Keep in Touch Exercise Three: Caress (Caress Me Down)
Exercise 3: Caress (Caress Me Down)
Trace the inside of your forearm with your index and pointer fingers from your opposite hand. Go slow.
Repeat that same motion on the side of your neck, around your collar bone, down the side of your ribs, across your hip bones. Where do you feel these sensations? In your fingertips? Along your body? Did you give yourself a shiver? What images were conjured in your mind?
Run your whole hand down the side of your arm.
How does the feeling change with so many points of contact moving over the surface of your skin? What about the images in your mind?
Slowly move your fingertips across any part of your body.
Pay special attention to the receptors in your fingertips. What is the texture of the skin below them? What do you notice about the shape of your body, the curves? Is it firm or soft beneath the skin? Can you feel the edges of your skeleton?
Change locations on your body
Change your pacing. Go fast. Go painfully slow. Repeat the same location fifteen times. How has your skin started to react to the touch? Has it reddened, changed texture, temperature? What about the images in your mind? Where have they wondered?
Take a few moments everyday to caress a part of your body.
Pay attention to the active and passive touch receptors.
How often do we find ourselves caressing our own bodies for comfort, tracing the edges of where we and the outside world meet? It’s that drawn out touch, the languid motion along the skin that can put our receptors on high alert possibly causing goosebumps to appear in the location being touched or elsewhere on the body. A caress is often thought of as an intimate act shared between lovers. A soft movement to convey affection and contact. We live in a society that has very prescribed notions on what are acceptable forms of touch between bodies depending on their interpersonal relationships. If we are so focused on policing our actions, how are we to be fully present in the action itself?