Explaining Non-sexual Touch to Your Spouse

Does all physical touch have to lead to sex? Or do you sometimes crave non-sexual touch, but don’t know how to communicate that to your spouse?

When your spouse wants you to focus on touching them, kissing them, and connecting with them physically, it is more about intimacy than sex. Of course, they do want to have sex at times as well. But this type of touch doesn’t necessarily lead to sex. In fact, non-sexual touch usually doesn’t get followed up by sexual intercourse.

In this episode we’ll talk about the things you can do in your relationship to communicate your desires for this and to help your husband or wife understand where you are coming from.

Transciption

Keelie   

Welcome to the left hip adventure podcast where we talk about the marriage relationship, intimacy and marriage and how you can go deeper with your spouse. Today we’re talking about a topic that has to do with non sexual physical touch. Yeah, and I mean, cuddling and snuggling and kissing and all these things. So I had somebody write in and asked me this question. And this was a woman, she said that, you know, how do I explain to my husband that I want him to? I don’t know, you know, snuggle me and kiss me and things

Austin

like touch you and non sexual ways just touch me in non sexual ways? How

Keelie

do I help him understand that and, you know, frankly, I don’t really know how to explain. And I told her that. I told her, I say, tune into our podcast, and we’ll talk about our podcast, let me let my husband explain that to you. But listen, coming from the spouse who is not all about the physical touch and snuggling and everything, I kind of don’t get it either. I know it’s important to you. And so I was thinking maybe you could kind of shed some light for us on this, because there is the spouse that’s like me, that doesn’t get it.

Austin

Yeah. So I mean, we’ve talked before about love languages, and then physical touch is just one of them. And it’s one of mine. And what that means is that one of the ways, it’s not the only way, but one of the ways that I communicate love, and that I receive love is through physical touch. Words of affirmation is my other real big one. So I like hugs, and I like compliments, right? And so when, when you’re not touching me, I don’t feel loved. And because your love languages are not mine. And you’re showing me love, buy a gift, or cooking dinner, you know, like an act of service, and you know, those kinds of things. I have learned to receive it that way. But especially early in our marriage, that’s not what communicated love to me. It still it still doesn’t by default, it’s still I have to translate it in my language, right? I have to translate it and say Kaley worked really hard to make me what I wanted on my birthday. That is her saying I love you. And I am very appreciative of that. But it doesn’t, it doesn’t just grab me the way my actual love languages do. And so when you say you look really nice today, you may not even be trying to, to, you know, touch my heart, but you do when you walk by me and just put your hand on my shoulder as you’re walking past me in the kitchen, you might be doing that. So I don’t back up India, but my heart skips a beat, you know. And it’s it’s same way for you, right? If I bring you a gift, that that’s going to light you up. And so I have had to learn to give in your language and receive in your language and you had to do the same. But that’s the thing is, you’re never going to receive from your spouse’s love language, the way you receive in your own. Like I hear you when you make me a handmade gift. And I know the time you put into it, and the thought behind it and all that and I hear that and I go, she loves me and I love her. And I’m so grateful for this and I love this thing. But like I said, you come up behind me and wrap your arms around me. And I’m just I’m melting. So it’s, it’s it’s about reaching your, your partner’s heart. Now, the difficulty is, I’m I don’t know who I’m talking to right now. I don’t know if I’m talking to the spouse who doesn’t is not all about non sexual physical touch, or I’m talking to the one who is and needs it more. You know what I’m saying?

