I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

"Please Touch Me" (Part 2 of 2)

Some of us didn't get those embraces, and it feels as if we'll never be touched enough. I was one of those skin-hungry types, which is probably why the words skin hunger spoke to me. In my family of origin we didn't have much physical interaction. My dad was anything but warm; my mother wasn't good at embracing, but she liked to be hugged.

Many years passed before I understood why I enjoyed being hugged or having someone touch my shoulder or arm. My skin hunger was starved. I wanted anyone—everyone—to embrace me.

One time several of my male friends and I attended a conference called "Men and Masculinity." They asked us to hug the people around us. The man on my left grabbed me and held me. It wasn't a good hug. As an adult, it was the first time I had become aware of feeling that way about a human embrace.

He held me and pressed his body into mine. I said nothing. When we sat down, his leg rubbed against mine several times. By then, of course, I figured out what was happening. As soon as we were dismissed, I hurried away and avoided him for the weekend.

I still like being hugged and I still have skin hunger, although I'm no longer as needy as I was back then. One thing I've learned is the difference between good touch and bad touch.

Please touch me—if you can give me a good touch. 
I'll know when it's a good one.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I appreciate the honesty of this post. I relate to "skin hunger". Also reading this stirs fear in me. I struggle to allow myself to touch my male friends - hugs, slaps on the back, arm around the shoulder, etc.
Because of my abuse and growing up without appropiate touch, I crave touch, but am afraid of my touch being misunderstood.
I am also fearful of enjoying touch "too much".
Recently I have a conversation with a friend about this issue. He's married,has a good relationship with his wife. So I trusted his response when he told me "the way you touch me, put your arm around my shoulder, is not a problem for me."