A Belgian psychotherapist famously said, “People won’t die without having s*x, but people will die without being touched.” Indeed, scientists have discovered that if babies are not touched, they could die.
As we are in the midst of the weird and wonderful pandemic of social distancing we call COVID but more so the ever apparent practice called social distancing we call smartphone because we’re almost constantly online, with 95% of people owning a smartphone over the age of 15.
Maybe sex is asked for, but touch what is wanted, but sex is how they get it.
We stop hugging boys at a much younger age than our girls. So, as our teenage boys grow their body is coping with the lack of hugs/touch in general, then add the extreme increase in hormone levels is there any wonder we have these s*x-craved teenage boys who can’t control themselves or then see women as a way to get a need met, rather than it being a conscious choice when they’re ready.
Do you think this could lead to men entering adulthood feeling that they can only really get touch if they're sexual because you can't touch without being touched back - even when it is not intentional (i.e. standing in crowds, bars and events)?
Is this why there are so many 'little boys' in men body's when it comes to the bedroom? Would men become better lovers naturally if they got more cuddles and touch outside of the bedroom?
Not getting enough touch contributes to why s*x is so important to men.
Studies have shown that men's life span is generally shorter than women's life span all over the world. Touch on the skin can reduce heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels – all factors related to stress – in both adults and babies. It facilitates the release of oxytocin, a hormone that provides sensations of calm, relaxation and being at peace with the world. Every time we hug a friend or snuggle a pet, oxytocin is released in our body, giving us that feel-good sensation. In this way, oxytocin appears to reinforce our motivation to seek and maintain contact with others, which assists in the development of humans' socially-oriented brains. Oxytocin also plays a vital role in the relationship we have with ourselves.
A potential reason is that women tend to express themselves in a relatively free manner – women cry more often and get more touch. Also, whenever there is a problem, women usually ask for help faster.
In contrast, men have learned that they are not supposed to cry, so they keep all their feelings inside, which is bad for their health and well-being. What's more, men often don't want to ask for help because they don't want to look weak.
When it comes to physical touch when men hug women too long, it can be judged as creepy. If men hug children too long, it can be judged as creepy (even if they hug their own children). If men hug their male friends too long, it can be judged as creepy. ☹ But I, as a woman, have hugged and kissed children, my friends and my family and excessively and it's seen as perfectly acceptable, and it's never creepy!
This is especially true in English-speaking countries. Well, if you go to France, Spain, Italy and South America, you will notice that men in those countries are very different!
So, if touch is so important for the body and wellbeing - how do men get more touch?
I've seen men doing everything below:
1. He gives a woman a high-five frequently.
2. When he is walking in a crowded bar where an attractive woman is standing there & talking to another person, he would subtly touch this woman's lower back to have some space while walking behind her.
3. He would "accidentally" touch a woman's hand when he gives her a drink/document/pen.
None of these is creepy. This is a well-calibrated man. He hasn't got enough touch. He is a normal guy with a need to be touched, and there is nothing wrong with that.
In the current COVID-COOTIES environment, is the idea of a 'renaissance of touch' just for the brave and the foolish? We lose a lot by depriving ourselves of touch. We deprive ourselves of one of the most sophisticated languages we speak; we lose opportunities to build new relationships; we might even weaken existing ones. Through deteriorating social relationships, we also detach from ourselves. The need for people to be able to touch one another should be a priority in defining the post-pandemic 'new normal'. A better world is often just a hug away.
Can we do more to help men/people get more of what they need? When you see an opportunity and feel called to why not consider.....
- More hugs and cuddles - even as friends;
- More hand-holding - even as friends;
- More sitting next to each other instead of opposite each other - even as friends;
- More kindness and understanding instead of scolding (if accidental or unintentional touch happens);
- Seeing a need to connect differently to creepy but knowing when creepy happens and dealing with it;
- Encourage emotions at all ages;
- Never stop hugging boys/sons - they need the connection to grow into well-grounded men.
What can you do today to add touch into a man's life (that isn't sexual) but connective and with consent, of course?
I know I absolutely crave the feeling of my father's arms and the sense of being held in a way that only a man who loves me unconditionally can give me, I miss his man hugs.
Big boobie hugs to you all,