I don’t remember when it started, but it’s become our thing. Carrie and I have a nightly routine. Occasionally, when one of us has had a particularly hard day, the other will offer to do it without any reciprocation. Once in a while, one of us will have too much to drink or be far too tired, and we don’t do it at all. But most of the time, we have the same nightly routine.
Mostly naked except for our underwear, we lie next to each other. I lie on my stomach, and Carrie lies on her side facing me. Starting at my shoulders and my neck, she drags her fingernails gently but firmly across. Slowly, methodically, she passes back and forth down my skin. Her nails remove dead skin that still clings, still itches, until that glorious moment her nails make contact and make the itch go away. Her wrist and arm are skin-to-skin with my back as we lie close together. I moan softly, if only to keep myself awake until it’s her turn.
Eventually, she reaches my tailbone just above my butt crack. This is my favorite sensation. She reaches under the band of my underwear, and scratches where the band has held fast to my skin all day. It’s sweet relief.
Our nightly routine has nothing to do with sex. It has everything to do with affection and touch. It’s pleasure. It’s comfort. It’s home. We call this ritual “Back Scritchies.”
It’s a moment to just feel, to just have pleasure wash over. It’s so relaxing. I can let the day go. My mind stops racing. My thoughts become more comfortable. Occasionally, she’ll massage my scalp, too. I relish the sensation.
When she’s done, we turn over and it’s her turn. I drag my fingernails in circles to cover as much surface area as possible. Sometimes, she falls asleep long before I’m finished. When I reach her hips, I slide her underwear down off her butt and slowly scratch vertically. She sits so much during the day. Sometimes I reach down and drag my nails across the back of her thighs, which I know she loves. I’m pleasuring her in the most relaxing and comfortable way.
Our nightly routine happens about as often as some people think they should be having sex. It might seem mundane, but it’s a way we can be intimate without the physical effort of sex, something that can be a bit much for both of us. We’re both exhausted at the end of the day, and need to reconnect. But even on nights when we do have sex, we still give each other Back Scritchies. There’s far more intimacy in these tender moments than I’ve ever experienced.
Sometimes I wonder how long we’ll have this. Do we have another 10, 20, 50 years? Could tomorrow take this away from us? All we have is now. Right now, we have each other. Our nightly routine is a chance to communicate all that we mean to each other, simply, and quietly. It’s our favorite part of the day.
When I’m done, I wrap my arm around her, snuggling in skin-to-skin bliss as we drift off to sleep.