Handjobs Aren’t Dead

What makes love last?

Enduring Love shows us that “younger men and older men tend to score higher in their relationship quality, relationship maintenance and happiness with relationship/partner than middle-aged men. The youngest group of women (up to age 34) score significantly higher on these measures and on relationship satisfaction than older women.”

What these age groups have in common is frequently saying thank you and giving thoughtful gestures to their partners. These were rated as the highest traits, followed by time and effort required for mundane tasks that which underpin relationships and the smooth running of a household. Communication was also said to be very important with open conversations and touching base with each other to combat everyday stressors. When the couples said I love you it “appeared to symbolize the closeness of the couple relationship and provide individual affirmation and reassurance.”

But, what we report and what we want are sometimes different things. Though all of these traits make a relationship work on a daily and enduring basis, we can’t undermine one very important thing…

The power of touch

Our primary somatosensory cortex is the place in our brain that comprehends the basic interactions of touch, like pressure or how something feels. Newer research has found that depending who touches you, “suggests that the emotional and social components of touch are all but inseparable from physical sensations.”

The entire experience of touch is affected by your social evaluation of the person touching you.

says Michael Spezio.

Touch can communicate emotions like joy, love, gratitude, and sympathy in a very sophisticated, and precise way than language alone and can also increase the speed of communication. If you are physically close enough to touch, your communication can happen quicker than a conversation.

Fast forward to adulthood and we have learned that touch can mean many things, as well as heightening our connectivity with other (for good or bad.) Even the slightest touch from a random person can help foster and enhance cooperation.

When you stimulate the pressure receptors in the skin, you lower stress hormones. At the same time, warm touch stimulates the release of the “cuddle hormone,” oxytocin, which enhances a sense of trust and attachment. Oxytocin levels go up, heart rates go down all these wonderful things that you can’t see.

Moments like these also reveal the reciprocal nature of touch. You can’t touch without being touched. A lot of those same beneficial physiological consequences happen to you and the person doing the touching.

says the Touch Research Institute.

We know that couples who touch more have better relationships, but it’s not just one-sided. Rather than it just being about touching your partner, it’s about how they respond and reciprocate to your touch. The more you touch your partner back, the “more likely someone is to report emotional intimacy and satisfaction with the relationship.”

Touch is important, but so is sex. We know that attitudes and behaviors change through the course of relationships, especially when a couple is together beyond the 3-year mark. Sexual satisfaction is higher among people who have sex more frequently, have more consistent orgasms and incorporated more variety of sexual acts, mood setting, and sexual communication.

We also know that the intensity of orgasm is typically a function of the time spent making love. So, why not bring back the basics. Spend more time together, and slow things down to improve not only your rate of orgasm but keep your passion and intimacy alive.

Bring back the handjob

Flashback to middle school, high school (whatever) and handjobs were the thing to do but seems somewhere along the way of our adult sexual lives we lost touch (haha) with the magic of a good hand-job. Spending more time touching each other and learning about each other’s bodies in an open way with lots of communication and lube could be a game changer.

Our thoughts: 

  • You can choose to use a condom or not! Risk of STIs is lower and obviously pregnancy.
  • Practice stopping and starting, make the orgasm last longer by edging.
  • The penis shouldn’t be treated as a Bop-It or mimic a jackhammer. Try going nice and slow then speeding up, Pretend you’re starting a fire with a stick (slowly with lube.) Circle it. Don’t forget the testicles.
  • Try a handjob in a new location. Car job? Bathroom job? Kitchen job? Your twin bed at your mom’s house? Whatever keeps it interesting.

Intimacy is about our everyday relationships and effective interactions so what works for you, might not work for someone else. Keep the communication open and don’t be afraid to do a #tbt with a good ol’ handjob.

 

Sasha

Co- Founder of Psych n Sex, previous writer and campus educator for the Kinsey Institute & published psychology researcher. Manhattan girl obsessed with post ww2 abstract expressionism, beet juice, vintage clothing & Scandinavia.

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