I am almost never touched. The blood donation nurses feel my arm before poking in their giant needles. Occasionally I am pressured to shake somebody’s hands, which sets off my germ anxieties. And I do get to pet my housemate’s part-time dog. When friendly cats approach me for petting I indulge them for minutes and minutes. But other than this I rarely make physical contact with humans or animals.
So it should come as no surprise that I am very sensitive to being touched, especially when I am touched, especially when that touch is made in affection.
I both fear and crave touch. A long time ago I had a friend who was a hugger. She would hug me at the end of my visits, and it was electric. I fear hugs because I worry about this charge being sexual, but as far as I remember I did not suffer erections during our departure hugs. I was in far more treacherous waters with another fellow, with whom I had become emotionally entangled. I vividly remember the handful of times he embraced me platonically, even as I wished those touches were less platonic.
At my last job I had a coworker who would occasionally touch my shoulders or the small of my back. It made me shiver every time.
I remember holding a two-year-old once. Two year olds have such soft skin. I understand why people enjoy cuddling babies after that experience.
It is difficult to disentangle sexuality from innocent touch. I am relieved to announce that I harbour no sexual feelings towards cats or part-time dogs or two year olds. But I still crave being touched. Not all touch is sexual.
Often I think that I would prefer a cuddle buddy to a sex partner, because I get plenty of sex in my life (thank you onesomes) but almost no physical contact with other beings.
But when I am near attractive people things become more complicated. I know the slippery slope. Goodbye hugs last a little too long, and hands start wandering under clothing, and then all sorts of unmentionable acrobatics occur, and before you know it you are planning the wedding reception and/or baby nursery. No thank you! Thus, I refrain from touch, and its power over me grows stronger.
I wish I had a better resolution to this entry. But in this (as in so many things) I have nothing but confusion to offer.