What is the master key to more pleasure, joy and connection? What if there was one skill you could learn to unlock way more relaxation, arousal & orgasmic bliss – not to mention loving connection with every human you love?
After over 370 Speaking of Sex Podcast episodes, we are returning to our roots, the spark that started it all for us – our love of TOUCH, and using touch as a language of love.
Join us as we kick off a new podcast series, a deep dive into the skills of giving and receiving erotic touch. You’ll find the complete series and more at PleasureMechanics.com/touch
Start Practicing Pleasure with us! Join our membership community at PleasureMechanics.com/pod and unlock exclusive Pleasure Practices, direct contact with us and curated resource guides.
The Pleasure Practice for this episode is all about activating your powers of touch. We’ll be exploring using our fingers and hands to explore an object, touching and feeling with more awareness and precision. Join us and start practicing pleasure with us!
Transcript for Speaking of Sex Podcast Episode #374: The Key To Pleasure and Connection
Chris Maxwell Rose (00:01):
Welcome to Speaking of Sex With the Pleasure Mechanics. I’m Chris.
Charlotte Mia Rose (00:05):
Chris Maxwell Rose (00:06):
We are the Pleasure Mechanics, and on this podcast we have honest, explicit, soulful conversations about sex, love, relationships, and the experience of these bodies of ours. Come on over to pleasuremechanics.com, where you will find all of our resources that we have been creating with love and reverence for you since 2006. We have been the Pleasure Mechanics devoted to creating resources for your erotic pleasure and fulfillment. Come on over to pleasuremechanics.com, where you will find all that we have to offer, and when you’re ready to dive a little deeper with us go to pleasuremechanics.com/love, where you will find easy ways to step in and go a little deeper with us, rooting you on every step of the way.
Chris Maxwell Rose (01:02):
It is July 2020. We are midyear in this unforgettable year of a global pandemic, of popular uprisings against police brutality, of the movement for Black Lives Matters swelling into a global call for justice. This is an unforgettable year of change, of turmoil, of possibility, and our hearts are with you. Wherever you are in the world we are with you. We are so grateful to be receiving your stories. Our love and care is with you no matter what you are going through, and we really hope that you know that and feel that. Wherever you are in this journey, you are not alone.
Chris Maxwell Rose (01:51):
There is so much unknown ahead for all of us, but what we do know is that we have each other. We have each other here in the Pleasure Mechanics community, but also look around to the people in your life for support, for care, for love. Remember that whatever is overwhelming you right now, you are not alone. Whether that’s emotional overwhelm, financial stress, parental stress, isolation and touch, starvation, whatever you are feeling, it is being felt by millions and there is some solace in that.
Chris Maxwell Rose (02:31):
We are here for you. Our inbox is open. And starting today, we’re going to also be inviting you into a new opportunity to get closer with us and join our community so we can be in more active dialogue and support you through this year of transformative change for us all. We’ll tell you more about that opportunity for the Pleasure Mechanics community, what we’re calling the pleasure pod, but today we want to open up a conversation about what really is at the core of everything we do is the reason Charlotte and I started Pleasure Mechanics all those years ago in 2006, after meeting one another, and is really at the foundation of everything else we offer.
Chris Maxwell Rose (03:22):
You’ll notice on this podcast, we go to great lengths to talk about the complexity of human sexuality. We talk about the relational issues, the physical stuff, the emotional and mental health elements of eroticism and sexuality. And underneath all of this, when we’ve been talking recently about how we want to recalibrate the show and deepen our commitment to the world and show up even more fully for you all, we went back to the core of what we do, and we want to open up now a series on this podcast to dive in deep to our favorite topic what we believe is the key to pleasure, connection and joy. And that key is touch. Touch.
Charlotte Mia Rose (04:17):
Touch is so essential and important for all of us, for our individual bodies and our health, for our connections with those we love and care about, for our sense of belonging. I mean the benefits and the importance of touch in our life cannot be overstated. It has been a part of how our species has kept alive over the generations.
Chris Maxwell Rose (04:43):
Not part of; it is.
Charlotte Mia Rose (04:46):
Chris Maxwell Rose (04:47):
It is how our species exists. What does touch mean when we talk about touch? In this series, we’re going to be talking about all kinds of touch; touch that arouses us and thrills us, touch that comforts us and holds us in the hardest of moments, touch that connects us with other human beings, but also touch that brings us deeper into communion with ourselves and the entire world around us.
