How long has it been since someone last touched you? – Homoectile

If you’ve had the great fortune that it didn’t happen to you, chances are you do know someone who won the black lottery of solitary confinement.

Perhaps you too have been fortunate or unfortunate, depending on how misanthrope you are, to have spent most of the past year alone with anyone other than yourself. If so, it does not hurt to recognize how this extraordinary circumstance may be affecting your mental, emotional and physical health, and what measures can be taken to mitigate and reduce its damage.

According to Maslow’s pyramid, a theory of motivation that tries to explain what drives human behavior, human needs can be organized in five hierarchically ordered levels according to their importance.

The needs listed by this pyramid fall into two categories: the needs that arise due to deprivation and the needs that we have to satisfy in order to fulfill ourselves.

The difference between them is that when a need for “lack” is more or less satisfied, it tends to disappear (for example: you are hungry, you eat a wildebeest, and you are satisfied and you can continue with your day). Growth needs, on the other hand, continue to be felt and are motivated by our desire to grow.

Some types of solitary intimacy can simply consist of hugging yourself, giving a self-massage, stroking or hugging your pets or failing that, a stuffed animal

The relationship between needy needs and growth needs is important, because the difficulty in meeting our needy needs (food, shelter, security; secure and affirming relationships; esteem and self-esteem) can make it difficult for us to reach the levels of self-realization at the top. of the pyramid.
Maslow included sex within the base category of physiological needs, but for some unknown reason he did not include in any part the need for non-sexual contact, for physical affection.

This is perhaps why most of us assume that our needs for intimacy can only be met in romantic or sexual relationships, and that such relationships are overwhelmingly represented as heterosexual relationships between no more than two cisgender people.

The need for (with) touch (whether in the context of a sexual, romantic or outside relationship) is proven; It is a deep need of mammals and especially humans, who have to overcome the stigma of sex and social norms regarding physical contact when they feel the need and try to satisfy it.

Because despite all that we have poorly learned about how “with less affection” one manages, or that kisses and hugs are a matter of females and effeminate, the truth is that the benefits of physical contact are clearly documented as “Protective layer against stress” for all ages, because hugs, physical contact with another human being, releases oxytocin (the same “love hormone” that dominates all our affective bonds) and lowers blood pressure.

Our brain, our imagination, our fantasy-generating creative capacity, is a very powerful machine capable of invoking much more than we think. There are in fact people (women) capable of reaching orgasm without touching, just by visual stimulation, and while mental stimulation orgasms have not yet been documented, has there been a better time than this to try to conquer them?

Sex educator Corinne Kai, for example, emphasizes the importance of patience, curiosity, and confidence in our own resilience when we lack human contact. In a recent article for Allure, we are encouraged to be creative when it comes to cultivating solo intimacy: “Some types of solo intimacy may simply consist of hugging yourself, giving yourself a self-massage, petting or cuddling your pets or failing that a stuffed animal / soft pillow (like the monkeys in Harlow’s experiment), take a long bath or shower, wrap in a blanket, masturbate, play with textures such as feathers, silk or leather against the skin , and smear completely with some moisturizing lotion “. The important thing is to be willing to make the effort to be as present with yourself as possible, even if part of being present is an acute realization of your own loneliness.

What is clear is that “human contact is an emotional and physical need based on our biology and psychology,” as explained by sex therapist Jesse Kahn, director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Therapy in New York.

“If you’re not sure how to get started, start by focusing on skin contact and the qualities of touch that are pleasurable for you. Think about where you like to be touched, ”says relationship and sex therapist Shadeen Francis. “Is it your back, your hands, your face, your chest, your genitals?” There are many erogenous zones that are not considered explicitly sexual in which you can find pleasure. Taking an inventory of where and how you experience pleasure can be a fun exploration to pass the time while you’re cooped up at home.

This body mapping exercise not only builds intimacy with yourself, it can give you exciting new ideas to put into practice when the pandemic is no more than a distant memory. This is the time to explore your curiosity, not to be hard on yourself. Find ways to be nice to yourself, and repeat them as many times as necessary.

There are people out there organizing as best they can in events that have come to be called “cuddle puddles” or “cuddle parties”. Literally: puddles or cuddle parties. There are people who use dating apps as overtly sexual as Grindr to find bodies to sleep with and make the imposed loneliness more bearable.

Our desire to touch and to be touched, to feel ourselves physically among other physical persons is a legitimate and, above all, natural need. This longing is a desire that has evolved in us to make it easier for us to survive; but its side effect is that isolation is particularly hard on us.

It is clear that the rules of distancing are there to ensure our health, and that they limit the ways in which we can or should relate, but it is we who have to order our own pyramid of priorities and seek the greatest contact with the least possible risk.

Technology is at least on our side during this pandemic and privacy need not be completely lost. We just have to find a way to put it to good use in combination with that powerful and powerful machine we call imagination, thanks to which we can stay connected in a creative way knowing that there is less left to hug each other again.

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How long has it been since someone last touched you? – Homoectile

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Catherine Coaches