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You can find massage oils, personal massagers, and other products for positive touch at Please make sure to use promo code DOE when you check out for 50% off an eligible item and free shipping to the US or Canada.

A special thanks to Sheri Todd for the amazing touch massage I received as part of this episode. To learn more about her massage therapy practice please visit and on Facebook at:

Here are some of the research studies I referenced in this episode.
I hope they’re useful in learning more and staying curious:

Dr. Doe's contact info:
(t-shirts, sweatshirts, posters, clits, masturbating monsters coloring books)

Videographer's social media:
I'm Lindsey Doe. This is Sheri Todd, a licensed massage therapist in Missoula, Montana. I'm going to get a massage today sponsored by Adam & Eve dot com, who sent us these amazing massage oils. This one is a candle that turns into massage oil as it heats up. They smell so good! While Sherri gives me a massage with both her hands and these products, I'm going to explain why human touch is crucial us, sexually and otherwise.

Sheri: I'm going to step out of the room. You can undress to your level of comfort, and we'll start face down underneath the sheets.


Lindsey: All set! Let's talk about the power of touch, starting with just after birth. It's cold and foreign, probably really scary, people passing you around and poking you with needles, but if you're held and hugged during these early experiences, research shows you'll have a lower heart rate and cry 82% less than infants left in their cribs. Touch helps us cope. It also helps us grow.

According to researcher Tiffany Field, infants born prematurely who were given fifteen minutes of touch therapy three times a day gained 47% more weight than preemies who didn't get this touch. And in another study of kangaroo care, where the infants are held on the bare chests of their parents, preemies were twice as likely to survive than those who were only incubated.

Touch early on has profound effects on us as babies and throughout our lives. The kangaroo care research studied these infants into adulthood and found that those who were held were less aggressive, less impulsive, and less hyperactive. And get this: they made twice as much in hourly wages than those who weren't held as babies.

Touching is also proven to reduce stress, boost the immune system, decrease pain, relieve cramps, reduce swelling and inflammation, break down scar tissue, improve liver function, increase blood flow, and enhance muscle tone. This makes a great case for touching each other, but there are some social and legal restrictions.

First, socially or culturally, touch really depends on where you are and who you're with. There are certain places on the body that are acceptable to touch, others that aren't. And they vary, depending on gender, sexual orientation, and relationship. Try it for yourself. Ask two people to take turns touching you on various parts of your body. Do you feel the same about both of them touching your stomach, your lips, your chest, the bottoms of your feet? My guess is no, because of the cultural nuances like those illustrated here.

The shading shows cultural norms for touch in families. Touch here, don't touch here. Keep in mind this isn't a comprehensive or universal model. We all have our own touch needs and boundaries. For example, some students might perform better in school if their teachers give them a small pat on the back. Some are three times more likely to participate in class discussions with a pat. But other students might be triggered by the touch and lose concentration.

Some people might like high fives and handshakes; others not so much because of germs. Sheri rubbing my upper thighs would not be ok in some scenarios, but here, I've given her permission and I'm more than ok with it. The best way to know what to do or how to touch someone is by asking.

Sheri: How do you feel?

Lindsey: Amazing.

Sheri: Is there anywhere else you'd like me to work on?

Lindsey: My head please. It feels so much better when the person touching me knows what I want.

[ethereal music]

Sheri: Ok, Lindsey. That's the end of your session. I will let you get dressed and meet you out here in the hallway.

Lindsey: "Touch is central to human social life. It is the most developed sensory modality at birth, and it contributes to cognitive, brain, and socioemotional development throughout infancy and childhood."

We and primate relatives touch to flirt, soothe, resolve conflict, assert power, show intimacy and cooperation, groom each other, and express our emotions. We also touch to feel good, and I feel amazing.

A special thanks to Sheri for touching me so nicely. If you'd like to learn more about her practice and more about massage therapy, I've included links in the description. Stay curious and be sure to use promo code DOE when you go to for your own touching tools. You get 50% off any eligible item, plus free shipping in the US or Canada.