Chris Maxwell Rose (05:19):
When we say touch, let’s start by defining touch. And what Charlotte just said about touch being foundational to the human species, touch is the first sense to emerge in our human bodies, and every other sense is a specialized version of touch. Touch is what allows us to not only mate, the pleasure of touch creates reproductive behaviors. And we’ll talk about that too, rest assured. But also touch is how we survive, how we seek out the nipple to breastfeed, how we connect and bond parent to infant and keep our infants alive. And it turns out that touch, touch of all kinds input onto the sensory nerve endings in our body is essential for all wellbeing and survival as human bodies.
Chris Maxwell Rose (06:19):
We will talk later about touch starvation and what that means when the capacity for touch and connection to our sensory environment is taken away from us. Human beings have a failure to thrive under those conditions. That’s been studied very well in children and babies, but it’s true for adults too. The deprivation of touch is a form of torture. Perhaps all of us are feeling little threads of this right now, as we are three months into social distancing and quarantine, a lot of our avenues of casual social touch have been cut off from us. The stress and the turmoil of our lives have changed our erotic lives for a lot of us, and a lot of us are feeling, touch starved, a longing, a hunger in our bodies for the connection and contact that makes us human, that makes us thrive.
Chris Maxwell Rose (07:20):
Touch, when we think about this word touch, what does it mean? It means contact. It means our body meeting our environment in space. Touch is one of the most poetic words. We use it for all sorts of things. That idea of really touched me. You might want to touch on that in your talk. You’re losing touch with reality. We use this word to remind us all the time of how we connect and relate to the world around us and how important that is on every level from physical, to emotional, to intellectual, all of our feelings. This is the world of touch.
Chris Maxwell Rose (08:04):
So how did we become obsessed with touch? Why is touch so important to our understanding of human sexuality and what can we do to start getting in touch with our sense of touch? These are some of the things we’re going to be touching on today. And in upcoming episodes, we will be taking much deeper dives into all of the ways we can use touch, explore touch, get in touch with our capacity to feel.
Chris Maxwell Rose (08:34):
In 2006, when Charlotte and I met, we met in a sex education training, and one of the things we had in common was that we were both trained in massage. When we fell in love and started dating, touch and massage was just foundational to the way we interacted, the way we made love, to the way we expressed our feelings for one another. And it was out of that cauldron of erotic touch sharing that Pleasure Mechanics was born, that we had the idea for this business and we had the fuel to start it, and we had the commitment and vision to carry us all the way to present day 14 years later.
Chris Maxwell Rose (09:19):
I want to ask you Charlotte, when did you first become aware of your love for touch? Why did you decide to go to massage school? And what were you aware of when we met and touch became such a part of how we were making love?
Charlotte Mia Rose (09:34):
This is so delicious to think about. I have always loved touch. I come from a very huggy family. My mom used to give us back massages before bed as little kids. Touch was always part of my life. As I grew up, I started practicing self-massage as a form of self-care and self-love, and that has been a practice of mine for decades that has really nourished me.
Charlotte Mia Rose (10:06):
I became a massage therapist because I felt like intuitively there was something incredibly healing in that work. And as I dove into it, and as I practiced later erotic massage on thousands of bodies, I saw from being immersed in that pleasure that people left an hour long massage just soaked in pleasure, soaked in being connected to themselves. They left feeling more human, I think. It’s a beautiful gift to offer another person and to experience.
Chris Maxwell Rose (10:45):
What changed for you when you trained in massage, because you had always loved touch, but when you became a professional giver of massage? When I met you we were in a 24 person somatic sex education course at the very beginning of the sexological body work profession. I was your teacher. There were 24 students in the room. And immediately I noticed the beauty of your touch. I had seen a lot of trained hands at that point; I was a teacher in a massage school. Something extraordinary really stuck out about the way you touched. I want to name it as sacred. I want to name it as you were transported into a role that really feels kind of holy.
Chris Maxwell Rose (11:35):
Did you experience this in giving? What was your experience in becoming a giver of sacred, holy, erotic touch?
