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"Skin hunger is a relatively new term that has been applied to the emotional response engendered by the loss of touch in our society. One of the five basic senses, touch is the only one deemed essential to human life. During WW II babies in orphanages developed Failure to thrive or even died when deprived of human contact. In a classic study by Harry Harlow, newborn monkeys were taken from their biological mothers and given surrogates made of either wire or soft terry cloth. The baby monkeys consistently chose the soft mother even when deprived of nourishment. The need for bonding outweighed even the basic necessity of food.
The need for touch extends beyond the early developmental years. It is the first sense to develop in utero and the last to diminish as we die. Babies and children with loving parents are cuddled and kissed and touched. As a child ages he seeks to become more independent and may even resist too much lovin'. How many of us parents have mourned the day our children became too big to sit in our laps anymore? Boys, especially, are discouraged from showing too much affection. To be a man means to be strong and stoic and emotion is deemed a sign of weakness.
Adolescence is a time of self discovery and growing sexual awareness. As kids grow into teens they may seek sexual intimacy even when not emotionally ready because the need for touch is so strong. How many girls have had sex prematurely when all they really wanted was to be held? Compounding the problem, many parents will decrease physical contact with their teens because of fears of inappropriateness.
Maturing into adults we face a world that explodes with sexual images but discourages more than a friendly nod or a handshake in public. Sexuality is OK but intimacy is not.
The elderly, the disabled and the very ill, aka the "Untouchables", are at greatest risk of touch deprivation. Living in isolated homes, the elderly and the disabled often have limited mobility and fears of victimization may prevent their venturing out. People with a terminal illness like HIV may have very little contact with another human being due to inherent fears of the disease. Although not as fulfilling as human contact, a pet may provide the bonding and comfort needed.
Americans, especially, suffer from a lack of intimacy with each other. Following a research project on touch around the world, social scientists rated the United States and Great Britain among the lowest touch countries studied. The "warmer" high-touch countries included Spain, France, Italy, and Greece.
Tiffany Field, Director of Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami, feels touch is essential to how we learn, feel and think. A study conducted by Field compared the interaction of mothers and their children at playgrounds and McDonalds in Miami and Paris. The Parisian mothers touched their children far more often than their American counterparts. In addition, the French children displayed much less aggression than the American children.
The power of touch pervades all areas of our society. Salesmen may use a light touch to influence a potential client into a sale. Waitresses have been found to receive larger tips if they subtly touch a patron.
But the most well known association to touch is healing. The bible often makes reference to the "laying on of hands" to heal the sick. The word surgeon has its roots in the Greek word kheirourgos meaning "hand healer".
The modern healing touch can be found in different types of body work including massage, rolfing or reike, among others. Therapeutic massage is the most well known and accepted method of healing sore and injured muscles, reducing pain as well as imparting a feeling of relaxation and good will to the client. People experiencing skin hunger may often seek out massage just to satisfy their craving for touch.
What has led us to be so touch deprived?
Four trends in our society take most of the blame:
The age of technology has allowed us to interact with others around the world via satellites and microchips but has dehumanized our daily lives. In a recent poll Americans rated the cell phone as the device they hate the most, but can't live without. We interact more with our time-saving devices than we do with each other.
Children of busy mothers may often be "surrounded by plastic". From the day care center to the home environment, infants are "contained" in car seats, strollers and playpens. When mom is too tired or busy to attend to them, children may be plunked in front of the electronic babysitter, the TV. Contrast this to the child who is held all day, snuggled close in a baby carrier, or has the opportunity to interact and play freely with his environment.
Urbanization, two career families and the loss of the extended family have led us to isolation.
Husband and wives, caught up in work and family obligations, are often too exhausted to give each other the affection needed. A recent Newsweek cover story focused on the "so-called epidemic of low-sex or no sex marriages in America."1
We rarely know our neighbors or live close to parents and grandparents. We are suspicious of strangers and carefully guard our personal space when we meet new people. Only in small cities and towns in America do you find the connectedness and community needed to "keep in touch".
A Litigious Society
Touching someone can be a federal offense these days. With the new sexual harassment laws many people are afraid to extend a warm hug or a friendly touch. In addition, with the increase in child molestation, we must guard our children's safety and teach them the difference between good and bad touching. Unfortunately for our children, that means their caregivers must be especially guarded in showing them affection, even when appropriate.
Relaxed morals in mass media portray an unrealistic view of sexuality and relationships which can lead to inappropriate behavior and desires. We want what we see on the silver screen even if it is unattainable, further feeding our skin hunger.
To touch is to be human. It makes us feel valued and cared for. However, everyone is not comfortable with being touched. Some cultures and religions forbid touching someone other than a family member. When first meeting someone, take a clue from how they react to others and you will know if it is OK to approach. Just a pat on the shoulder or a touch on the hand is a caring gesture.
Now that you know how important it is, "reach out and touch someone" today!"
Lies! Right-wing pseudo-science! I can lay on my arm for two hours until I've lost all feeling. Then I can get fondled by my youtube girlfriend until I reach ejaculation in front of my cat. Epic win!
if you can't tell I'm being sarcastic. But this is the kind of thing the average western male internet addict does.
I remember in high school I was out late with a friend. We were seniors and I dropped him off. I played with cigarettes and he smelled of smoke. It turned out (he told me this) that when I dropped him off, he went to bed and his mother came in and presumably touched him in a motherly way. He explained the smoke smell and there was no problem. His family is intellectual and influenced by Europe. They never had a TV growing up. This struck me because most US mothers would not do this. But it seems like the normal thing for a mother to do. Watching Korean dramas, you see the same thing: mothers very involved in their sons lives.
