Season 1, Episode 15
Touch: Our Most Efficient Regulator
Catalina Lawsin, PhD
About This Episode
Touch from others and from yourself is the most efficient way for you to regulate your arousal, calm your body. Touch is a non-verbal communication of support, recognition and intimacy. Holding someone’s hand has been shown to immediate reduce arousal, decrease cortisol levels, relax muscle tension and improve feelings of intimacy in both the receiver and the giver.
This week’s episode of Sex Marks the Spot, I’ll explore touch from others and self-pleasure to provide concrete strategies of how you can better connect with yourself and others, while also exploring your sexuality.
For more evidence-based tips, advice about getting Real about Sex & Relationships, I’ve got loads of info on www.DrCatalina.org or Subscribe to my: YouTube Channel Sex Marks the Spot podcast IG @Dr.Catalina_ Cheers! Stay healthy & Safe! Dr. Catalina
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Let’s Talk About Touch our most efficient regulator.
Hi, I’m Doctor Catalina and this week’s episode of sex marks
I want to talk to you guys more about touch and the what
the power of touch does to our body both touch from others
as well as ourselves and how it serves to Actually regulate
our bodies, but then also how we can expand our energy from
touch. So first one of the things that we have learned is
that as humans as mammals touch serves as a way to protect
sends signals of safety.
So when we’re thinking about stress and distress and our
bodies being tensed, all of that is because our body is trying
to protect itself.
Okay, so think about what happens to our bodies when we are
Okay, your heart rate tends to increase your muscles tense
everything. Nice to get smaller.
Okay, that’s your body’s natural defenses.
Its natural protection.
so what it’s looking for again remember in one of my earlier
videos about polyvagal Theory I talked about the three systems
of our body that actually is its automatic ways of protecting
itself the first system as mammals and as social beings our
body wants to socially engage so touch is a form of Social
engagement when we receive touch from others that actually
is an opportunity for our nervous systems to get regulated
We’ve shown different studies in humans as well.
As other animals have shown that being purely by being touched
by another person heart rate decreases cortisol levels decrease
oxytocin increases again.
Oxytocin is the chemical Uncle’s in your body that actually
make you feel secure and loved and connected.
All of those things happen in purely by touch and when you
think about relationships, the one thing we know is that
this touch happens within a context and this is the thing
that actually where humans tend to really kind of Miss up
a lot of our automatic built makeup wear because humans have
the ability to actually stay in dangerous situations.
Way shins what our bodies begin to do is actually get confused
and it tends to think all touch if there’s any type of trauma
or episode where touch no longer felt safe particularly in
the context of any type of physical or sexual abuse our brain
immediately begins to learn touchpad and it’s going to again
withdrawal. all So one of the things that we want to do when
we’re thinking about touch is begin to teach our bodies that
touch is safe and positive.
So one of the things that I recommend couples to begin to
do is actually begin to just touch each other’s hands Studies
have shown that purely by couples who hold hands or when
a Is one person of the partner of the dyad is actually expressing
some distress or sadness or fear purely by a partner touching
Actually, we know that that actually immediately Decreases
their arousal they immediately will feel a bit more safe.
And we know that that can actually be conditioned over time.
So that individuals become more and more comfortable with
touch and that’s where couples can we can lean in on the
relationship to actually support our partners by using touch.
And again, this is not just sexual Touch This is Purely grabbing
someone’s hand or putting your hand on their shoulder.
Okay, again, non-sexual touch is another way of responding
and showing that responsiveness holding space for that person
to tell them that you feel and hear their emotions that Fosters
a sense of safety and in safety we can then feel connected
to ourselves and connected to others moreover.
Over our bodies don’t have to keep on chugging chugging chugging
they can actually sit down calm and use that conserve that
energy to fight other battles rather than feeling like your
body has to protect itself constantly.
So when we think about touch we also know that that touch
certainly actually while regulating our body can come from
others, but also ourselves So one of the things that I tell
clients when they’re feeling aroused or stressed is to put
your hand on your heart and immediately by placing your hand
on your heart protect.
Preferably skin-to-skin you immediately are feeling your
You’re noticing your chest expanding and you can apply some
pressure so that you can actually begin to self-soothe cell.
Cuddle, we know that that is also a very efficient way to
regulate our nervous systems and to make our body feel safe.
So both touch from a partner and to yourself.
Those are both ways to efficiently regulate your body reduce
your arousal and make your body feel safe.
Now, let’s bring this more into The bedroom where May is
masturbation month and so I want us to talk about how we
can lean in on touch in how we before in the stages before
we get to intercourse with our partners, but then absolutely
in our self pleasure.
Beginning by Gentle Touch and using touch actually as almost
a body scan to check in with your partner so that they your
by touching them in different places throughout their body.
What you’re doing is actually queuing their focus so that
they can begin to connect and appraise assess where in their
body they’re feeling any pressure and attention.
They can release that pressure what you’re also doing is
When your own assessment as far as what feels good, what
does it where’s their body at you’re using touch as a as
an assessment and a means of connecting and also laying the
framework to gradually get their body more and more relaxed
when we’re thinking about sexual our sexuality and harnessing
our Sexual Energy.
One of the things that really needs is Is is relaxation and
it’s the sense of safety.
So by gradually using touch again doesn’t even have to be
massaged. But literally just touching gently over the skin
but starting being very mindful of how you’re doing it starting
from the head going through your arms going through different
body parts again doing somewhat of a body scan doing that
with your partner absolutely can prepare the stage so that
you can gradually Introduce that sexual connection now particularly
during masturbation months in yourself pleasure.
You can absolutely do the same thing when we think of self-pleasure
we often just get in there and go now remember you can take
to start off with a body skin start touching yourself gently
self. Soothe your body first using touch to connect with
yourself and then Then explore your sexuality express it
harness that energy and then what you see is immunity improves
cortisol levels decrease muscle tensions decrease overall
So I hope that you guys will try some of these self touch
and touching your partner exercises to connect and be with
yourselves. So if you haven’t already subscribe to my YouTube
or follow me on Instagram and feel free to reach out with
any questions, haven’t you see week guys, stay safe and healthy.
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