Intimacy is not just about physical contact in the bedroom. True intimacy begins outside of the bedroom through communication in non-genital ways. The intimacy that a couple experiences outside of the bedroom leads to a more intensified physical intimacy inside the bedroom.
Intimacy and trust in a relationship comes from non-genital forms of communication leading to a liberating, loving and permanent communion between the man and woman. This type of communication is important for all couples, whether they are avoiding genital contact on a periodic basis or not. Such communication lays the groundwork for a lasting and joy-filled marriage.
One way to build trust and intimacy in a marriage is through touch. But, did you know there are two types of touch? Dr. Thomas Hilgers, the creator of the Creighton Model FertilityCare System, defines the two types of touch as arousal touch and affirming touch.
For most, arousal touch is touch that erotically stimulates oneself and the other in preparation for intercourse. It tends to be more “me”-oriented. It says, “Give yourself to me,” or “I want you.”
Affirming touch is more complex. It involves touching that is not arousing in any way. It is non-genital in orientation. It expresses love to the other person by saying, “I accept you and appreciate you,” or “I love you just the way you are.” Ex. holding hands, warm hug, etc.
It is important to communicate with your spouse what constitutes both arousal and affirming touch for you. It can be different for each person. If you are wanting to avoid a pregnancy, it is important to focus more on affirming touch during the fertile time instead of avoiding touch altogether. Affirming touch, especially during the fertile time, can be especially helpful in building intimacy and trust between the couple.
I can surely attest to the power of affirming touch during times of wanting to avoid and achieve a pregnancy. My husband and I have our own personal views of what constitutes arousal and affirming touch for each of us. By communicating with one another, we have come to a better understanding and appreciation of each other and enjoyed a stronger marriage as a result. It truly has been a gift to our marriage, a hidden treasure found in a simple family planning method.
For each couple, intimacy and trust are built through the help of these two types of touch. It is important for the couple to understand the differences between these two types of touch and to practice them every day in order to truly be in touch with our “inner soul” of sexuality.