Chapter 9

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Lecture Notes

Touching does not need to be directed solely toward the genitals or erogenous zones. The entire body is responsive to a touch or a caress. Touching is the sign of caring and signal for arousal. It can be used over the entire body as well as the genitals.

Sex researchers, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, suggest a form of touching they call "pleasuring." Pleasuring is nongenital touching and caressing. Neither partner tries to sexually stimulate the other; they simply explore, discovering how their bodies and their partner's bodies respond to touching.


Some forms of touching are directly sexual, such as caressing, fondling, or rubbing our own or our partner's genitals or breasts. The pressing together of bodies with genital thrusting is called tribidism, or "dry humping" among heterosexual couples. Many lesbian women enjoy the overall body contact and eroticism of this form of genital stimulation; sometimes, the partners place their pelvic areas together to provide mutual clitoral stimulation.


Rubbing the penis between the thighs of a partner is a type of touching called interfemoral intercourse. Heterosexual couples who do not use contraception must be sure the man does not ejaculate near the vaginal opening so as to avoid conception.

Stimulating a partner's clitoris or penis with the hand or fingers can increase excitement and lead to orgasm. Mutual masturbation can also be intensely sexual. Some people use sex toys such as dildos, vibrators, or ben-wah balls to enhance sexual touching.

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