Have you ever wanted skin contact so intensely you felt you’d go crazy? It doesn’t even need to be sexual in nature but just normal craving for some skin to skin contact.
Then you might want to know about this phenomenon called ‘skin hunger’ wherein a person could almost go crazy if they do not receive enough skin to skin contact.
Let me clarify that I do not claim anyone will go crazy, however, several people and studies have found out that lack of such skin contact can make one irritable, anxious, depressed, moody.
However, not a lot of people actually know what exactly is skin hunger, what causes it and how to solve this problem. Let us take a look at some of these questions:
What is Skin Hunger?
As per certain sources, skin hunger is basically the absence of physical touch to such an extent that it creates an itch of sorts and can lead to problems like insomnia, anxiety and even stress.
The reason being that, if you don’t get enough skin contact from another person, your body stops producing the hormone ‘oxytocin’, which is a natural chemical in our body that plays a big role in pair bonding, social interaction and sexual reproduction. Commonly known as the ‘love hormone’, oxytocin is also known to be an antidote to depressive feelings.
Hugs or hugging a loved one that you trust, increases our oxytocin level and helps in driving away negative feelings leaving us feeling more positive and warm.
When a person is not getting adequate skin contact this hormone starts to decrease in level and thus can make one feel more negative emotions.
Dr. Tiffany Field from the Touch Research Institute has even been quoted as saying, “People who are touch hungry usually present as being depressed individuals. They’re withdrawn; their voice intonation contour is flat.”
And while for teenagers and adults skin hunger can only lead to bad emotions, for infants it can lead to more dangerous consequences like death.
What Causes It?
Babies you must have noticed are always being touched, whether it be by their mother, their family members or even relatives and friends coming over for a visit.
Being held close to the chest, rubbing of cheeks, hugging them, holding them close, kissing them and more are all the different ways that babies and small children are fed skin to skin contact.
However, as a person grows, societal norms and influences make them irritable to showing any kind of affection and thus starts the period when people start to become touch starved.
Eventually, relatives and parents start to maintain their distance and while the child might think that showing affection to their family members is ‘uncool’ that does not take away their natural inclination for some skin to skin contact.
How To Solve It?
While India is not that touch starved, what with many of us living in either joint families or being used to physical affection from family and friends, outside influences have worked to make the current generation a bit reluctant to receiving it as positively as we did before.
Skin hunger is pretty easy to solve wherein you just need to be open to people and skin contact and not think it to be something wrong.
Also, do not think that this always mean sexual intercourse, skin hunger can be solved by something as simple as a hug from your close friend, or holding your sibling’s hand.
It does not always have to be between partners, although skin contact between lovers is said to not only strengthen but make the relationship more long lasting than those who do not indulge in so.
Image Credits: Google Images