Learning how to touch is a vital skill for a doctor. It’s one of the ways you get information. It wasn’t until much later that I realized that this skill is an asset in sex and lovemaking. You give and receive. You feel, your lover gets felt... Voila! Sex!

One of the best parts of sex is the exploration of another body. You get to enjoy with all your senses. As Julie Andrews sang, “half lidded eyes and hot panting lips, sensual purring and groin grinding hips, these are a few of my favorite things.” (OK, so that verse didn’t make the final cut.) But touch, touch is the most intimate of the senses. And if you want to use that finger like a pro, to give and receive better than ever, to make your finger the hottest sex toy, here are some tips from a trained fingerer.

A finger should be a talented bioprobe that simultaneously gives and receive sensory input. We actually have many senses of touch. Light touch, pressure, tickle, heat and cold, vibration, even pain-they’re all distinct senses which travel through separate micro-sensors and nerves, and they concentrate in different parts of the body. Did you know that the most sensitive area for distinguishing temperature is the back of the hand? Or vibration sense is most acute on the pad of the palm at the base of the fingers?

Who cares? You do if you want to finger like a pro. The body’s sensors are programmed to respond best to a touch, release and retouch motion and the type and array of sensors predominating at any given site determines the intensity quality of the response.

To demonstrate, try this little experiment. Put your fingertip on the flat surface of an unknown coin in your pocket. Visualize what you feel. Next lay the flat finger on the surface. Now, ease up the pressure and try a light circular exploration. You can form a much more complete visual image of the surface. Now moisten the coin thoroughly (a little saliva is fine) and try again. Better still, right? The expert fingerer makes sure his/her digital probe is clean, free of hang nails, rough patches before exploring. The expert uses light touch, circular explorations while visualizing the surface, and uses moisture to improve sensitivity and comfort. If your partner wants more pressure, you’ll know by the way they lean into the finger.

There are several proven techniques to apply the touch, release and retouch technique. The most obvious is the back and forth rub, but there are other ways which are better suited to certain areas. Nipples often enjoy being lightly rolled between thumb and forefinger. A clit likes to be touched first from without on the clitoral hood. After erect and really wet, stroke the stalk up to the head and roll the tip like a marble in oil. Some women like to be “Jilled off,” (the female version of Jacked off) when two fingers surround the clit from the base and delicately slide up the shaft to the head. Don’t pull or stretch here! Don’t neglect the clitoral legs, which run for 2 ½ to 3 ½ inches along the inside labia. The G-spot prefers a single forward stroke to a back and forth rub. Side to side or tapping gets some women’s motors racing. The perineum (the spot between the vaginal lips and anus) and posterior vaginal sponge (the area just inside back end of the vaginal opening) respond well to alternating firm pressure and light stroking.

When manhandling, try a vigorous down stroke and relaxed upstroke, avoiding the very tip of the penis while concentrating on the spot where the base of the glans meets the shaft, with the hand either encircling the whole penis or fingers on both top and bottom. Moisture immensely improves pleasure here. Gradually increase forcefulness and speed as excitement levels rise.

So what’s the “take home” here? Use the flat of the fingers instead of the tip. Touch lightly and use lube to improve sensitivity for giver and receiver. When your partner senses how much you’re enjoying giving, they’ll respond in kind, and you’ll both hit new highs when you play with your favorite things, and actually beg you to give them the finger.