I’m a big slutty sensation seeker. I love being touched in sexual and non-sexual ways. The glorious energy exchange of a welcome caress feels erotic and beautiful. There’s nothing like it. I love being stroked, massaged, cuddled, and generally petted.
But I like all these things ON MY TERMS.
Non consensual touching is one of my pet hates, whatever the situation. My body language is clear when a touch is unwelcome, I’ll bristle or tense up. I’ll turn my head, I’ll grimace. If I’m in a confident head space I might even give you a look which says, “back off buddy”. Your stroking of the fabric of my new skirt might be an unwelcome touch. The feeling of your leg against mine might be an unwelcome touch. Some days even your post coital cuddle attempt might be an unwelcome touch, particularly if the weather is hot and I’m feeling sweaty.
Just because we’re on a date or we’re flirting does not mean I’m consenting to your hands on my body in any way.
The concept of consent within touch is something most people understand in general life. The majority of us also realise consent doesn’t have to be a verbal “can I poke you?” It can be the pause with an outstretched hand which allows someone to move away, or it can be the eye contact which silently asks, “are you into this?”
Touch consent, when you read body language well, can be natural and unspoken.
I’m very aware of my bodily autonomy and extremely sensitive when it’s overstepped, possibly because my sensory sensitivity means I feel the fabulousness of consensual touch so much deeper. Just because I’m not ready for your hands today doesn’t me doesn’t mean I’ll never be.
But if you’ve ignored my body language and continued touching me when it’s clear it’s making me uncomfortable; I will start to associate your presence with feeling icky.
I’m sure that’s not the effect you wanted.
First dates are often a bit awkward. You’re not sure how into you that person is, and you want to demonstrate how into them you are. When you’ve reached a rapport and you’re both staring at each other with gooey eyes and lust intoxicated half smiles a stroke of the arm or a shoulder touch feels like bubbles of mmm yeah dust.
When you haven’t reached that place, and someone touches you, it doesn’t have the same affect. That doesn’t mean you don’t find them attractive or that you’ll never want them to be close to you. It also doesn’t have to mean you won’t want to reach out to their body a little later. But if you continue touching when the body language and energy is saying no, you’re overstepping boundaries which will stop that person feeling sexy about you.
No touch on a date doesn’t mean a person isn’t into you. Someone who takes longer to want to be physically affectionate is also not wrong, or frigid, or cold.
As stated right at the beginning of this post, I’m a super sensation seeking touch junky. I want all the caresses in all the ways, but only when I’m ready to receive them. I shy away from non-consensual touch because I find all touch so electric.
If you respect my boundaries and wait until you have consent, you’ll find me doing the woman equivalent of lying on the floor purring with my eyes half closed and drool dribbling from my mouth. That’s got to be worth waiting until the right moment to achieve.
If you don’t and you continue to touch me after it’s already made me feel uncomfortable, I’m likely to never want to have sex with you so will probably decline further dates.
So what happens if you can’t read body language?
Lots of people can’t. Although there are some things which probably are clearer than others. For example, if someone pulls their hand away when you try and hold it, or if someone keeps moving their leg away from yours. Someone tensing up or flinching when you touch them doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t like you, but it’s an incredibly good sign they’d rather you stopped right now.
If you can’t trust yourself to be good enough at reading body language get into the habit of asking before you touch someone. It’s not as awkward as you think it will be and it certainly isn’t as awkward as going in for the arm stroke and feeling your date tense up.
Consent doesn’t have to be verbal, but if you can’t use body language effectively it’s ok if it is spoken out loud.
We all want to click with someone on a date and feel close to them. We want sparks, and lust, and sexiness, but forcing intimacy is not going to bring you any of those things. On many occasions it also won’t bring you a second date with that person.