Charlotte Mia Rose (11:45):
Thank you. I felt that way totally. I feel like it is a moment in time where you put your entire presence and care and love and devotion into your hands. So you’re your mind is paying attention, your hands are paying attention to the flesh underneath your hands. Your full awareness is on how much pleasure can I bring this square inch of skin. When your whole being is focused on that, it does become a holy act and there’s nothing more beautiful. It is such a gorgeous experience to be in service to someone’s pleasure and relaxation and feeling their own self. I just, I just love it.
Charlotte Mia Rose (12:30):
I also want to name in that experience, I got to witness you teach and touch and I was blown away by the presence and care and reverence that you brought to touch. I mean, it was exquisite.
Chris Maxwell Rose (12:51):
This is the beginning of our love story. We are in a 24 person, two week long intensive training. As a teacher, I felt really strongly about holding boundaries. I had a lot on my plate to hold and facilitate that, so we actually barely spoke during those two weeks and yet noticed one another so deeply. Our souls were already beautifully connected.
Charlotte Mia Rose (13:16):
Yeah, Chris had amazing boundaries. I really like to add that. And it was many months later that I asked her out.
Chris Maxwell Rose (13:21):
You actually asked my boyfriend out on a date.
Charlotte Mia Rose (13:23):
That’s true, but I was trying to be polite, and I asked if you wanted to come too. But we stuck.
Chris Maxwell Rose (13:27):
This is our San Francisco.
Charlotte Mia Rose (13:28):
… San Francisco. What can I say?
Chris Maxwell Rose (13:29):
I was in an open relationship with a wonderful man, and Charlotte was interested in him and perhaps me a little bit and so we went out on a three-way date. I walked her back to her car after falafel.
Charlotte Mia Rose (13:41):
You touched my hip actually. You touched my hip. And in that moment, in that touch, I knew what was coming. It opened up this whole world for me.
Chris Maxwell Rose (13:53):
And we will talk about that later in this series, the way a single touch can communicate a whole world of feeling and emotion and possibility.
Chris Maxwell Rose (14:03):
We went on that date. A few days later, we went on a hike and that night we made love for the first time. When Charlotte and I came together in love making, I had been … My touch story; I had arrived in San Francisco as a sex educator, very much in the brain. Annie Sprinkle linked me up with Joseph Kramer, who’s the granddaddy of erotic massage. I will link in the show notes a page to my long form interview with him about the birth of erotic massage. I was plunged into this master level training of full body touch, erotic massage. We went into sexological body work of how we could use touch to teach people what their bodies are capable of.
Chris Maxwell Rose (14:51):
I started practicing massage on all of my lovers. I was in this poly-kinky community. As soon as I started training in massage, I was like, “Who wants touch? Anyone want touch? I’m here,” and I just gave so many massages to so many people. For me it was this homecoming. I had been so in my head and in an intellectual at Vassar, and I thought my worth was in my intellect, and this body was just what carried my brain around.
Chris Maxwell Rose (15:22):
When I was invited to go to massage school, and I think I’ve told this story before, I actually stood out front of the massage school and hesitated to go in because I was worried no one would want to touch me and that I would be so bad at touch … little did I know. And then a wonderful gay man came up and was like, “You going to massage school too? Come on honey.” And we walked up those stairs together and into the rest of my life because it was this homecoming into my body.
Chris Maxwell Rose (15:50):
Both giving and receiving massage was this invitation back into my entire being that existed below my brain and connecting that with my beautiful brain. So they weren’t two things. They were one being, working together, sourcing wisdom from every cell of my being. And the process of learning massage, receiving massage is a huge part of what helped me heal from my own sexual trauma since childhood was a huge part of waking up to the sensations and feelings and capabilities of my body as a sexual being.
Chris Maxwell Rose (16:29):
I was a few years into that when we met. I was no stranger to using massage as part of sex and giving erotic massage. My big thing is I would go to sex parties and kind of be the service hands because I’m kind of a germaphobe. I loved my communal sex community, but I didn’t really want to be doing it in the holes with everyone. I would have a list for the night, like I would fist you and then give you an erotic massage and then give you a warm up massage and then take care of her after her flogging. I loved all of that. B.
