Are you “skin hungry”?

touchA friend used this term to describe when someone longs for touch. She said it means someone hasn’t been touched in a while, or perhaps as much as they like. Maybe their friends or family aren’t the touching type. They crave human contact — literally. But especially opposite-sex contact, even if it’s just holding hands or hugging.

Although I like physical contact, I’ve had dates get too touchy too soon. I’ve tended to think they were just horny, even if they didn’t try to read my body using the Braille method.

Have you ever found yourself being a bit physically clingy, especially on the first or second dates, before you really know the guy? I’ve found myself slipping my hand in his on the second date, before I really felt a lot of connection, just because it seemed like that’s what should happen at that point.

So I empathize with someone’s wanting physical touch. I’ve learned to be a tad cautious, however, as we know touch sends signals that you are feeling connected and fond of the person. Sometimes this gets interpreted as feeling more attracted to the person than you are.

What to do when you find yourself being skin hungry? See if you can be around family members who enjoy your touch. Young nieces, nephews or grandkids who like to hold hands or sit in your lap while you read to them are great ways to get your skin hunger satisfied. Or plan an outing with a friend who likes to hug hello or link arms when walking. I have a male friend who loves to snuggle, so going to the movies with him is a treat when I have a touching deficit.

But with your dates, be conscious if your itch to be touched is appropriate to be scratched by him. Be sensitive to the message that it sends. And if the touching goes beyond what you are comfortable with, then gently say something. Don’t punish him for a yearning you have that may send him an unintentional green light.

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6 responses to “Are you “skin hungry”?”

  1. Rod Avatar

    Personally, I think we touch way too little in this culture. I think in general, North Americans have a phobia about appearing over eager and we’re paranoid about sexual overtones. But where I work, there are men (yes, men) from another culture who unabashedly hug and embrace warmly, and even hold hands momentarily when greeting. Sometimes they walk arm in arm and no, they’re not gay. They just have no cultural barrier to friendly touches. At first it seemed weird to me, but it gets me thinking about how anti-touch we are, and maybe we’re the ones who have a problem.
    I think the world would be a much better place if we ALL touched a lot more in an accepted display of affection. I once read about a school where the principal insisted the the teachers hug their elementary age kids all the time. Of course, most of us freak out about ‘what if there’s a predator in the midst?’ but the fact is that most people are NOT predators and we all grow up a bit skin hungry because of our paranoia. I think the result in that school is that there was way less conflict than normal and kids felt much more included.
    Moral of the story – Get out there and touch someone today. Just dont get arrested.

  2. Strblonde Avatar

    I agree — there is a deficit in this country on touching and hugging. I attribute mine to my German heritage. I last remembered my dad hugging me “good-night” when I was 5 (my mom not at all). He didn’t hug me again until his sister died and my ex-husband had just left me. I was 31. From then on he would hug me good-bye until he died six years later. My mom still doesn’t hug me much. I admit, I find it difficult to hug family members as a result but I make a point to hug my grown children when I see them (which isn’t very often). I think it is this reason that I do get over-zealous in wanting close physical contact with dates too early. I would be happy to just kiss and be held but it doesn’t always work out that way. So I suppose I come off as being needy. It is a vicious cycle that I don’t know how to break.

  3. Christine Avatar

    This is a provocative entry coming on the heels of the kissing post from a couple of days ago! (DG, you instigator you!) I’m from a Mediterranean background where kissing and hugging is routine, particlularly when greeting or saying goodbye to someone. I always feel so denied when I’m greeted stiffly, with a weak handshake and the obvious discomfort of the other person. I dated a Polish guy for awhile who always looked tackled, almost mauled, when I would reach in for a benign hug upon meeting. Regarding skin hunger – now that’s a different issue altogether! I recently discovered the joys of a professional neuromuscular massage. Although it could never take the place of a man in my life (and in my bed), it does meet some of those primal skin hunger needs. Of course, that and a rich fantasy life….time for another one of those romantic movies!!

  4. Casey Dawes Avatar

    Not being touched much growing up, or even seeing my parents touch, gave me a lot of trouble when I went into relationships. I was longing for touch and mis-interpreting it as love. So I would go too far, too fast and wind up in what I thought was a committed relationship when neither one of us was ready. Fortunately, I figured it out. In my last dance in singlehood (I’m married now) I got a lot of massages.

    I agree with those who say we don’t touch enough in this country. I give out lots of hugs, trying to ask permission first, but just going for it if it feels right. Hugs do so much for people and their souls.

  5. nysharon Avatar

    how about a massage?

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