Thanks to a thought-provoking conversation, I’ve been thinking about my relationship to touch.

A woman with whom I’ve had the good fortune to enjoy a lot of fun over the last couple of years wondered if I don’t avoid touch, if I don’t use my form of dominance to minimize touch, other than the very specific forms of sexual touch that I crave.

I don’t see it that way, but her question got me thinking.

I think I use dominance not to much to minimize touch as to ensure that the touch I receive feels good, right to me. For reasons I can only begin to guess at, I’m vulnerable to experiencing certain forms of touch as impinging, as, in some way, violating my sense of self. Any person who suffers from a fundamental avoidance of intimacy is familiar with this. I once had a girlfriend (two or three lifetimes ago), who – though beautiful, and sexual – could cause me to recoil simply by touching my flesh. It didn’t matter where, when, or how she touched me. The simple sensation of our bodies coming into contact with one another became, over the course of our relationship, increasingly intolerable to me.

Today, that’s not me. I do struggle with intimacy. I do struggle with the coincidence of sexual and emotional intimacy, and there’s no doubt I find sexual intimacy in the absence of emotional intimacy easier, compelling even. That’s a big part of how I fell down that rabbit hole, years ago: paying for sex allows me to avoid intimacy (at a cost that’s not just financial). As Charlie Sheen said, he didn’t pay women to fuck him; he paid them to leave.

I crave touch. I crave fingers on my face, my back, my head, my ass, my cock, my legs. Sometimes, as we’re falling asleep, T will simply hold my left calf – a zone of my body that – again, for reasons I can only begin to guess at – holds enormous psychic power over me. There’s little that feels better for me than that particular touch.

Except when it doesn’t. Except when it’s at the wrong moment, or with the wrong pressure, or using the wrong fingers.

I’m a fragile teapot when it comes to touch, and what dominance allows – not by minimizing touch, but, by controlling it, to ensure that I get, precisely, what I need.

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