Purpose: To improve your ability to communicate with touch and in­terpret what kind of touch you are receiving from your partner. Materials: Two pencils and two sheets of paper Suggested Time: 20 to 30 minutes

Sit facing your partner’s back and write down in any order you choose the following four types of touch: "Playful," "Therapeutic," "Loving," and "Passionate." When you’ve completed your list, use one or both hands to touch your partner’s back in a way that conveys the type of touch you wrote down first. For example, if you wrote "Playful" then you might skip your fingers over your partner’s back in a light and tickling manner or pretend to be playing the piano or make funny drawings with your fingers. Sweep your hand across your partner’s back when you are done. Ask your partner to try to silently guess what type of touch you were doing and then write it down on a piece of paper. Repeat the touch if your partner needs more time. Then communicate the next type of touch on your list. Keep going until your partner has had an opportunity to guess at and write down all four types of touch.

When you are done, sit facing each other so you can compare lists. If your partner guessed any types of touch incorrectly, ask to be shown ways you can touch differently to convey that particular kind of touch more accurately. Practice touching your partner’s back using this new information. Then get feedback on whether you have suc­cessfully improved in your touch communication.

Next, switch places and let your partner touch your back to com­municate the four types of touch in whatever order your partner se­lects. Remember, there is no right or wrong way of touching that corresponds with each type of touch. Your goal is to expand your touch vocabulary as a couple, better understand the meaning of each other’s touch, and bridge any differences in your communica­tion styles.

Variations:

1. Experiment with more types of touch such as, "Flirtatious," "Nurturing," "Sexy," and "Adventurous."

2. Touch other parts of the body, such as the head, face, hands, legs, feet, chest, abdomen, and genital area, with different types of touch.

3. Practice the exercise without clothing.

A richer touch vocabulary can come in handy any time you and your partner want to relate intimately and sensually, whether in or out of bed. And when you do make love, you can weave in types of touch that you both clearly understand and find pleasurable.