Let me just be crystal clear from the start: I love touching my wife, Lorelei, in all the ways that please her and I get tingly when she touches me. Whether she’s seductively running a finger up my inner thigh, planting the tiniest of kisses on my neck, or sucking just about anywhere north or south of the border, the energy coursing through my body when our bodies coalesce could power a small provincial village.
And yet, what truly keeps the fires of our red-hot romance burning all day and night are not necessarily the many ways we connect through physical touch but rather, these ways in which my wife and I turn each other on without kissing, licking, or sucking:
We do chores together.
We are surrounded by stainless steel washers and commercial grade dryers, all suds and spins, and by a menagerie of plants (because our adorable neighborhood laundromat is, curiously, also a plant store) and we’re standing there side by side. I’m making tight squares out of her cherry red and deep purple lace panties, she’s fumbling to fold my sleep shirts exactly the way I like (yes, I have a set of tees I only wear to bed and yes, I have a specific way of folding them). We’re masked and not speaking, a pop song is playing, and Lorelei is swaying ever so slightly to the beat. We are, right then and there, simply living a life, bathing in the thoroughly mundane. But because we are doing together, I derive intense pleasure from it all. I wouldn’t go as far to say that this is my kink but it is—in large part because I spent decades without this kind of domestic partnership—very sexy to me. While married before, I was all but alone in these chores and domestic responsibilities. Now, I have my person beside me through it all and it’s a massive turn on!
Maybe I do get a bit too giddy about having the laundry done and put away neatly, but nothing thrills me quite like a clean kitchen. As a child, the only career I ever wanted was to be chef, and still to this day, I’m at my most creative and energized standing over gurgling pots and sizzling pans, prepping in a mise en place way, playing the role of short order cook and having everyone’s dishes come out at the same time, and then returning the kitchen to its pristinely clean glory. Are you sensing a theme here? No, not the theme of me being a tad unusual! In my previous marriage, I shouldered the burden in the laundry room, the kitchen, back yard and pretty much everywhere physical work was required on the regular. With Lorelei, she’s in the weeds with me, she’s drying while I hand wash the dishes, she’s slotting the spoons back into that ceramic holder I bought in the south of France many years ago and putting plates back in the cabinet and utensils into the drawer. She’s not leaving me on that island to do it all by myself. It’s such a simple act but one that holds immense significance for me. Her presence during these everyday tasks make me feel loved and man, feeling loved is sexy AF, right? No touching needed.
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We read to each other.
Whether it’s my own writing, pieces of prose or poems I’m considering for future issues of my literary magazine Stanchion, short stories by my writing hero Peter Orner, or superb novels like The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, there’s not a single touchless activity my wife and I do together that’s sexier or more intimate that reading aloud to each other in bed.
As books were and will always be Lorelei’s life (she has dedicated over half her life to the vocation of being a bookseller and bookstore manager), and with me being a writer who should definitely be reading more, our first habit formed as a couple was to unwind at the end of most days by reading to each other for 20 or 30 minutes. She tells me that watching my lips form the words of each story and book has become her biggest turn on in our relationship. While this activity doesn’t feature any touching, per se, it’s not uncommon for a few chapters read aloud to morph into a night of passion with lots of touching.
We masturbate in front of each other.
The first time I came without touching my wife or her touching me we were on the phone as I drove from the South coast of England back to southwest London. I was drenched from tip to toe, yet still eager to remove any part of myself from my plastered-on jeans so we could take advantage of the time difference. I kept my eyes peeled to the mostly empty motorway and we got each other off with only words and intonation and sexy promises for my return home.
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Now that we see each other 24 hours a day, phone sex is out—and yet we still long for moments of intimacy and climax without laying a finger on each other. So, we masturbate in close proximity to each other. We lock eyes and often the only sound is that of skin and heavy breathing as we get ourselves off in each other’s presence. I come even faster watching her sink fingers into her body, lick herself clean, and rub her clit. She purrs, looking up at me, eager for my come, as I stand over her. Not only is this incredibly sexy, it’s also educational. We’ve done it all, but still have only been a couple for less than three years. We are learning every day about where and when and how to touch, please and bring each other to the most intense climax possible. As I jerk myself off, I am watching her hands and fingers to see exactly where they are going, how fast, and for how long. Later, when we are very much in physical contact, I use this knowledge to better pleasure the love of my life. And there’s not much sexier in the world than that.