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Is touch important?

How important is touch for you?

ladyinred1967 5 Apr 11

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Have not held a woman's hand since 2013 wonder what it feels like anymore?


I'm sensitive about it. It affects me. A "vibes" thing, I think. I don't have a woo take on it, but I can feel there's something there and maybe someday in my lifetime science might catch up and give us the rationale in terms of EMF or pheromomes or something.

If I don't know you, I don't want to touch you. (Handshakes and high-fives are generally okay, maybe a friendly shoulder-pat with a chuckle and a smile.) If I don't know you and we touch and I get a squicky feeling, you're on the no-fly list.

If I don't like/trust you, I really don't want to touch you. Seriously. I don't want to get any of that "on me". I don't like the way it feels.

If I like you, touch is for occasional bonding or reassurance.

If I love you, touch is where I give you some of me, and take some of you.

Even in close relationships, I'm not a very touchy person. Not because I don't like it, I think, but because it impacts me so deeply. I have to ration it; I save it for the moments when it really counts.

Animals are a completely different story. I give the best scratch.


I have been alone so long that I sometimes find myself craving touch. But not just any touch. Loving, tender touch by someone I trust and care for. I dislike being touched by strangers or people I don't trust. I remember seeing a documentary from the 50s where they used these sad little orphan babies in an experiment on the importance of touch. They purposely withheld human contact from some of the babies and fed and changed them through an incubator sleeve. These poor babies did not thrive. I don't think it is quite as essential to adults regarding thriving, that is, I don't think I will die from lack of touch...but I definitely feel a deep sadness when I remember how warm and wonderful it felt. I feel like I would be happier and healthier for sure if I had a good cuddle every day.

I'm familiar with that study. The sad thing is that when you get to my age even most of your friends don't do hugs on a regular basis when we meet, so you/I really miss out on experiencing regular affection if you don't date and have no kids, like me.


Absolutely. From infancy. Research it online. Tactile deprivation is not good for humans.


Yes! Physical touch is a basic human need.


Yes, I like touching and being touched. Someone besides myself. You know how it feels when they wash your hair at the hair cut place? It is analogous. Humans need to touch.


From "The Rhythm of Love: 40 Beats per Minute" by Natalie Angier in her fascinating book, “Women- An Intimate Geography.”

"Oxytocin has been called the love hormone and the bonding hormone. It’s a dopy, wishful phrase, and a bit reductionist. Still, Oxytocin may be a player in the sensation of love.

“Think of a breastfeeding woman,” Kirsten Uvnas-Moberg of the- Karolinska Institute in Sweden said. She studies nursing mothers, in whom oxytocin is high. “Oxytocin is stimulating her milk letdown- that much is familiar. But milk ejection is only part of the story. Oxytocin, in concert with other peptides, expands blood flow to the breast. The engorgement turns the breast warm, warmer than it’s ever been. Heat radiates from the nursing woman. She feeds the baby fluids and bathes the baby in warmth."

“A mother does more than nurse and warm the baby. As she holds the baby, she strokes the infant to soothe it. ‘You know the right way to stroke somebody,” Uvnas-Moberg says. ‘You know what works and what doesn’t. If you do it like this, too fast, that doesn’t work either. But now, if you do this, if you stroke steadily and calmly, you know this is right, this is good and true.’ She strokes her arm rhythmically and as I watch, I feel vicariously stroked and soothed. ‘This rate is about forty strokes per minute. It is the same rate at which we stroke our pets.’ Oxytocin again enters the picture."

“A steady caress inveigles oxytocin secretion. The gentle rhythmic stroke is like the pulsing of a milk duct, like the rate at which the infant reflexively, rhythmically suckles at the breast. This is the rhythm of love: 40 beats a minute.”

“The rhythm of love. Orgasm is another rhythmic sensation, and it too clocks in at about forty to fifty throbs a minute, and the uterus contracts during orgasm as it does in giving birth. Oxytocin’s frequency; oxytocin’s handiwork.

“In one study, women were asked to masturbate to climax; and their blood levels of oxytocin were measured before and after orgasm. The concentration of oxytocin climbed slightly but measurably with climax, and the greater the increase, the more pleasurable the women reported their climax to be. While breastfeeding, some women say they feel almost orgasmic, their uterus pulsing along with their milk ducts, with the baby’s suckling mouth.”

When giving a massage, my hands are slow and rhythmic, 40 to 50 strokes per minute. People groan with pleasure. During my divorce, I wanted one piece of furniture: the rocking chair in which I nursed Claire. The rhythm of love.


