Here's why I created these cards:
As a certified sex therapist, I understand how challenging it can be for couples to navigate the complex landscape of intimacy. My goal is to help people find their desire for intimacy and to explore what they actually want. Originally developed to facilitate an exercise in my Intimacy With Ease™ program, our Touchy Feely™ Cards not only take the pressure off but also add a little bit of fun and giggles along the way!
Touchy Feely™ Cards are specifically designed to help couples deepen their connection through the exploration of touch and sensation. The best part is that couples get to tailor their experience to fit their unique desires and needs, allowing you to explore intimacy at your own pace and decide for yourselves the types of touch and sensation you most enjoy. Rather than tell you what to do or suggest activities that may or may not interest you, the deck is designed to allow you to explore what you actually like.
Our cards are designed to inspire and encourage creative expression of physical touch and sensation. Each card features a different touch or sensation prompt, making it a playful and exciting way to try new things. With the flexibility to mix and match cards, you can build a customized experience that is special and unique to your relationship, your preferences, and your body. We have several suggested ways to play with the cards, and the deck is flexible enough for you to create your own versions. Feel free to let us know what you come up with!
Touchy Feely Directions
Originally developed to facilitate one of the exercises in our Intimacy with Ease™ online course, our Touchy Feely™ Cards have been specifically designed to help couples deepen their connection through the exploration of touch and sensation. The best part is that couples get to tailor their experience to fit their unique desires and needs, allowing you to explore intimacy at your own pace and decide for yourselves the types of touch and sensation you most enjoy. Rather than telling you what to do, our deck allows you to choose and to explore what you actually like.
We have several suggested ways to play with the cards described below (check our website for more ideas), and the deck is flexible enough for you to create your own versions. Feel free to let us know what you come up with!
The #1 Rule
My goal for people using these cards is to explore touch and intimacy in a way that opens new doors but doesn’t force you through them. Do not do things that you really don’t want to do. If it’s going to be physically painful or it’s going to be traumatic, upsetting, or reinforce negative patterns of participating out of a sense of obligation, you shouldn’t do it. If you are okay playing beyond your comfort zone (which can be an area of growth), make sure you are really choosing that. Keep in mind there is nothing wrong with what either of you want (or don’t want). You should both celebrate the word “no,” if it comes up. Being able to say “no” is what allows you to really mean it when you say “yes.”
Customize Your Deck
Before you begin, you should make the deck fit you and your partner.
There are three types of cards in your deck:
- (orange) body part cards
- (yellow) touch/be touched cards
- (green) props/extras.
You’ll notice that the (yellow) touch/be touched cards have two options – one that you would give and one that you would receive.
Using the cards included in the deck, you can choose to keep, set aside, or throw away any of the cards, depending on your situation. Go through the deck and:
- Keep cards that are relevant to you and your partner’s bodies, interests, and relationship.
- Set aside cards you don’t want to use now (For instance, remove cards that refer to genitals if you wish to focus on sensual touch rather than sexual).
- Remove cards that don’t/won’t apply to you and your partner.
Using the blank cards that are included and a permanent marker, create any additional cards you want or need.
- Do you use different words for body parts than I have included? Go ahead and create a card that uses your own particular terms.
- Do you enjoy different forms of touch than you find here? Write a new card to include that.
- Do you have other props, objects, or modifiers that you want to include on your sexual menu? You can add that, too.
There are wild cards in the deck, as well, that allow you to come up with whatever you want in the moment during play.
Once you’re done, your deck should reflect only the options that you and your partner might enjoy.
Permission Touch: May I/Will You?
The game is structured around “permission touch,” meaning that you are seeking to combine cards into activities that you want and that your partner is actively choosing to engage in with you. Requests are typically made by combining a body part card with a touch/be touched card, perhaps adding a props/extras card.
With each request, you are asking “I would like you to (touch) your (body part)” or “I would like my (body part) (touched).”
Each time you make a request, you have the opportunity to talk about it. You can get more specific about exactly what you want, what is appealing about it, or when you would or wouldn’t want to do it. Your partner has a chance to respond with their own thoughts, and ultimately, they decide whether they want to accept your request or not. (See above: “no” is a good thing.)
Take turns making these requests of each other. You can either DO each one as it is accepted, or accumulate 2-3 accepted requests and then pick your favorite.
Different Ways to Choose Cards:
The open-faced spread:
Make one spread of cards, face up, that you will both use. Feel free to remove cards from the spread that you don’t want and add more until you have a spread you want to play with. I recommend nine body part cards, nine touch/be touched cards, and at least four props/extras cards, but you can adjust the number as you wish and as your playing surface allows.
Hand of Cards:
Keep drawing an assortment of different cards (some of each type) until you have at least 8-10 that you like in your hand. Create your requests from your hand, drawing more cards to replace the ones you’ve used. Your partner makes requests from the cards in their hand.
As above, you each draw a hand of cards that you like. One of you plays one body part card face up on the table. The other plays a touch/be touched card to go with it from their own hand and indicates if they want to give that action or receive it. (Either of you can add a props/extra card, if you wish.)
One Random Card:
Similar to the Hand of Cards, you both draw cards (some of each type) until you have at least 8-10 that you like in your hand. Draw one card from your partner’s hand. (If it’s something you don’t want or can’t imagine, discard it and draw another.) Once you have a card you like, create a request that uses that prompt.
Let Fate Decide:
While the cards are all face down, choose one of each type at random. If you are both willing, decide who is doing what and enact that combination of cards.
Paint a Scene:
Go through the cards, as many as needed, and pull out the ones you like to create a sexual scenario or story you’d enjoy. You will likely have to flesh out the story using the cards as the skeleton or outline for what you would like.
Share this story with your partner. Talk about why this is appealing to you and what you like about it. Get your partner’s response about how interested or open they would be in enacting this scene.
Alternatively, create the story together. Take turns adding a card to the story. You can discuss the choices, or just make sure that the story is unfolding in a way that appeals to each of you.
If you are both on board, go ahead and do it! Or file it away for another day and bring it out as a surprise.
Like the “Paint a Scene” mode, you use the cards to create a story or scene, but this time it isn’t limited to things you’d actually want to do in real life. This is a scene that you’d find erotic to imagine.
Our website has more information about the Touchy Cards™ that are available and in development, as well as information about the Intimacy With Ease™ online course. We’d love to hear what you think about the deck and any other ways you played with them! Visit us at www.intimacywithease.com