What’s touch got to do with it?

The sense of touch is often taken for granted. We take notice when we can’t hear or see well. We love our sense of taste and smell. What about touch and how does it effect us? Most importantly, is touch an important part of intimacy with our spouses?

Even though we don’t think of it, touch is probably one of the most important senses we have. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and in an adult, skin can cover about 18-20 square feet and weigh up to 6 pounds. It protects us from heat, light, injury and infection. It regulates the body’s temperature. It stores fat, water, and vitamin D that our body needs and uses daily. It also is sensitive to painful and pleasurable sensations.

Touch is the primary trigger for the release of a chemical called oxytocin. This occurs when we hold hands, hug, snuggle or touch intimately. Oxytocin is the body’s anti-stress mechanism. Being touched causes a rise in oxytocin levels, initiating a series of events that lead to biological and psychological arousal. Oxytocin heightens that warm and fuzzy bonding feeling, increasing sexual receptiveness and intimacy. Oxytocin also increases the desire to be touched further, reinforcing the cycle of sex hormone escalation!

Oxytocin also has a lot to do with causing orgasm. The release of oxytocin causes the uterus to contract. Oxytocin is released during childbirth, and it also helps in the relaxation and bonding period after birth.

What does this mean to a married couple? It means that if we are not touching each other, we may be starving our bodies! Seriously! The body uses oxytocin to feed the muscles, nerves, organs, tissues and blood. I guess this is the very reason that Mr. Nutmeg likes for the both of us to sleep in the nude. The skin on skin contact is very important to our own sense of intimacy. It bonds us together like no one else could do. And after intercourse, it has a tranquilizing effect. Ever wonder why you fall asleep after sex? No, it’s not because sex was boring, it was the oxytocin level increasing in your body that makes you sleepy, and this is a normal reaction! You are more likely to fall asleep after orgasming since the level of oxytocin in your body is at it’s highest level then.

So, ladies (and gentlemen), please don’t forget the skin when you are planning an intimate evening. If you want to raise the arousal level of your spouse, watch a movie together starting off with cuddling and hand holding. Give your spouse a massage with scented lotion or oil to set the mood. Let your hands do the touching all over your spouse’s body, and ride the oxytocin wave to pure ecstasy in your intimacy!

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