Keelie

Well, I think we’re talking to both ends of things. So I mean, you’re talking to the person who needs to understand why their spouse needs that nonsexual touch and now I don’t think that you experienced this but I have had and I have had people tell me that they would like non sexual touch that doesn’t lead to sex like them it kind of like nothing negates it. But say you have a spouse who really does want to be touched in nonsexual ways when it leads to sex. It kind of bothers them and I don’t think you’re like that. No, no, I have heard from lots of people that that’s the case it’s not as much for me ultimatum what is the relation or something like I’m only doing this

Austin

I’m doing this because I want to have sex? Yeah, you and I’m doing it under the guise of something that you want, but really, it’s to meet my own needs. I think that’s kind of the sentiment. Yeah, it kind of like the in the end spoils The means maybe,

Keelie

I mean, like, if you were if you were coming to give me a gift or to spend time with me so that you could get something in return, and that was your bargaining chip of some sort. And I,

Austin

if I said, Honey, if I said, Honey, let’s go sit out back, and I’ve made you some wonderful coffee. And we’re here and I’ve got some, some questions that I want to ask you. And we’re gonna go have a wonderful conversation under the moonlight. So that later I can watch a movie that I want to watch. It’s gonna be like, ah, yeah, but it’s, it was nice up until that last part. So I can, I can see where that’s coming from. Even though like I said, I don’t, I don’t have that same problem. Because just because that’s not been a dynamic that you and I have experienced. So it is it is difficult to, to try and communicate that to your spouse, like, look, I you know, just during the day, just reach out and make eye contact with me. And I guess, obviously, the first step is always talk to your spouse, that’s always the the first answer that we’re going to give, talk to your spouse about it and find out? Do they not realize? Or do they not want nonsexual physical touch? And if you know, like, I don’t know how to help you. If that’s the that’s the tough thing. I actually deal with that a little bit, because I’m so sensitive to everything that you do is true. Yeah. So it’s not that I don’t want you to touch me, it just has this physical reaction when there’s weight on me when something is washing me, I guess what I’m saying is, you don’t have a problem with touching me, oh, and non non sexual ways like that. When I when you and I discovered this about our about our relationship, you made a concerted effort to, honestly, it’s easier than you in touching me, because then I know what’s not gonna bother me, like, if I come hug you or do things, right, right, I think that control back on my hands is actually a little bit better.

So again, you know, finding out from your spouse, you know, communicating to them, I would like you to touch me more, when it’s not about sex, right, and just gauge the reaction. And if the reaction is, you know, I don’t make any sense or, you know, whatever, then then then talk through it. But trying to communicate that, if this is something that is very important to you that, as I said, if it’s your love language, and it just speaks to your heart, communicate that to them. community, because it’s really hard to wrap your head around what it means to the other person, when, when it’s not the way you are built. Right?

Keelie

Yeah, if you have to, like intentionally think about doing something that’s not your natural tendency.

Austin

Right. And it’s, it’s also hard to, to see how important it is. And so again, maybe a way is, you know, if you’re, if you’re aware of how you give and receive love, and you’re aware of how your spouse gives and receives love, make the comparison for them. And say, you know, like, how would you like it if the only time I ever brought you a gift was because I wanted you to do something for me. Right? How would that make you feel? That would sort of cheapen the gift, wouldn’t it? And then explain that’s kind of what it’s doing for me when the only time I feel like you ever want to touch me is when sex is going to result. And that’s okay to touch me to you know, get things moving in that direction. That’s fine. But I’d also like, other stuff. I’d like hugs were cuddles or, you know, whatever it is. Yeah.

Keelie

You know, I don’t. Okay, so this is a question for you. I don’t feel this way. But I know a lot of people struggle because they feel like their spouse should just, they should just not have to be asked or told what they want. I literally have no issue saying I want this very specific thing. So do it for me. So and when you do it, it doesn’t bother me. But I do not bothers a lot of people. So is that something that bothers you to have to tell me by default? Yes, I’ve had I’ve had to work on that and work on Hey, instead of instead of assuming she knows what I want, or instead of hoping that she’ll get what I’m saying just say it and it usually works out better for everybody involved. So that that can be tricky, especially the earlier on in a relationship you are partly because culture has just trained us right that romantic couples can read each other’s minds know what the other person wants, know what they want, even when they don’t know what they want. And especially in the bedroom.

Keelie

Thank you, you know yet there but it is Wanna take a long time of talents? Somebody what you want?

