Here is a story of a friend who overcame her fear of physical intimacy. Shari had been with her husband for many years and through a series of events, ended up sleeping on her own. She loved her husband and when the children left home she felt it was time to build a new relationship with her husband – but didn’t know how to get past her barriers regarding physical intimacy. She was talking to a friend about this problem and the friend suggested she find an appropriate masseuse who could help her. Shari was paying for the session, so she was in charge of what she wanted.
She discussed her dilemma with the masseuse and this is what they did:
- The masseuse gave her relaxation massage for three sessions so that Shari could be sure she felt safe and her body got used to being touched again. Shari could say stop at any time and direct where the masseuse would work.
- Shari needed to learn boundaries and also how to ask for what she wanted. The masseuse gave her a book on boundaries and in the massage sessions Shari began to practice. Over time Shari discovered what sort of touch her body liked and became more confident and able to talk about it and how it felt.
- Shari gradually learned to enjoy touch and it even at times felt sensual (although there was not sexual contact at all). At one point Shari had an early memory of being inappropriately touched. The masseuse recommended a sexuality counselor and through the counseling Shari was able to let the past go.
- At last it was time to bring Shari’s husband Steve into the picture. The masseuse taught Steve how to massage Shari in the way she liked. There were things Shari wasn’t able to say to Steve that the masseuse could voice and Steve was very receptive to hear her.
- Shari was finally able to allow Steve to be physically close to her. In fact it was so successful they asked the masseuse to teach Shari how to massage Steve in the way he liked. He also wanted to learn the communication skills – how to ask for what he liked and set boundaries. Shari discovered that mens bodies work differently to women and the masseuse helped the create a beautiful love language.
- With the new communication skills, releasing the past, getting to know their bodies and sensual touch Shari and Steve can have an intimate physical connection.