Friday, May 9, 2014

"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."