Austin

Um, yeah, yeah. But assuming that your spouse should already know what you want, or how you’re feeling in any given moment, is just a recipe for disaster. So like we said, start with the, you know, with the direct communication, like, have a conversation about it, but then maybe have a conversation or just voice it. In the moment, you know, your spouse walks by you and say, that would have been a good time to, you know, Pat, yeah, patted my bud, or put your hands around my shoulders, or give me a little neck rub as you’re, as you’re coming through the kitchen, or, you know, whatever it is. A lot of my examples seem to involve the kitchen, I don’t know what’s happening. But there’s no way for us to walk past each other in the kitchen without some touching without some sort. Of the other day, all five of us were in there, both dogs, and I was like, nope, something’s got to give. But, but that’s the thing is, in the moment, bring it up, and don’t do it in an accusatory way.

Keelie

Right? Do it in a way, and what help was Yeah, I was gonna say, like, an invitation. You know, like, you know, stick sticks up a mount, you know, like, poke your hip out at them, you know, just maybe just collide with them, just stick your foot out as they’re walking by, you know, like, reach your arm out, just sort of, like drag it across their face, or whatever gets their attention. It’s like, I would like to be touched. You know? You know, I think it’s really important, though, that, that you understand that, you know, that is an invitation and they don’t have to accept it. And it doesn’t mean they don’t love you, if they don’t accept, I feel like that is always such a difficulty. Because people write in to me, and they make it sound like if my spouse loved me, they would do the thing that I’m asking them to do. And I think that’s just a very wrong mindset. In a lot of cases. Not every case. Sometimes a spouse really is being selfish needs to do more. I did not understand for a very long time, though, how much you wanted. Physical Touch, like I just didn’t understand. He told me but it still didn’t compute to me.

Austin

Yeah, but the same thing with words of affirmation. I mean, that that took a long time for you to realize, oh, I should say, I’m not very good at saying, no, no, you’re just like, we did it. Now. It’s done it, you know, like, I would like to hear a good job, thank you. And you’ve gotten way better about that. But again, that took a concerted effort. And again, it goes against, it doesn’t go against who you are, it’s just not who you are, by nature by default. And so many times we we make assumptions based on our default, that everyone around us, especially our spouse, has that same mindset, that same default position. And so sometimes just voicing it, issuing that invitation. And and yeah, like you said, not making the assumption, that if they’re not doing it, it’s because they hate me, or they don’t love me anymore. They’re seeing somebody else really going to the worst-case scenario every time. It could just be they don’t know. They just it’s not on their radar. If you tell them they are still, it’s still hard for them. 

Keelie

They don’t understand why you have to keep telling telling them once will not solve it. I think he basically told me this for years and years, and there are still periods of time where it goes by where I’m like, Oh, crap, I don’t think I’ve been intention with bugging him and reaching out. I mean, I do have these thoughts. But we’ve been married a long time. Yeah, I didn’t know is have those thoughts. I think the other issue that we fight against isn’t just that we think that the other person thinks the same way we do. There’s also a lot of stereotypes that I see when social media, and stereotypically it seems like the women want to be cuddled and hugged and whatever else and like this whole laundry list of things. And it’s really important that you don’t assume that your spouse wants the thing that you think every man or woman wants. Because it’s not the case.

Austin

Don’t assume that they fit the stereotype you and I don’t fit the stereotype in a lot at all that a lot of ways. Yeah. So yeah. Keeping checking in with your spouse, and you I found like, in the last several years, you and I, very audibly, very vocally critique the media that we consume. And so we’ll be watching the show. And I’ll be like, yeah, babe. That’s exactly how it is and our relationship, you know, we kind of like do that sort of like check in with each other. And every every now and then you’ll ask me or I’ll ask you like, do you ever think that? Do you ever feel in a way? Yeah, is this thing that we’re watching on a show or a movie? Is that based in reality at all? And sometimes, yeah, it is sometimes like oh, yeah, totally. Yeah, absolutely. Sometimes it’s not complete fiction, it’s, you know, a video we saw on Facebook or YouTube or something. And it’s like as though that’s how they’re doing their relationship, what are you thinking that you know, will go, that’s crazy, or Yeah, I’ve heard of that or, you know, whatever. So keeping the communication open, not making assumptions about the other person trying to try to understand where the other one’s coming from, and then just vocalizing it.

