Touch: Our Most Efficient Regulator

We are facing a collective traumatic chronic stressor that forces upon us much uncertainty and unfortunately, fear and stress. This week’s episode of Sex Marks the Spot I’ll chat about how we can cope with the Uncertainty of COVID by leaning in to relationships with ourselves and others. I’ll chat about concrete strategies to build resilience within yourself to increase your window of tolerance and how to support others while maintaining healthy boundaries.

For more evidence-based tips, advice about getting Real about Sex & Relationships, I’ve got loads of info on or Subscribe to my: YouTube Channel Sex Marks the Spot podcast IG @Dr.Catalina_ Cheers! Stay healthy & Safe! Dr. Catalina

About This Episode

Touch from others and from yourself is the most efficient way for you to regulate your arousal, calm your body. Touch is a non-verbal communication of support, recognition and intimacy. Holding someone’s hand has been shown to immediate reduce arousal, decrease cortisol levels, relax muscle tension and improve feelings of intimacy in both the receiver and the giver.

This week’s episode of Sex Marks the Spot, I’ll explore touch from others and self-pleasure to provide concrete strategies of how you can better connect with yourself and others, while also exploring your sexuality. 


For more evidence-based tips, advice about getting Real about Sex & Relationships, I’ve got loads of info on or Subscribe to my: YouTube Channel Sex Marks the Spot podcast IG @Dr.Catalina_ Cheers! Stay healthy & Safe! Dr. Catalina

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Episode Transcript

Let’s Talk About Touch our most efficient regulator.

Hi, I’m Doctor Catalina and this week’s episode of sex marks

the spot.

I want to talk to you guys more about touch and the what

the power of touch does to our body both touch from others

as well as ourselves and how it serves to Actually regulate

our bodies, but then also how we can expand our energy from

touch. So first one of the things that we have learned is

that as humans as mammals touch serves as a way to protect

sends signals of safety.

So when we’re thinking about stress and distress and our

bodies being tensed, all of that is because our body is trying

to protect itself.

Okay, so think about what happens to our bodies when we are

actually stressed.

Okay, your heart rate tends to increase your muscles tense

everything. Nice to get smaller.

Okay, that’s your body’s natural defenses.

Its natural protection.

so what it’s looking for again remember in one of my earlier

videos about polyvagal Theory I talked about the three systems

of our body that actually is its automatic ways of protecting

itself the first system as mammals and as social beings our

body wants to socially engage so touch is a form of Social

engagement when we receive touch from others that actually

is an opportunity for our nervous systems to get regulated

by others.

We’ve shown different studies in humans as well.

As other animals have shown that being purely by being touched

by another person heart rate decreases cortisol levels decrease

oxytocin increases again.

Oxytocin is the chemical Uncle’s in your body that actually

make you feel secure and loved and connected.

All of those things happen in purely by touch and when you

think about relationships, the one thing we know is that

this touch happens within a context and this is the thing

that actually where humans tend to really kind of Miss up

a lot of our automatic built makeup wear because humans have

the ability to actually stay in dangerous situations.

Way shins what our bodies begin to do is actually get confused

and it tends to think all touch if there’s any type of trauma

or episode where touch no longer felt safe particularly in

the context of any type of physical or sexual abuse our brain

immediately begins to learn touchpad and it’s going to again

withdrawal. all So one of the things that we want to do when

we’re thinking about touch is begin to teach our bodies that

touch is safe and positive.


So one of the things that I recommend couples to begin to

do is actually begin to just touch each other’s hands Studies

have shown that purely by couples who hold hands or when

a Is one person of the partner of the dyad is actually expressing

some distress or sadness or fear purely by a partner touching

their hand.

Actually, we know that that actually immediately Decreases

their arousal they immediately will feel a bit more safe.

And we know that that can actually be conditioned over time.

So that individuals become more and more comfortable with

touch and that’s where couples can we can lean in on the

relationship to actually support our partners by using touch.

And again, this is not just sexual Touch This is Purely grabbing

someone’s hand or putting your hand on their shoulder.

Okay, again, non-sexual touch is another way of responding

and showing that responsiveness holding space for that person

to tell them that you feel and hear their emotions that Fosters

a sense of safety and in safety we can then feel connected

to ourselves and connected to others moreover.

Over our bodies don’t have to keep on chugging chugging chugging

they can actually sit down calm and use that conserve that

energy to fight other battles rather than feeling like your

body has to protect itself constantly.


So when we think about touch we also know that that touch

certainly actually while regulating our body can come from

others, but also ourselves So one of the things that I tell

clients when they’re feeling aroused or stressed is to put

your hand on your heart and immediately by placing your hand

on your heart protect.

Preferably skin-to-skin you immediately are feeling your

heart rate.

You’re noticing your chest expanding and you can apply some

pressure so that you can actually begin to self-soothe cell.

Cuddle, we know that that is also a very efficient way to

regulate our nervous systems and to make our body feel safe.

So both touch from a partner and to yourself.

Those are both ways to efficiently regulate your body reduce

your arousal and make your body feel safe.

Now, let’s bring this more into The bedroom where May is

masturbation month and so I want us to talk about how we

can lean in on touch in how we before in the stages before

we get to intercourse with our partners, but then absolutely

in our self pleasure.

Beginning by Gentle Touch and using touch actually as almost

a body scan to check in with your partner so that they your

by touching them in different places throughout their body.

What you’re doing is actually queuing their focus so that

they can begin to connect and appraise assess where in their

body they’re feeling any pressure and attention.

They can release that pressure what you’re also doing is

When your own assessment as far as what feels good, what

does it where’s their body at you’re using touch as a as

an assessment and a means of connecting and also laying the

framework to gradually get their body more and more relaxed

when we’re thinking about sexual our sexuality and harnessing

our Sexual Energy.

One of the things that really needs is Is is relaxation and

it’s the sense of safety.

So by gradually using touch again doesn’t even have to be

massaged. But literally just touching gently over the skin

but starting being very mindful of how you’re doing it starting

from the head going through your arms going through different

body parts again doing somewhat of a body scan doing that

with your partner absolutely can prepare the stage so that

you can gradually Introduce that sexual connection now particularly

during masturbation months in yourself pleasure.

You can absolutely do the same thing when we think of self-pleasure

we often just get in there and go now remember you can take

to start off with a body skin start touching yourself gently

self. Soothe your body first using touch to connect with

yourself and then Then explore your sexuality express it

harness that energy and then what you see is immunity improves

cortisol levels decrease muscle tensions decrease overall

well-being improves.

So I hope that you guys will try some of these self touch

and touching your partner exercises to connect and be with

yourselves. So if you haven’t already subscribe to my YouTube

or follow me on Instagram and feel free to reach out with

any questions, haven’t you see week guys, stay safe and healthy.



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