Our physical intimacy begins with how he doesn’t touch me.
The kinds of touches he never administers—no grabbing my body to feel secure, no touching to feel stimulation, no startling me, no asserting his need without checking for my availability, no tickles, surprises, or things that make me flinch—our relationship has none of these things ever.
My nervous system relaxes to such a deep level with this layer of safety assured to me, knowing all the ways I will not be touched.
And then there are all the times he chooses not to touch me.
While he’s not touching me, he is evolving and affirming our connection.
He doesn’t touch me while he moves slow and steady. He doesn’t touch me as he makes eye contact. He doesn’t touch me as he comes close to pour me wine. He doesn’t touch me as he helps me transition my attention to him and to us.
There is so much intimacy when he doesn’t touch me. So much attention on me and on my body’s availability. So much respect for my space, so much faith that my desire for him will flow.
Then when he does touch me, it’s with tenderness. His hand resting heavy on my shoulder, gently on my knee. Always slow, steady, gentle, attentive, reverent.
I can feel that this kind of touch, how safe it is, would have been excruciating for an earlier version of me. The part that panicked in the presence of innocent tenderness. She needed to be manhandled, she needed assertiveness more than anything else, including respect or attentiveness.
But now I bask in it, and when I feel the overwhelm I just cry and cry, until my receiving of it is all the way open, and then I cry more for the time I spent closed. He knows he doesn’t have to ask me about this. He just holds me closer, circles his arms around me, encasing me without tightening his grip.
Being loved this way is like suddenly having fur. It feels good, but almost too good? Why didn’t I have this before? Why did I go so long without it? My raw skin is suddenly so soothed I realize just how raw it had been.
He knows that his love makes me cry, and we don’t have to talk about that to share it.
Our physical intimacy escalates from there. It gets wilder, more primal, deeper, so unbelievably connected and secure. So in-sync.
But it all rests on this foundation. How he doesn’t touch me, the way the connection presents when there is no physical contact. How the only time I feel his hands is when they are welcome, how they are unfailingly gentle and kind to me. How I can have that clean kind loving gentleness any time I want. He never seems to run out, it’s there for me every time I turn around.
Not just in our contact.
In how he doesn’t touch me.