Chris Maxwell Rose (17:04):
But with you, it was the first time I was in a relationship with another trained set of hands, with another erotic masseur. And what we discovered as you and I were falling in love is that not only could we not keep our hands off one another in that early lusty stage, but that our touch and massage became this entire language between us. It was how we woke up in the morning. It was how we talked over coffee. It was how we warmed one another up to make love. When we would go out in the world and talk to people and it just kind of came up in conversation of like, “Oh yeah, we’re in love and we’re both trained erotic masseuses,” people would just melt visibly in front us and say things like, “Oh, that must be so nice to get a massage from your lover.” And we were like, “Yes, it is.”
Chris Maxwell Rose (17:58):
We heard this again and again and again. And this was the spark that started Pleasure Mechanics because what we noticed is that we had these skills, both full body touch, erotic massage, the presence and attention giving that you talked about that makes someone feel sacred and holy and human under your hands. What we realized is you and I had learned these skills; other people can learn them. Anyone can learn these skills, but not everyone is going to go to massage school. And certainly not everyone is going to go to an erotic massage school.
Chris Maxwell Rose (18:36):
And so we looked at each other … YouTube was just starting in the world, online video technology was just being born and in our conversations, in our lovemaking, in that place of, “Oh my god, this is the most amazing way to be in love a skill that really is sustaining us,” we decided to teach touch to the world through online technology. That was our first initiating spark was what if everyone knew how to touch one another with this level of skill and attention and love? What would be possible?
Chris Maxwell Rose (19:18):
Because in your erotic massage practice, you were not only seeing people saturated with pleasure and walking out, feeling like dos. Sometimes at your erotic massage studio, I would wait outside to pick you up and help you clean up after the night. I would watch a guy walk in and then walk out an hour later, and they walked differently in the world after an erotic massage. It is a game changing experience to have an hour of pampering, full body, erotic touch lavished upon you.
Chris Maxwell Rose (19:51):
But what we also noticed is that touch was coming up in all of these different arenas in our life. Friends who were grieving; we would offer them a massage. Friends who were getting married; we would give them a massage before their wedding, as a ritualistic relaxation into their day. My grandparents died, and I was able to sit in hospice and stroke my grandfather’s hand and have that last beautiful moments of touch with my beloved elders.
Chris Maxwell Rose (20:23):
Touch started showing up in all of our relationships in the way we loved everyone in our lives. The results of touch, I was saying it’s not only that pleasure, not only feeling like a sacred vessel of holiness, not only coming back to hear your humanity, but what we realized was touch was a language of love that carried us through all seasons of our life. From pampering a pregnant woman, and massaging her through birth, to stroking the hand of a dying man in hospice, every season of our lives can be supported and nourished and enhanced by touch. Touch is what connects us to one another as human beings and creates these irrevocable bonds of love between us.
Chris Maxwell Rose (21:19):
I remember every body I have touched. Touch is not exclusive to us humans. Microscopic organisms have sensory capacities and sense organs that help them navigate through the plasma of this world. But us as humans have refined touch to be a key to our humanity, our survival as a species and our love networks, how we connect with one another emotionally throughout life.
Chris Maxwell Rose (21:59):
Touch is one of the most human things we have and yet how many people are trained in touch? Do we ever get encouraged to develop the skills of touching? Do we ever get the opportunities to learn how to receive touch? Touch education is all but missing from our culture. A lot of us, unlike Charlotte, don’t grow up in households where we are massaged by our parents and bathed in rose pedals, my love. So for a lot of us, there’s a touch deficit we have to overcome and then embrace the full capacity of what touch can bring us.
Chris Maxwell Rose (22:40):
Pleasure Mechanics has been working on touch for 14 years now. We have created all of these online courses. And what all of the courses have in common is touch education. From our full body massage course to our foreplay course, to spanking and kink. All of what we teach integrates the education of our language of touch, becoming fluent in this language of touch, how to give touch, how to receive touch, how to communicate our intentions through touch. Touch is how we relax. It’s an incredible way to complete stress cycles. It’s an incredible way to communicate love. And then we begin touching to arouse, to thrill, to delight. That full range of touch is so much what the Pleasure Mechanics are about. We realized we have not yet had these full conversations about touch and all of the ways we can develop our capacities to touch and feel with one another.
