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Are you familiar with love’s many languages?
If not, allow me to refresh you!
According to the Family Centre, love can be expressed through: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.
Each of these languages can take the lead over an individual. For example, one would prefer to express their love through words of affirmation while their partner prefers to express it through acts of service. Both of these are beautiful in their own right, and can help cultivate a healthy relationship down the line.
But what happens when the world forces one love language back into the shadows?
For two years, the world was forced to stay in their homes to protect their physical health. In exchange, we had to give up an important aspect in intimacy – physical touch.
What is Skin Hunger?
Skin Hunger or Touch Starvation is defined by Healthline as an occurrence when a person experiences little to no touch from other living things. Additionally, Vice emphasizes the importance of skin-to-skin contact as a form of communication.
Putting these two together will drive home the reality that touch helps you express the emotions words can’t.
Is Skin Hunger real?
Yes, it is! Vice continues on to say that while a lot of people still don’t consider this as a real thing, being deprived of touch has some serious and long-lasting effects such as the following provided by Healthline:
- Feelings of depression
- Low relationship satisfaction
- Difficulty sleeping and
- A tendency to avoid secure attachments
This is surprising, especially for me since I didn’t make the connection between touch starvation and these side effects until I did the research! It makes me realize that touch is important in other areas apart from sex.
As described by Wired, one of the biggest benefits of touch is that it makes you feel calmer, happier and more sane – and that’s scientifically proven too!
So even if we claim to be happy living on our own, we cannot avoid those moments where we just want a hug. Or a kiss. If we’re lucky, maybe even some slow lovemaking on the bed.
Ultimately, touch contributes to the development of intimacy, which is an important factor in cultivating healthy relationships within yourself and other people.
If that doesn’t blow your mind, I don’t know what will.
What’s next? How do I quench my Skin Hunger?
Now that we recognize touch starvation as a real thing, what can we do to quench it? Especially when we’re single or we’re still in a situation where we’re advised to practice caution when going outside?
Together with the Center for Growth, we lay down some tips you can do in the near future:
Get your Friends!
We are currently in a transition from fully living inside the four walls of our home to being able to go outside and do relatively normal things again. That means that you can pick up your phone and hit up your friends to go out for a simple lunch or dinner!
Heck, you can even head to the park and chat the day away there!
Spending time with your friends is a great way to get those hugs in while you catch up on everything they’ve been doing while you weren’t allowed to see each other.
Or if you’re like me, you can even slap their arm a little bit because you can’t contain the laugh bursting from your lips because your friend cracked the funniest joke.
These moments alone are enough to satiate that hunger you’ve been carrying for years.
Get a Massage!
If you’re still iffy about hanging out with someone else, then maybe getting a massage is a good idea for you!
You can choose from a shoulder, back or full-body massage and even pick at how intense you want it to be before you let the experts take the lead. It gives you the same benefits you’ll get from receiving touch from your friends minus that natural feeling of awkwardness that comes with meeting someone after a very long time.
Additionally, your body gets some extra love since a massage can help ease the discomfort you feel from tense muscles.
Get a Pet!
But if you’re not ready to meet up with people just yet, then may we recommend adopting a pet?
Just like humans, you can also hold, cuddle and caress them! Since they do not have the ability to speak in words, they also use touch to return the favor so this is a perfect example of how touch can form strong bonds and give all of us the serotonin we need – seriously.
I think this is self-explanatory but if you have the opportunity: link up with your partner, head on over to either of your apartments and get down and filthy all night long. Make sure to use everything in your arsenal to temporarily forget the world and only think about how good it feels to have a mind-blowing fuck.
What if I don’t have the means to do those tips?
No worries, The Good Trade’s got you covered! They’re giving your three tips on how to satisfy your skin hunger:
Listen to ASMR
If you cannot experience touch with somebody, then listening to ASMR could fill the void. It stimulates the part of the brain associated with touch and connection, making you feel relaxed in both mind and body.
I’ve tried this once and that was enough for me to agree with this! You should give it a try one of these days as there’s a lot of podcasts that dedicate themselves to making the best ASMR ever!
Sleep with a Body Pillow
I think this speaks for itself since a body pillow can be used in place of an actual human partner in bed. Plus! Having one can create a more comfortable sleep since it provides support on your back and shoulders.
Dance to release the “Happy Hormones”
Remember when I mentioned serotonin prior? That’s the name of one of the chemicals that makes you happy! Some other, well-known chemicals are oxytocin and dopamine!
In order to tap into these chemicals, you need to move your body! So whether you take a walk, exercise or dance around to the tune of Beyoncé’s new song, you’re sure to release the pent-up tension from your body and make big room for relaxation and joy.
Skin hunger is something a lot of people experience. There is nothing to be ashamed of since touch is one of the languages of love and to be deprived of it has some serious short-term and long term implications. So, release the fear and go out there to (responsibly) spread the magic of touch!