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Taboos, The massage, Touch

Misunderstood touch

Touch is often seen as something sexual and sensual, an erotic expression between lovers. And as result, we withdraw our touch and become nervous about touching. A touch from a stranger invades our personal space even if it’s by accident in the metro. A father caressing and massaging his child is suspected of ulterior motives. Friends hugging becomes more than just friendship, especially when it’s two men hugging.

As touch has been so sexualized we start to think that we want sensuality when we crave a touch. This very often leads to misunderstandings and confusion. Men calling to get sensual and erotic massages because they think they need sex, when it’s touch they crave. Friends not hugging as they think their need for a touch is sexual and not a normal human thing. Kids not allowed to cuddle their parents as it becomes something more in the minds of adults.

Touch is a fundamental need in humans. We all need touch. It’s as essential as relaxation, laughter, love and social contact. Touch helps us become aware of our bodies, of ourselves and our true needs. A touch is reassuring, comforting, supporting, healing and relaxing.

Massage is a wonderful way to sate the need and desire for a non-sexual touch. Often people find that what they thought was a sexual need indeed turns out to be a need to be touched instead, without the sexual and erotic aspect.

It’s my hope that the awareness and acceptance of touch will increase and people understand how important touch is for well-being and wellness. And that there is not anything sexual about needing touch and physical closeness. It’s my hope that those feeling they need a sexual massage will give it a try to get a non-sexual and non-sensual massage and that they will learn that it can even better fulfill what they crave.

We all need close contact with other people, to be close socially and share more than just words and mental energy. We also need to have physical contact, to feel cared for and appreciated. This is where a massage for relaxation and well-being has its strength. The touch is caressing and compassionate, meant to make you relax and sate your basic needs for human contact and closeness.

Related articles: The importance of touch, Body awareness

About Pia Poulsen

Pia Poulsen is educated as a wellness massage therapist at Institut FIGARI in Paris, from where she passed her certification exam in January 2008. Since then she has expanded her skills to become the first Advanced LaStone® practitioner in France as well as a certified LaStone® instructor.


One Response to “Misunderstood touch”

  1. Thank you for posting this. I worked for awhile as a therapist for children with autism and was, at first, uneasy that my supervisors demanded that touch be a huge part of therapy, such as by gently squeezing the arms and legs of a child having a tantrum or by gently rolling a rolling pin down the back of an anxious child. I had previously been taught strictly that one should never touch a client, especially a child.

    My own therapist is also uncomfortable with touch although after my training with children with autism, one of my Alters asked him to start incorporating hugs and other small, non-sexualized forms of touching as part of more difficult sessions. As such, he’s the only male I can actually openly talk to and aside from my father, the only male to whom I can form a bond. After 5 years of therapy, I am just now beginning to be able to admit to some of the more difficult problems I have learned so well to hide. He always asks permission and forewarns me.

    Learning how to touch appropriately is, I think, the only way I will ever learn how to form my appropriate bonds of any kind to members of the opposite sex.

    Posted by Lara | Saturday 16 July, 2011, 11:57