Charlotte Mia Rose (23:50):
We wanted to dive into this with you and really explain and share why we are so evangelical about the experience of touch. It is such a language, and once we learn the vocabulary, the phrases, we can gain more mastery and we can share this more deeply with one another, because it can be a learned skill that then opens up an entirely new way of communicating with yourself and another. It just broadens our experience of being human, as well as our experience of pleasure. There’s so much in this and we so want for you to be able to feel more and offer more, and offer more love because that’s really what it ends up being. It is access to another vocabulary, another way of being with one another that can have us both feel more rich and loved.
Chris Maxwell Rose (24:49):
I want to say, we’ve talked a lot about touch as part of our relationship and making love, but also in all of our relationships with our community, but touch is also a solo experience. For everyone who’s either in social distancing alone, or lives more of a solo lifestyle, touch is for you too. There is self-touch and solo massage that Charlotte is going to guide us in, in the coming weeks and months, but also the touch of the world around us. We need to remember this, our touch receptors, our bodies that feel, are in relationship not only with ourselves and our lovers, but with the entire world around us.
Chris Maxwell Rose (25:36):
A lot of the benefits of touch can be felt by lying under a weighted blanket, lying on the grass and feeling the air around you, choosing the sensory inputs and then paying attention to them, unlocks almost all of the benefits of touch. We want to make this series and our offering relevant and accessible to all of us, whether or not you have a partner, whether or not you have a lover, you can still master and become fluent in the language of touch. That practice, we talk so much about practice, meaning we try these things out with a spirit of curiosity, we become open to developing our skills, when we practice touch it not only enhances our relationship with ourself and our capacity to feel our feelings and enjoy ourselves on this earth, but all of our relationships with our family, with our friends and with our lovers will benefit from us waking up to our capacity to touch and to feel.
Chris Maxwell Rose (26:48):
We will be diving in to touch and all of the uses of touch and the skills of giving and receiving touch in coming episodes. We will be gathering all of these resources together at pleasuremechanics.com/touch, so you can find everything easily. That’s pleasuremechanics.com/touch.
Chris Maxwell Rose (27:12):
To finish up this kind of intro episode, we want to invite you into thinking about touch in your life. How have you been touched? Who has touched you with the most love and kindness? Was there a moment where touch changed the moment for you? So meaning whatever you are feeling, a sense of overwhelm or a sense of fear, someone came and offered you compassionate human touch, and it completely changed that experience for you. What are the ways and what are the moments where you have offered touch to other people and what meaning has that touch had? And what kind of touch are you longing for?
Chris Maxwell Rose (28:00):
Can you imagine a world where touch was abundant and plentiful, and you could ask for the kinds of touch you were craving? What would that be? What kind of touch is your body hungry for? Getting in touch with those desires, with those longings is really an important place to start. When we think about what our bodies are wanting and hungry for, for so many of us it’s specific kinds of touch. I just want to lie in a quiet room and be held. I want to be aroused and spanked wildly. I want to be touched like I am being cherished and worshiped. I want to be roughed up and touched like a beast. How do you want to be touched? By who, how? Getting specific about this is a great map to our longings.
Charlotte Mia Rose (29:00):
But also it’s a place that we can offer ourselves some of that. Some people are not going to have access to lovers right now. And can you give yourself some of that touch? It is so powerful to have that kind of agency over our own bodies and to be able to touch ourselves in the way that we crave.
Chris Maxwell Rose (29:19):
When we talk about self-massage in the coming weeks, it’s not just going to be light, glidey self-massage. That is one style. There’s a lot of other ways to stimulate your own body, to feel different things, to release different emotions, and we’re going to be talking all about that.
Chris Maxwell Rose (29:38):
I want to invite you all into a touch exercise. We are not going to do that here. We are inviting you all, and this will be an ongoing invitation into what we are calling the Pleasure Pod. The Pleasure Pod is our new membership community, where we can dive deeper with you. You have direct access to our inbox because frankly, my email inbox has become overwhelmed and I can’t respond to the general inquiries. By stepping into the membership, you unlock direct access to both of us. You’ll unlock an ever-growing resource library, where I am curating all of our best resources from the past 14 years into easy to use digestible guides by subject so you can find what you want, easier and engage.
