As part of the debut of my new series, “Be her hero: how NOT to suck as a husband” this week’s posts will focus on marriage.
Behavioral scientists have coined a term called, “SKIN HUNGER.” It’s a deprivation of touch—the skin is actually hungry for affection. Hunger as in starved, famished, having an appetite for, desiring, wanting.
Guys can be pretty stupid about this reality in marriage. Many think that if they’re having sex that their wife is getting the physical attention she needs. That’s not the case… they need more touch!
Non-sexual touch plays an important part in the emotional connection within marriage. When speaking with men, I’ll usually term non-sexual touch as: “Affection without motivation.”
Our skin thrives on touch. We respond emotionally to those who touch us.
When a waitress puts her hand on your shoulder guys it’s not because she’s attracted to you. She’s subtly touching you because research has told her that you’ll tip better when you’re touched—there’s an emotional connection.
Phyllis Davis, in her book The Power of Touch: The Basis for Survival, Health, Intimacy, and Emotional Well-Being writes:
“Some people confuse skin hunger with restlessness, sexual desire, loneliness, or stomach hunger. We go to great lengths to satisfy our skin hunger without ever realizing what it is that we need. We attempt to satisfy it with food, with drugs, with entertainment; by burying ourselves in work, in talk, in activities, or with promiscuity. Yet it remains, this desire for the most basic form of communication—touching.”
I realize this is a stereotype, but women often need non-sexual touch for connection… this connection can lead to arousal. Men rarely need touch for arousal… (they simply need oxygen). Men will often experience an emotional connection with their wives after sex.
Take an inventory within your marriage—is there touching, snuggling, hand-holding, massage, foot rubs, and subtle touches as you walk by one another (not groping and grabbing)? If not, consider what it will take to add non-sexual touch into your marriage.
While it may not seem that important… it’s a big deal! And, according to best-seller The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts physical touch is one of the primary ways your spouse feels loved. So, pour it on this week and get touchy.
Question: what’s an example of non-sexual touch within your marriage? Share your ideas here.