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The Science Of Sexual Touch

Research Shows The Benefits Of Skin-To-Skin Contact

A kiss. A cuddle. A stroke of the hair. Hands held. Noses nuzzled. Want to know the state of a relationship? Watch how a couple touches each other — before, during and after sex. As you very well may know, the sexual act is more than just penetration, and can take many different forms.

"Penetration may be the culmination," says Dr. Dorree Lynn, author of Sex For Grownups, "but sex is a process with a beginning, middle and end," with touch playing an important role throughout.

Before sex, you touch someone initially to let them know they are desired. The clumsy massage. The hand across the table. The grooming of a wayward comb-over. From their response, you know how to proceed. During the act, of course, touch creates arousal and, ultimately, brings about the orgasm.

Afterward, touch completes the act, winding you down as it wound you up. In your vulnerability, you lay in each other's arms. Fingers slowly caress as bodies regain equilibrium. As you drift asleep, toes touch toes. The connection is not broken. "Touching lets you know that your partner is involved with you, and that you're not just two genitals that have done their thing," says Lynn. "For women, touching is validation that she is more than a, well, receptacle."

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  • A touch from your spouse doesn't just feel good — it's also good for you!

    Polka Dot Images/Thinkstock
The Science Of Sexual Touch
Research Shows The Benefits Of Skin-To-Skin Contact
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