Chris Maxwell Rose (30:33):
We will be doing members only inquiries, experiments, and pleasure practices. It’s so often on the podcast, we talk to you about a subject, and then we want to offer you an experiential inquiry, we want to give you something to practice and try out. And then we want to hear how those things go for you. The way we develop our communal erotic wisdom together is by practicing, trying things out and then reporting back. The Pleasure Pod will give us a great way to offer you practices, guide you through, and then give you ways of reporting back to us what the results were. What worked, what did you feel, what did you experience, and then compare them with the experiences of our global community.
Chris Maxwell Rose (31:20):
We’re super excited about this. It’s been hatching for a while and it is ready for you. This is replacing our Patrion community, by the way. This is where you want to go to step into our inner circle, engage with us directly, unlock members only resources and participate in these pleasure practices. Yes. So pleasuremechanics.com/pod. Pleasuremechanics.com/pod; that will give you the options for stepping in. W want all of you, all of you to step into this inner circle with us so we can be in more vibrant community dialogue and practice these things and be in conversation together.
Chris Maxwell Rose (32:08):
Come on over to pleasuremechanics.com/pod. Our first pleasure practice that we will be offering, in addition to all of our archived resources curated for you, our first new offering to the Pleasure Pod will be a touch exercise that you don’t need anyone else for. It’s not even your own body yet; we are touching objects and we are activating our sense of touch and our touch vocabulary by practicing touching the world around us. Yes. And this, by the way, is a practice that a lot of somatic therapists use and sex therapists use. You can go to sex therapy and spend hundreds of dollars a session and learn this, or you can learn it in community with us as part of the Pleasure Pod and as just one baby step towards all of the other pleasure practices we will be exploring together.
Chris Maxwell Rose (33:06):
It’s a great place for us to start, I think, as a pleasure community. We are excited to offer that at pleasuremechanics.com/pod. Join the Pleasure Pod, be in conversation with us. We’re super excited about this offering and really encourage you to join.
Charlotte Mia Rose (33:25):
I just love the idea that together we can begin deepening a vocabulary of touch. That there are tangible skills that we can cultivate easily and simply in an un-intimidating way where we are literally training our bodies to be able to gain more information, to feel more so that later when you’re like deep inside your lover’s body with your hands, that you can feel more, you can gain more information through your hands, through what you’re feeling. The way that this kind of transforms forward into your sex life is really delicious. We are just learning phrases, we’re learning a language here together so we can pleasure each other more.
Chris Maxwell Rose (34:11):
Yeah, and this practice is one of the key things that takes hands from being working hands that poke buttons and push your mouse all day long, to feeling hands, touching hands, lover’s hands. It is a foundational practice. We teach all of the people we work with and it’s where we wanted to start the Pleasure Pod practices together.
Chris Maxwell Rose (34:36):
pleasuremechanics.com/pod, join us. pleasuremechanics.com/touch to find this and all other resources about touch. That’s where you’ll also find links to our touch courses that we will continue to invite you into. But if you are like, “Hell yes, I want to learn touch, how do I get started,” get started with our online courses in erotic touch mastery. You’ll find links to those at a beautiful discount, because we’re feeling generous, at pleasuremechanics.com/touch.
Chris Maxwell Rose (35:10):
I am feeling really excited about this series because we have talked about so many. We have 370 some podcast episodes. We’ve explored so many realms of sexuality together, and this is again a homecoming. Back to the foundation, back to what started it all for Charlotte and I was a love of touch and using touch to express love. This is where it began, and this is where we are going to continue from at this point in mid 2020. As so much as changing around us, let’s come home to the foundational root of pleasure in the human body. The key to pleasure, connection and joy; touch.
Chris Maxwell Rose (36:00):
Yes, we love you. If we could reach through these mikes and give you all an hour long massage, there would be nothing that would delight us more. Maybe someday we will gather in a sweaty room that smells of coconut oil and be able to pamper you all. But in the meantime, we are going to transform your ability to touch and feel and express love through touch one stroke at a time.
Chris Maxwell Rose (36:32):
Charlotte Mia Rose (36:33):
Chris Maxwell Rose (36:34):
We are the Pleasure Mechanics …
Charlotte Mia Rose (36:35):
Wishing you a lifetime of pleasure
Chris Maxwell Rose (36:41):
… and so much good touch. Cheers.