Learning to Touch in a Touch at AASECT

Weaving the tangle of relationshipsWhat’s Your Problem – If you think you have a problem in the bedroom there are a number of people available to speak with. The organization that is the “think tank” for therapists like this is known as AASECT or the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

I was excited – very excited – to participate in this years big conference that was held in Monterey California. First, it is a beautiful place to visit. Second, we were staying right down town so we could walk to everything. Third, this is the organization that anyone who is a who’s who in American sex therapy is a member and where much of the new thoughts for treating sex related issues comes from.

What I found was that, yes, some of these great ideas come out of AASECT members. Paul Joanides was a great speaker who enthralled everyone with his knowledge and delivery of sex in our universities and more. I met Patty Briton in a class with Reid Mihalko and many other people throughout the weekend including a large contingency from Colorado.

What I also found was that much of the sex therapy community is very uptight when it comes to touch. I attended one class called Touch for Touch Sake presented by Linda de Villers, which was a very interesting class. She taught a lot of things that I use in my practices. Towards the end Linda wanted to have us experience what she called a “caress exercise” (her word to make sensate focus sound less medicinal). She asked if we wanted to do a paired exercise or individually.

You would have thought the audience was being asked to strip naked and do a dance at the front of the room. The ensuing voiced demanding that we do these individually was incredible. They were passionate and forceful and this saddened me. If these people are the ones educating the good citizens of our country I’m saddened that they are to touch averse. I think what we need in this country is more touch instead of less. And, we need to do it with anybody. It doesn’t need to be sexual. Touch is a wonderful thing and several presenters talked about how badly we need touch.

Fortunately, I found two people who were willing to play with me. It was interesting to note how many people were watching us perform the exercise as provided with no shame and have a really good time.

If you see a sex therapist for your self or your relationship please remember that touch is very important and even if your therapist doesn’t provide you with any exercises I recommend you do them anyway.

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