Human touch can be sexual or non-sexual. Skin is the largest body organ and practically covered in nerve endings. Touch, and different kinds of human touch, affects each person differently. Some people dislike or even recoil at being touched, and for various reasons. Others need or love human touch, whether of a sexual nature or not.
Studies have shown that touch can release feel good hormones and decrease anxiety. Touch can be loving, friendly, professional, or it can be a crime.
In an intimate relationship, even non-sexual touch may have some beneficial qualities that bring couples closer together.
The sourced articles below provide more information on the benefits of human touch.
- Karezza: The Sex Technique You Need To Know About
“‘Karezza’ is a play on the Italian word for ‘caress,’ and as the name suggests, it’s a sex technique that prioritizes touch, connection, and intimacy, rather than just orgasm. … Karezza is the opposite of ‘friction sex,’ says Irene Fehr, a sex and intimacy coach in Denver. During ‘friction sex,’ there’s a predetermined order of operations or expected progression: foreplay, intercourse, and almost always orgasm, she says. … Karezza — or ‘connection sex,’ as Fehr calls it — gives you time and permission to savor connection and touch during sex.”
Cory Stieg, refinery29.com, 2/21/2019
- Coping With Haphephobia
“Haphephobia, or the fear of touch, is an uncommon but often devastating phobia. It is in the class of phobias known as specific phobias, which are fears of a specific object or situation. If you have haphephobia, you fear being touched by anyone, although some people are only afraid of being touched by those of the opposite gender.”
Lisa Fritscher, verywellmind.com, 8/29/2018
- I Don’t Like Being Touched
“Q: I have never liked being touched. Massages, pedicures, etc. are fine, but I don’t like hugs or kisses, even from my husband. … A: There is something called ‘sensory defensiveness.’ This is when people react negatively to sensory stimuli that generally don’t bother other people. …”
Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker, psychcentral.com, 8/5/2018
- Are You Suffering From Touch Deprivation?
“Distressed couples often fall out of the habit of touching. We know that couples who don’t touch each other for a long time suffer from touch deprivation. If adults are not touched on a regular basis they can get more irritable. Persistent touch deprivation can lead to anger, anxiety, depression, and irritability.”
Sara Schwarzbaum, marriage.com, 4/10/2018
- What Is the Role Of Intimacy In Overall Health?
“Intimacy Helps Reduce Feelings of Anxiety and Depression …
When you’re intimate with another person, you get a mental boost, too. ‘Studies show that men who are deprived of intimacy get angry and women get depressed. Your hormone levels, especially oxytocin, actually change when you touch or are touched by someone, or share an intimate act such as decision-making,’ says Dr. Krychman, who is also the coauthor of The Sexual Spark.”
Beth Levine, Medically Reviewed by Allison Young, MD, everydayhealth.com, 3/27/2018
- The Power Of Touch: Why Physical Intimacy Promotes Relationship Health
“This research is important because it validates the longstanding advice of Masters and Johnson, the founders of the modern sex therapy movement. Masters and Johnson recommend non-sexual intimate touch (known as sensate focus) as part of virtually every couple’s sex therapy treatment plan, in part, because it was thought to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. These studies offer evidence that, both biologically and psychologically, it does, which is probably why their treatment approach has been so successful and continues to be widely used to this day.”
Dr. Justin Lehmiller, posted by Kinsey Institute, blogs.iu.edu/kinseyinstitute, 2/20/2018
- What Is Sensate Focus?
“True, your mind can jump back and forth pretty quickly, but if you keep refocusing over and over again on touch, you will not be able to stay as distracted by all your sexual anxieties. Just like with meditation or relaxation training, if you keep bringing your mind back to (in their cases) the sound of your mantra or the visual image of your safe place, you will eventually get more absorbed in the sensations in the present moment and less consumed by all your concerns from the past or about the future. Then Mother Nature can take over and voilá! Desire, arousal, and orgasm will be more likely to occur.”
Institute for Sexual & Relationship Therapy & Training (ISRTT), isrtt.org, 10/20/2017
- Why Touch Is SO Incredibly Important To The Health Of Your Relationship
“Regular touching of your lover as well as your own beautiful body gets the endorphins flowing, which create a sense of caring and pleasure, plus help to calm the stresses of the day. Furthermore, touch is the communication of love. It engages the senses God gave us for our emotional and physical well-being and pleasure, and is a powerful way to express what we cannot say. And yet, we are a touch-starved society.”
Sherri Nickols, yourtango.com, 9/1/2017
- 6 Ways To Boost Intimacy Without Sex, According To Science
“A study conducted as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival revealed when it came to sleeping positions, 94 percent of couples who spent the night in contact with one another were happy in their relationship compared to just 68 percent of those who didn’t touch. This suggests the positive effect of cuddling and touching (non-sexually) at night in relationships.”
Lizette Borreli, medicaldaily.com, 8/17/2016
- Touching Robots In Their ‘Private Parts’ Turns Humans On, Study Finds
“The results of the experiment were presented at the 66th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association in Fukuoka, Japan, and will now need to be submitted to a journal for peer-review. So what’s the point of all this robot-touching? The fact that the participants felt weird about touching robots in their private places, but then aroused, means that humans have a hard time separating actual humans from humanoid robots under certain circumstances, and that’s good news if we want to someday integrate robots into our everyday lives.”
Bec Crew, sciencealert.com, 4/6/2016
- Why A Lover’s Touch Is So Powerful
“Touch is crucial in creating and strengthening romantic relationships. Tactile physical affection is highly correlated with overall relationship and partner satisfaction. Moreover, conflict resolution is easier with more physical affection — conflicts are resolved more easily with increased amounts of hugging, cuddling/holding, and kissing on the lips (Gulledge et al., 2003).”
Aaron Ben-Zeév PhD, psychologytoday.com, 5/18/2014