I come from a close family of demonstrative huggers. Touch is very important. Unless I'm trying to fall asleep. Then you have to be a cat if you want to touch me.

Deb57 Level 8 Apr 11, 2018

Yes!! The down side of touch is alot of people think touch means sex. I have always been a touch kind of person but since I moved into this 55 and older low income apartment complex I DO NOT hug hardly at all. Christ I use to just talk to this one guy and next thing I know he's asking me if I want to be friend with benefits. Yikes. THEN because I am so tomboyish a few wondered which aisle I shopped in. I always wondered if I may be bi but explored it. Touch is very improtant and I just get frustrated so many want to equate it with sex. If I sound frustrated it's I am a bit touch starved, very different from sex starved.


Touch is highly important (i feel ; ) ...pun intended! Touch is very important to me! It is #1 of my two top love languages. I believe if we as humans are deprived of touch we experience a slow and emotionally agonizing death.

Uncas Level 4 Apr 11, 2018

I am a toucher. Wait, I don't mean that in a creepy way, I just mean that in a romantic relationship particularly, touch is something I seek and give. I also learned to hug my kids and give them reassuring pats and so forth, though my family weren't particularly touchy-feely.

Thanks for sharing!


I get a theraputic massage once a month and it's worth every penny for my physical and mental health.


Yeah I miss touch. The ONLY thing I miss about being married.


I like touch allot. But try always to be considerate of others who don't like it.


Very important


I don't enjoy being touched. I require small doses of affection and a whole lot of personal space.

I am very sexual, just not snuggly.


@jenandjuice1111 I'm glad to have company in these preferences.


Healing and also invigorating...


Very calming


To me massively !!


Extremely. How I connect to people. Lots of hugs.


Touch is deeply important to me. As is consent. By and large, if I am with friends or good acquaintences, touch seems fluid and natural. I mean, patting each other on the back, shaking hands, squeezing a shoulder - that sort of thing. With intimate partners, I find skin-to-skin touch immensely nurturing and pleasing, whether sexual or not. I also find sexual touching immensely nurturing and pleasing; perhaps that goes without saying, but I suppose not everyone does.

I also think touch is hugely significant in my work as a counselor and therapist. For one thing, I don't initiate touch with a client lightly - not even a handshake. Consent is deeply important, and all the moreso if someone has hand a boundary violation, such a physical or sexual abuse. Of course, sexual touching is never appropriate in the context of that relationship, but sometimes a hug of comfort and encouragment sends a powerful message of nurturance, when welcomed. I also believe (and I think some studies prove this, but I can't put my finger on them just now) that a calmer person's touch can easy the anxiety of an anxious person, especially when there is a good emotional bond between them.

Yes, now I'm remembering that a study was done in the context of attachment relationships, in which experimental design included a woman who is in an fMRI machine and is expecting an electric shock. She holds the hand of either nobody, a stranger, or her close intimate partner (usually a husband) and then pain levels from the shock are measured in the brain scan. Pain levels were highest when subjects were holding nobody's hand, slightly lower when holding a stranger's hand, and dramatically reduced or even absent(!) when holding a partner's hand. Touch is powerful.

@sarahjustme You make an excellent point, and this is why I am very adamant about consent. I don't expect that the study I described included folks with PTSD. However, I know of a somewhat related study of the effects of Emotionally Focused Therapy on PTSD symptoms in cis hetero females. The results indicated that after couples therapy with their husbands, when the partners got closer, the women's PTSD symptoms also dramatically reduced. There is a relationship between attachment/emotional bonding and emotional healing. Touch can sometimes be an important part of that when done properly, and - as you say - with proper consent.


More important than smell, sound or image. It took me a while to understand that, but I got there in the end.


To me personally, it’s something I crave if it’s from someone I genuinely like. The problem is, I don’t like anyone enough in this point of my life to desire their touch. After my last relationship, I suppose I became a bit jaded.

But, there’s also a medical explanation on why touch is important. It’s said that when we are in pain, someone’s touch can help ease that pain as it causes our body to release oxytocin. Having been a combat medic and having to see the light leave someone’s eyes as they passed, I held that young man’s hand until he passed and I think that meant more to him in that time than almost anything else in his life.

Thank you for sharing


Is this a trick question?


Hugging universally could restore our nurturing species and abate violent outbursts by undeserving people....Head Start teaches all students to hug one another but the violence begins in school sports if not at home from violent families....religions sexually mutilate baby boys and young girls by the millions each year.. .we Atheists should set a better example than the xians with their tampon terrorism murdering gynecologists.....John&Yoko did

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