How Important is Touch for a Relationship?
Whether it's sexual intimacy or emotional intimacy, it's all about a connection with your partner, and touch is integral in maintaining that connection.
Intimacy in a relationship can make or break a couple. Whether it's sexual intimacy or emotional intimacy, it's all about a connection with your partner, and touch is integral in maintaining that connection. Dr. Steve McGough explains the importance of touch in a relationship.

How can physically (non-sexually) touching your partner benefit your relationship?

First, it reduces stress and helps both people feel good. As long as the person being touched trusts their partner or friend, the act of being touched has been shown repeatedly in studies to increase beneficial hormones like oxytocin while decreasing stress-related hormones.   It increases bonding between couples. This is both on a psychological level and a deep physiological level.   It increases trust and connection. If you touch each other in a non-sexual or sexual way while gazing into each other's eyes it increases the connection even more. It demonstrates another aspect of "love." The English language is unfortunately not very good at describing the different kinds of "love." For instance, Greek has four words to describe love: agápe, éros, philía, and storgē to describe very different levels of affection. Touching someone helps communicate different types of love. It can make your sex life better. I developed a program called "Intimacy Massage" that is a non-sexual way for couples to touch each other to enhance connection and increase desire for each other later. It is an enhancement of the technique called "Sensate Focusing" developed by Sexology Pioneers Bill Masters and Virgina Johnson (read: Masters & Johnson). We've found that this method -- particularly the "follow the goosebump game" -- actually helps both women and men increase their ability to "feel" touch and pleasure. Plus, here is a tutorial on how to master this quick hand massage that will help your partner feel amazing very quickly and can be done anywhere.

Dr. Steve McGough, D.H.S is the Director of R&D, CTO hi® Master Level instructor and Director of R&D at Women and Couples Wellness, LLC, Associate Professor of Clinical Sexology, Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Steve is regularly interviewed by outlets such as Prevention, Redbook, CNBC, MSN, Women’s Health, Medical Daily, Glamour, Ask Men, etc. Steve McGough discovered the technology behind “hi” when trying to help Wendy (his wife) recover from a tragedy.

Dr. Steve McGough

"Dr. Steve McGough the author of numerous books dealing with wellness, massage, and intimacy. He has a Doctorate of Human Sexuality from the IASHS, and a BS in Biochemistry (focusing on nutrition) from UNC-Chapel Hill. Steve has an extensive background in massage and various Asian healing practices. He's the Director of R&D at Women and Couples Wellness, and a professor of Clinical Sexology. During graduate research, Steve developed new techniques to help women with anorgasmia (inability to achieve orgasm). Through this, he's worked with several thousand women and couples researching female orgasm. Steve has been published in academic journals on topics ranging from neuroscience research to sexology. He has multiple US & International patents in areas for women's pelvic and sexual health. A distinction with his approach is the view that sexual health is an integral part of overall health. Steve is frequently interviewed in Prevention, Women's Health, Medical Daily, CNBC, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Ask Men, etc. He & his wife Wendy frequently teach at Young Swingers Week, Naughty N Nawlins, Hedonism II, etc.
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