Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday Frolics: The Sense of Touch

Hello from the sick bed. I know I'm not the only one who hates headcolds, but I didn't want you to miss out on Brent's and Alix's contributions to this week's Friday Froclics.

Today they're visiting the Touch sense. Yes, Brent, you had me blushing.

Let's go heat Friday up.

For romance and erotic fiction, touch is essential. The description of a soft caress should make the reader feel the brush of the hand, fingers making contact with skin, raising goosebumps in their wake. The characters can't have any physical interaction without a description of touch. I think of all the senses for this genre, touch is even more critical than sound or sight.

A sensual massage?  Warmth radiates up through the soft, flannel sheet covering the padded massage table. The masseur rubs his hands together, warming the oil as it drizzles from his fingers onto the bare skin of your back. As the massage begins, you close your eyes, relaxation settling through your entire body as the first slow, gliding strokes of his hands traverse from legs to shoulders.

Steadily, the pressure increases as he finds all the knots and tensions clenching through your muscles. The tightness releases with each stroke or probing dig of his fingers and thumb. As he steps around the table, the warmth of his presence more than the sound of his movements help you track where he is until an explosion of pleasure rocks your body. His thorough strokes move you to a new level of relaxation as he climbs onto the table. Continuing his caresses, he slides his chest along your back, bringing more warmth and pleasure. When did his shirt come off? He lays the full weight of his muscular body against you, not too heavy, but enough to engender a sense of security and tender care as he holds you in his arms for a moment.

As the warmth of the room presses against your skin while he withdraws, soft lips kissing along the trail of your spine and leaving you settled and relaxed, he asks you in a gentle voice: "Are you ready to turn over?"

I like to use the sense of touch not just in the bedroom scenes, but everywhere. Anywhere. Clothing, grass, sand, walls, food…you know it, I’m using it. Everything has texture and to “show” the story you are telling, the writer needs to “show” that part of every day as well.

Anyone can type, “His hands were rough.”

Now…my brain has gone haywire with that simple line. It’s asking all sorts of questions. Rough like sandpaper? Rough like a scratch pad? Rough like brand new jeans? Which “rough” do I mean? (yeah, I don’t even know which one I meant, lol) Looking at it, I’m going with, “His hands were like fine grain sandpaper against her skin. Sending bolts of lightning through her blood stream.” Isn’t that one better, even if a little? It’s “showing” instead of “telling.”

As writers of and in genre the senses are extremely important. In romance (erotic/a) touch is (to me) the most important. It’s EVERYTHING. After a while, typing/reading “soft skin” or “rough skin” gets tiring and boring. Plus, annoying. You want to enliven the senses of your readers. What better way to do that then to use touch?

There is also the reason that touch is one of the most important senses we have and highly unlikely to lose, unless paralyzed. It enhances emotions and extenuates reality. Touch keeps us locked in life. The feel of our loved ones cheek. A newborn reaching out for the first time and gripping their parents finger with their hand. As is the raspy tongue of our pets, or their fur/hair/feathers. Memories of friends and family, loved ones and events are all in touch. A simple flannel shirt brings forth memories of a fall weekend on your grandparents’ farm. Or the grains of sand are a reminder of the summer spent on the beach. The sense of touch touches us deep inside. Brings out the best in us. Calls to us.

For me, whether you are looking at reality or writing, touch is one of those senses that (as a writer) that are very important. Anyone can say skin is rough, but to be able to “show” the reader that the skin is rough is special. Showing a story, a writer has to use ALL of the senses to paint the picture they’re trying to convey. Everyone can “tell” a story.

Thank you for dropping over, we appreciate it. Have a fun weekend and hope to you see next week.
Remember, if you have a question or anything you want us to muse about just drop me a line at
Keep Frolicking

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