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May 20, 2007 - 3:31 am

The other day I went to get a massage and the regular female massage therapist I usually saw was out; I was presented with a male therapist which was fine. I have no qualms about the sex of the massage therapist as long as they are good. However, I did notice that although the massage was technically very good, it just did not feel “right” to me. Afterwards, I tried to think about what it was that bothered me and hoped that I was not some type of sexist who just didn’t want a male therapist. But that wasn’t it. I realized that it has more to do with the body type of the person and the kinesthetic feel of their hands and touch. br /br /It reminded me of a guy I went out with in my twenties who just didn’t feel right. He was really nice looking and a great guy, but he was very wiry and thin–and he just “felt” wrong to me. I talked to one of my male friends about the experience and told him that on paper, the guy was terrific, and there was chemistry, I liked him but his touch was just somehow wrong. My friend was involved with a woman who also should have been perfect for him but the first words out of his mouth as he listened to me was “She doesn’t feel right. She should but she doesn’t.” br /br /I wonder how important touch is in keeping people together–I am not necessarily talking about sex, for you can have great sex without great touch. I mean, the kinesthetic quality of someone’s hands when they touch you or wrap your hand in theirs. I think that perhaps for each of us, there are certain body types and ways of touching that feel right to us and others that just don’t. It would be interesting to do an experiment where couples were asked to honestly appraise their first experience holding hands and how they felt. I wonder if the divorce rate would be lower among those who felt that the experience was like coming home versus those who remember the experience as unremarkable. br /br /What amazes me most, though, is that people will ignore this very primitive but useful information when deciding who to live with, or even who to marry. For when hard times come during a relationship, and they usually do, falling back on the kinesthetic qualities that brought you together in the first place is a good place to be.

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