Platonic touch and hunger for it

Touch by Stephen John

I was just standing there, watching all the others. The people in satisfied relationships touching each other. I felt strong envy towards them. As well as to the singles touching each other. It wasn’t about the relationship potential or everything, I was just craving the touch. I was craving the feeling of somone touching me with affection, but somehow I wasn’t able to even ask for that and in the end I left after an hour tired, bitter and empty.

We need to be touched by other people with affection. By we I mean everybody, but I do need a lot of touch and I don’t talk about sexual touch, but simply about the platonic touch. Not having enough touch is actually painful, not like psychically or emotionally but really physically painful. If you were like me, you probably had no idea what is happening to you. You just felt bad. It was some kind of unseen scratch, you have no idea of having.

The anger was only getting worse. At first it was focused on the outside world, but over the time it became a hatred toward myself. I was totaly unaware of it. I just felt desperate and blue most of the time. I even started seeing a therapist. I thought it helped and for a day or so it always helped, but it couldn’t help fully.

There are two topics known from psychology that relates to what I have been writing about. Skin Hunger and Hypersensitivity to touch.

Skin hunger is the deep desire for physical contact with another person. It might be the longing for a hug, or the need for connection that can’t be met with words, texts or even video chat. Touch is a human being’s first form of communication. Our skin is our largest organ. It’s no surprise touch is so vital to our wellbeing.

Embrace by Quinn Dombrowski

The affection-deprived individual then becomes more and more anti-social because the two major socialization systems (pain and pleasure) have in effect been rendered dysfunctional. This then leads to a greater need for sensory stimulation, wherebye we need to be touched, whether this brings pleasure or pain, because we are desperately seeking body contact. And this then leads to other behaviours as the person desperately and often unconsciously attempts to fill the emotional vacuum inside.

Throughout my adolescence I became scared of touch. I never received any and at some point I had no idea what this actually mean. On the other hand I got very good at suppressing emotion. Actually I got so good that it took me quite a few years to reconnect again with my emotion.

When I came back I felt strange sense of relaxation. At the moment I had no idea what it meant, but I returned from Cien Anos de Soledad with its southern mentality of touching the others and I somehow felt renew. I realized few months later, that the skin hunger was the reason why I was so much unsettled for plenty of time, and that at least for a short amount of time I was saturated by the amount of touching there. It is quite possibly one of the strong reasons why I love the game.

I returned to larping in my early twenties. I never actually enjoyed the larps themselves that much. Usually it was some combination of fighting and political power plays or later emotional drama. I enjoy neither of these. I was coming back anyway and the important reason is that this was a space where at least some touch was ok. We were hugging when welcoming each other and there was more hugging and touching in the more dramatic larps over the course of time. Up until now I was never able to articualte this reason, but it was a strong one.

José and Rebeca at the Cien Anos de Soledad Larp

Social dances and especially the tango argentino in my case are a relatively safe space where it is ok to touch each other and where it isn’t necessarily about sex. It is possible to focus on the connection and the dance and the expression of the emotions without bringing the sex into it. I am so grateful for these experiences now, as it allowed me to get through my fear and hunger.

Tango argentino by Juan Antonio Segal

I danced for the first time in the tight embrace, it was only a few dances, but it was as if the big rock I had no idea of was lifted from me. I left the room and cried, I cried for like ten minutes and afterwards I felt absolutely relieved. I went through this feeling only once, but it was a moment which from later perspective changed me.

I always try to find answers to the complex questions. Now exploring the world of Mainframes in the Broadcom inc.