OMG! I just love you guys! No, I am not gay (in America you have to clarify this).
That's exactly what I discussed with my ex-girlfriend SO MANY TIMES! She was from Ukraine and told me - "Why mothers don't hug children in U.S.?"
Also out of watching Hollywood movies, it is SO SAD when you pay attention to a 3-second hug rule! IT IS INSANE! Every Hollywood movie is like that (well, maybe there are exceptions). If there is a friendly (or family) hug - it is 3 seconds, pat on the back - let go. Like a damn system! What's wrong with father hugging a son for longer than 3 seconds??? JEEZ!
I remember I was standing in airport in France and there was father and son waiting to board a plane. Son was about 13-14 years old and his dad was around 45. Son hung on his dad's neck and they were standing like that for about 20 minutes! OMG, I was creeped out to the limit!!! I was ONLY thinking of perversion, that's what U.S. culture does to you! But then I remembered how I hugged my relatives in Ukraine like that when I was younger and it made sense.
Touch is EXTREMELY important! When I hug any girl and kiss I feel so much better, especially if it's romantic and slow-setting, just standing somewhere or laying down and hugging. It relieves so much pressure and stress. It is very sad that children in the U.S. don't get a mothers hug before going to bed... Mother-child touch and contact is very important, I remember reading research about it as well.
I'm suffering from serious touch deprivation right now... haven't had sex in ohhh... 2 years now, nor have I really had any intimate contact with a female. Hell, I haven't even cuddled with anyone since then.
It really does screw with you. I'm sure I wouldn't be nearly as cranky if this wasn't the case. And the thought that I won't be able to get any touch until I save enough to go to the Phils? However long that will be (years?)?
Makes me wish I was an android or a terminator so I didn't have to feel this pain any longer. I don't even feel like a f***ing human being anymore.
You have two options:
1. Go see a real professional massage therapist in your area. It should cost you somewhere around 55-90 bucks for 1 hour. You will walk out feeling like a million bucks and very relaxed.
2. Stop at a AMP (Asian Massage parlor), door fee should cost you about 40, then from there 80-120 to end the "massage" with a happy ending of various variations.
It's terrible isn't it, and as the article says, it gets WORSE when you get old. I'm in and out of older fokes homes all the time and let me tell you, it's SO SAD.
The kids just leave their parents and start lives in other states all because of a job. The parents then grow old alone with no other human contact other then their neighbors who might call every once and a while/drop by, or guys like me who stop by to make a repair.
There is NO WAY I'm going out like this and it's really the major reason why I'm getting out the states. I really don't care about cheap prostitutes, or the fact that there is perhaps better women overseas. I'm getting out because I know in other parts of the world people care more about each other and don't live alone in isolation.
One other thing, isolation IS a form of torture. It's sensory deprivation.
Last edited by NorthAmericanguy on June 6th, 2011, 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Hmm, I'm sure it depends on what state you live in but they are around..
Use this to find them: XXX.eroticmp.com
This is a good read also, read this woman's blog:
LOVE thick ww like that!
I tend to dissuade guys, on this side of the border, to go to an E' MP for that because you never know when a sting is in effect.
One was busted a few years back, outside of Boston, and they made a real stink about it on the news, as if it were an Armored car robbery in broad daylight. That's not the best way for one to get their 10 minutes of fame.
Really, for the police state like America, the best option for the northern states are Canadian road trips. For the southwest, Nevada or Mexico.
Oh, I see. Actually, the other option is to find a local private woman that offers a "sensual massage", should cost around 150 (+or-). You're better off doing that then going to Vegas and spending 300-1000 just to blow a load.
Ya the ignored elderly in old folks homes were one obvious sign the societies of North America/Western Europe were in trouble decades ago. On the other hand, some of them deserve it! Still visiting them or hospitals is depressing as hell, but it's a good wake up call for a lot of issues you would have otherwise ignored, like how short (and for most rather meaningless) life is. How unbalanced, unsustainable and full of taboos and hypocrisy our current civilization is. It's a hard pill to swallow but if you can be honest with yourself it will lead you to restructure your priorities and make your life less shallow.
tags: rent adopt a grandma grandmother grandparent
This is why gay rights is such a problem. Guys can't be physically affectionate because accepting homosexuality changes the language. Even if you don't mean to send of homosexual signals, in a society that recognizes gays it's impossible not to. So I know in other countries and here in America in the 19th century and prior it would be okay, for example, for two male best friends to hold hands. They could write letters with flowery language about how much they love each other and no one would think it's gay. This is what normal society looks like.
I think touch deprivation played a part in messing me up. I don't want my kids to experience.
You're right about hospitals Obdo. My dad had a foot infection a year ago and just kind of put up with it for a few months. Then after a routine doctor's appointment he was sent to the hospital. They kept him there feeding a bunch of chemicals intravenously. Blood thinner, insulin for diabetes, etc. After five days or so he demanded release because he said he'd die if he had to spend another day like that. He'd lose his will power that he had to put up with the infection in the first place. This was around my birthday and when I saw there he said he was sorry it had to happen then. I told him there's nowhere else I'd rather be and he hugged me for a while. I haven't hugged him much since I was a kid, so it was special.
It's the same problem with tolerance of sluts & PUA dirtbags. The libtard view is that if everyone is allowed to indulge their foibles then we can all do what we want and be happy. In fact Gresham's Law applies to social relations as well as currency. Perverts and deviants need to be suppressed so normal people can practice their normality.