Keelie

It’s also just so important to not expect them to understand what you’re saying, be resilient, and continue to ask. And there is probably going to come a point where there is some hurt feelings, and that’s okay. I mean, that’s the truth that people always come to me. And they’ll say, Well, I wanted to talk to my spouse about this, maybe it’s sex, maybe it’s something in our relationship, I want them to do more of something. And every time I talk to them, it becomes like this emotional fight or whatever, you know, like, they shut down on me or whatever happens. And I think some of the reason for that is the one spouse needs the things so much, the other spouse doesn’t get it, or they don’t want to do it, or they don’t know how to do it, or whatever. And now all of a sudden, they feel like everything that they do for their spouse isn’t good enough. And that is a dynamic that happens. Because, like, for a lot of years, I didn’t understand like, I did all this service stuff for you. But you still wanted these other things that weren’t like my natural tendencies. And I would think, man, it’s just like, nothing I do is good enough is good enough. Yep. You know, like, I could have skipped cooking supper and just snuggled up on the couch, and you would have been fine, you know, I would have been hungry after he hadn’t been hungry, you would have had to figure out your own supper. But you know, you wouldn’t have equated that as me not loving you, because I didn’t make dinner, or whatever. So I think that it’s really important that you find in gentle ways to keep having the conversation, even if it makes the other person upset, or feel like things aren’t good enough, or it does have emotional, you know, distress on the two of you. Don’t be afraid to have those conversations. I’m not saying like, get into a screaming match with each other. And every time we talk to each other, it’s like, you’re not good enough. But don’t avoid having the conversation for like, ever. Cuz I know there are plenty of spouses who write in to me, and they’ve given up, they’ve all been given up on whatever that thing is that they want. They want me to tell them what to do. And I’m like, Hey, I’m just going to encourage you to keep having that heart conversation, not to the exclusion of anything else still go have fun with each other. Really, what you should be doing is working on building intimacy and other areas. Yeah, okay. So maybe they don’t get the you want to be hugged and snuggled and all that, you need to just initiate that until they get on board with it. And if there comes a point where they start initiating back after you guys have had conversations and stuff, great, but just keep trying. And I mean, I get it because rejection is very hard, especially in a very intimate relationship. But rejections Hardy that if it’s coming from, like a friend, or, you know, and some people rejections hard from Perfect Strangers, really in an intimate relationship, that’s going to be detrimental. So I think just keep having the conversation and not expect your spouse to get it. They may not ever really get it, like I still struggle. Like I said, I will never have the same emotions, on the things that are your love language. I just won’t I just have to recognize myself that the things that I do have an emotion about, I just have to cling to what the emotion is not the thing that actually set it off. Right? And so when people say to me, how do I get them to understand that I always say start by asking them, What do I do that makes you feel most loved? Okay, live in that moment? How do you feel right now thinking about that thing that I do that makes you feel loved? Okay, that’s how I’m feeling when you do this thing for me. And if you start there, then it helps them. They’re already feeling the thing. Because if you visualize or think about that thing your spouse does that makes you feel really loved. Then when they say, okay, when you do this thing that you don’t understand, I feel like that there is some relation relating there. For sure. Guys, thanks so much for joining us this week. Always go over the love of adventure.com to check out our recent post, our recent podcast or recent blogs, all the things that we’re doing and we write about a lot of different stuff over there that we don’t cover on the podcast every week, and also sign up for our newsletter. A love of adventure.com/newsletter We’ll send you our free sexy trigger to your game. We’ll always keep you in the loop about the latest anonymous questions and things that we are releasing on the website as well as thanks for joining us and I can’t wait to talk to you later.

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