There’s a new song on the radio that I am digging, Slow Hands by Niall Horan.
I just wanna take my time/
We could do this, baby, all night, yeah/
‘Cause I want you bad/
Yeah, I want you, baby/
Slow, slow hands/
Like sweat dripping outta my dirty laundry/
No, no chance/
That I’m leaving here without you, baby/
I, I know/
Yeah, I already know that there ain’t no stopping/
Your plans and those slow hands/
Not to get too critical, but I’m not sure about that sweat metaphor. I get the slow part, but sweat dripping from dirty laundry is not what I’m thinking of when I’m looking for metaphors about ‘slow hands.’ However, if a dude is eating right and exercising, his sweat is definitely a turn on, especially if it’s from the exertion of waiting for my slow hands to work their magic.
I also dig the song because it’s very clear the woman is in charge and he’s ready to roll with whatever she’s got planned. Amen, my sisters. [Tip to the dudes: always make your lady come first. Read this book. Do what it says. And if you don’t know if she’s come, ask her. And if she doesn’t know, find someone to help you figure it out. Female satisfaction leads to male satisfaction, youknowhatI’msayin’?]
Anyway…I dig this song because it speaks to something that I’ve learned after 20+ years of sex: the slower the better. In any given encounter (sexual, sensual, intellectual, etc) each move is a step towards the goal (sex, orgasm, connection, etc.) and if you can enjoy each step, rather than racing through it, it’s so much more delicious.
I will also say that one thing I think is different about my generation (or maybe it’s just my age) is that I don’t assume flirting will lead to fucking (a greater theory is outlined in this post). There are 200 steps between flirting and fucking (maybe 300-400 if you do it right), and no one step guarantees that the next step will happen. Each step- each touch, each eye contact, each sentence- is it’s own stopping point, it’s own playground. And the more you see it this way, the slower it goes- but it makes each step that much more exciting.
I made the mistake recently of not clearly communicating what I was looking for in a connection and I think my acquaintance jumped to the conclusion that ‘connect’ meant ‘fuck.’ Alas, no. I’m terrible at hiding my meaning, so if I ever ask for a particular type of connection that’s all I’m asking for. If I want an intellectual connection, that’s what I’ll ask for. If I want a sexual one, that’s what I’ll ask for (although, the chances of that are 0.000001%; my marriage is really fantastic). And if I want slow hands, I’ll ask for that, too.
One of the things the Slow Hands song reminded me of was the love scene from ‘Top Gun.’ I re-watched it a few weeks ago for the first time in 25+ years (??) and the one thing I was struck by is that, in the scene when they finally get down to it, and Kelly McGillis is standing there in a white-collared shirt, and Tom Cruise is in his jeans…you realize either this is the second go, after the quick, dirty, ‘ohmygod, I want you’ round or, they have been going rather slowly and this is all the further they’ve gotten in a couple of hours. They are going so slowly because they want to enjoy it all. And, ohmygod, the thought of going that slowly that just sets my mind|body|spirit on fire.
Can you imagine spending an hour undressing your partner?
Can you imagine going so slow it’s painful? (Ah, the pleasure of pain.)
Can you imagine feeling every moment- every button opening, every finger running across hot skin?
Can you imagine being strong enough to not rush?
Can you imagine the heavy breath of desire coming from your partner as they wait?
Yes. That slow.
Go that slow.
The benefits of going slowly aren’t just about turn on. They are about connecting more intimately- don’t just kiss me- touch and smell and lick my lips. Going slowly is about mindfulness- notice my pleasure by noticing my breath. And noticing yours. Going slowly is about sensuality and enjoying all your senses in any given encounter (sexual or otherwise). This isn’t a list of What Turns Me On, what turns me on is the organic, curious exploration of every little thing. The benefit of going slowly is to squeeze as much pleasure out of each moment, each touch, each motion, so that you are completely full of, and completely entranced by, the experience of your partner.
Going slowly is also about the joy of tension. I am not great at holding tension, except in my imagination. In my imagination, the best, slowest kiss goes like this:
He gently backs me up against a wall or a car so my back is supported*. He steps forward and presses his hips into mine, just enough pressure to let me know he’s there. We connect from hips to chest like a zipper being zipped up, very slowly. His hands are holding my neck, pressing at my waist, running along my sides- everywhere. Look me in the eyes, lover. Look at my eyes, my lips, listen to me breathe. When I start to moan from desire, that’s the moment to lean in closer and put more pressure on my hips. Smell the nape of my neck. Keep waiting. And when I can’t help myself and I put my hands into the waist of your pants and pull up your shirt from the back just so I can feel your skin, then get ready to kiss me. Keep looking in my eyes- watch the smoke of lust darken them- and hold this moment. Because this moment is where we cross the line and never go back. Hold the tension as long as you can. And then, kiss me.
[This should take approximately as long as ‘Ball and Biscuit’ by The White Stripes. Like, really, slow the fuck down.]
See? Awesome, right?
(I even turned myself on with that one.)
But in real life, I have had to learn to slow down. Eighty-percent of the time I’d basically just pull my partner down and kiss them**. I have no patience, sometimes. It has taken me twenty years to learn that slower is most often better. Twenty years of practice to really understand it and use it to my advantage. Twenty years to also understand that ‘slow hands’ is a tool you can use in a lot of places to enjoy life more.
So, try slow hands and see what it does for you. It’s great for sex, but it also applies to lots of places in life. Slow hands in the shower. Slow hands when you’re cooking. Slow hands when you’re dressing. Slow hands when you make the bed. Slow hands when you do chores. The mindfulness, the noticing, the enjoyment. Take it all in and let it nourish your body, mind, and spirit, because ‘Slow Hands’ and sensuality are one of life’s greatest gifts.
*Because no one likes to fall over when they are being well-kissed.
** I am short; everyone has to bend over to kiss me.