for me. It marks the 10-year anniversary since James and I had our first date! Even when you have the best partner (and James is the best!) relationships are not easy. I’m filled with advice as we’ve been through practically every obstacle in the past decade but there was one piece of advice a while back, which always stuck with me. It was about the importance of touch and how over time our skin to skin interactions decrease and the negative effects it has on us.
The article triggered two habits. One, I try to always have my hands around the back of James’ neck or on his arms when I kiss him. The other is totally strange – I nestle my foot around his ankle before we go to bed. I know it’s weird, and he thinks it’s so I make sure he doesn’t get away but in all actuality it’s to make sure we have enough skin contact in a day. We are an affectionate couple and I’m so grateful for that, especially after partnering with K-Y on their latest campaign.
K-Y recently partnered with world-renowned sex research institute, The Kinsey Institute, to create The Touch Initiative, a partnership devoted to exposing the power of touch in relationships. They commissioned a national survey to better understand how touch impacts couples’ connectivity and overall well-being and found:
- 87% of men and women in committed relationships rated touch as very or extremely important to building intimacy.
- Yet over a third (34%) of people say they’re not touched enough.
- Couples who touch more than once a day are 14% more satisfied with their relationship, compared to all couples
*The above infographic features more Touch Initiative survey data
The campaign is in honor of their K-Y Touch 2-in-1 Massage Crème & Pleasure Gel, which can be used head to toe (and everything in between) to ignite your intimate connection with the magic of touch. I love massages probably more than anything in this world and am all about this campaign and product. It’s not greasy or oily and is very relaxing to use. It creates a soothing and warming sensation that intensifies every touch. And it lets James get into every knot without any of the product transferring to the sheets or my clothes. I even use it on myself if my neck gets tight during the day. It absorbs perfectly while still creating that slickness for a relaxing massage.
In a long-term relationship it’s really easy to develop the emotional and lose sight of the physical. There’s a comfort that develops over time and it’s really easy to get distracted with work or other engagements and not prioritize your relationship. James and I have gone through many phases where we’ve been so busy and have to focus on other projects but we always put a deadline on it and try not to make a habit out of it. I’m really glad K-Y is doing this research and inspiring couples to reclaim and sustain their desire for their partner and build better intimacy inside and outside of the bedroom.
I’m always flattered when friends tell me that James and I are the most solid couple they know and ask my advice. Now I’m going to be sure to add in touch constantly but really the secret is for you to prioritize each other and it has to be two sided. Make time for each other, go on dates and be present. Being in the same room where you’re both on your computers or phones doesn’t count. James and I are also less about materialistic things for birthdays and anniversaries and try to plan experiences and vacations instead. Making time to get away and have it just be about the two of you without distractions is so important.
Appreciate the small things and let them know how much these little everyday sentiments mean to you. Every time I see James hold my overly girly purse just to make my life easier warms my heart to no end. Be affectionate. I’m not saying amp up your public displays of affection but hug, hold hands, make out when you’re home or at least kiss your partner hello and goodbye. James and I do. That and we’re all about morning hugs! (I know we’re total nerds). We also cuddle during movies, snuggle at night. And he finds nothing more relaxing than having his back scratched and head massaged so I try to end the night or wake him up for work in the mornings with one or the other. Good communication is everything. That along with making sure you preserve and grow your intimate connection with your partner is key to a happy relationship.
While I’m only a self proclaimed expert, Dr. Laura Berman is an actual sex and intimacy expert and worked with K-Y to share her top tips below on how to have more “touching” moments with your partner. It’s not uncommon for touch to fade over time in a long-term relationship. And in her expert opinion when those strokes, kisses, and affectionate interactions disappear, sexual intimacy isn’t far behind. If you don’t make an effort to maintain touch outside the bedroom, you may find that touch inside the bedroom suffers as a result.
- Touch Your Partner When You Kiss Them. The quickest way to make your kisses sizzle is by getting hands on. Wrap your hands around your partner’s waist, or stroke their face with your hands. Use your hands to explore your partner as you kiss.
- Play with your Partner’s Hair. The scalp is awash with thousands of tiny nerve endings that feel amazing (and arousing) when stimulated. Give your partner a scalp massage, offer to wash their hair in the bathtub, or simply stroke their hair as you watch T.V. together.
- Enjoy Sensate Focus. This is a technique in which you explore each other’s bodies without the expectation of intercourse. Get naked together understanding that sex is completely off the table. Take turns sensually touching your partner head to toe with no other intention than to communicate love and connection through touch. You will be amazed at how erotic and emotionally connecting this kind of touch will be.
- Enhance The Physical Sensations. Touch is an important piece of intimacy so get hands on with the new K-Y Touch, a new 2-in-1 massage crème and pleasure gel. This silky, touch-activated crème magnifies the skin’s sensitivity, encouraging you to slow down and explore more of each other for a more profound intimate connection.
- Have Skin to Skin Cuddle Time. Most of us spend our entire days (and nights) clothed from head to toe. But your skin contains millions of nerve endings that are begging to be stroked! Ditch the clothes and snuggle under the sheets (bonus if you upgrade your bedding to silky bedding that will feel awesome on your naked skin). Whether or not it leads to more is up to you!
Speaking of silk sheets and pillowcases! It does feel more luxurious and is better for your skin and hair. Less wrinkles may be an added relationship perk…
This initiative reaffirmed just how much touch is an essential part of deepening our connection with our partners and its direct correlation with our intimate connection. I’m already thinking about new and inventive ways to constantly touch James. My ankle trapping is only the beginning! I want the next 10 years to be even more successful than the first!
Thank you to K-Y for partnering with me and sponsoring this post!