Many couples see affection and sex as two entirely different entities. Affection involves kissing, hugging, and handholding, whereas sex involves nudity and intercourse. However, the two aspects of a relationship do not have to be so dichotomous. Nondemand pleasuring refers to the gap between affection and sex. It introduces an entirely different way of conceptualizing and experiencing affection, sensuality, and sexuality. This idea presents pleasuring on a continuum, ranging from handholding to intercourse and everything in between. There are many ways to use nondemand pleasuring with your partner to strengthen your bond. Below are some examples.
Nondemand pleasuring as a bridge to sexual intercourse
Nondemand pleasuring is an integral component of sexual intimacy. Sensuality best serves as a bridge to intercourse when it is viewed as a process between the couple. There should not be hidden agendas or plans about what will happen during the pleasuring. It is not means to an end. Instead, it is a process in which you explore each other by touching. However, many times this type of pleasuring can flame desire and lead to sexual intercourse.
Nondemand pleasuring during stressful times
Everyone goes through stressful periods. And there is a proven connection between the mind and the body in experiencing stress. Your spouse can provide a great deal of support during these times by listening to you and helping you feel more relaxed. Along with communication, your spouse can help you relieve stress through nondemand pleasuring. Sensual experiences, such as backrubs, hugging, and holding one another can help release tension and aid in recovery from stressful experiences.
Male-female differences in nondemand pleasuring
In general, men learn that sensual touch is always sexual and goal-oriented. In contrast, women value affectionate touch and, at times, prefer it to sexual activity. As a couple, it is important for you and your partner to be on the same page regarding the meaning of pleasurable touching. If you believe it is means to a sexual end because you would like more sex in the marriage, communicate this. There are ways to initiate more sexual intercourse while maintaining nondemand pleasuring as a separate entity. If you believe it is a demonstration of your love for each other because you would like a deeper connection, communicate this, as well. Nondemand pleasuring should take the pressure of having sex off you both and leave you present in the meaningful and sensual moment with each other.
(Source: Couple Sexual Awareness by Barry and Emily McCarthy)