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Josie

Dealing with wanting physical intimacy

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Hi everyone! I have just been thinking about some stuff and since I have no aro people in my friend group I thought I would just ramble a little here since I know some of you will probably understand/ have experienced the same thing!

 

I kinda have this problem, and that is that im really aromantic, but at the same time there is nothing i love more than physical intimacy (and I'm not talking about sex, I just mean like cuddligt and hugging and just being physically close to someone.) and since I'm aro, I don't really get to experience it that much and that is something I don't really know how to deal with. It actually brings me down quite a bit and it makes me sad that I don't have someone to cuddle with. Physical touch is my first love language so it plays a major part in me acually feeling loved, and cuddling really makes me feel calm, happy and safe, so when I don't get it, it makes me really frustrated and I don't really know how to deal with these feelings. I guess it would be a bit easier if I had a pet or something to cuddle with but I don't, and I don't really have any friends to cuddle with either. I hug my friends and stuff, but it's not the level of cuddliness (that word exists now, okay) that I'm looking for. I have a long distance friend who I spoon with and stuff but since I don't see him that often it's not enough to keep me happy.

 

Do any of you have any experience when it comes to this? If yes, what do you do to deal with those feelings?

I would be really happy to get some advice since it's pretty much all I can think about and I don't know what to do about it.

 

 

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It's not quite the same, but could taking up a hobby where touching other people is a frequent, expected and normal part of the activity help? What about trying out dance classes or massage classes for example? I haven't got around to trying massage classes yet - I'd like to some day -  but I have done some dance classes. Some styles of dance would be better than others. I tried some bachata classes and liked it - it's a very slow and close  dance, so there is a lot of contact with your partner. It's nice :). Yeah, I'm very touch-starved as well :(. So you have my sympathies there.

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I go through periods of being cuddly and being stand-offish. When I want cuddles I get more physically affectionate with my family and pets (even my friend's pets). I may also tend to organise more movie parties to squeeze lots of people on a couch for a sense of closeness, thought this does really depend on how available your friends are. Going to parties is also good but being mid-twenties the drunken snuggle possibilities are drying up as the parties I am invited to are less 'drink till you drop'. I am realising now that my next cuddly period is probably going to have almost no outlet :( 

Sleeping with lots of pillows can help a bit too. I think we all just need to get some sort of large dogs to cuddle all the time, or just meet other touch starved aros in real life. 

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On October 13, 2017 at 4:17 PM, NullVector said:

It's not quite the same, but could taking up a hobby where touching other people is a frequent, expected and normal part of the activity help? What about trying out dance classes or massage classes for example? I haven't got around to trying massage classes yet - I'd like to some day -  but I have done some dance classes. Some styles of dance would be better than others. I tried some bachata classes and liked it - it's a very slow and close  dance, so there is a lot of contact with your partner. It's nice :). Yeah, I'm very touch-starved as well :(. So you have my sympathies there.

 

I second that dance suggestion. My sister dances swing/blues/lindy/etc. and she sometimes shows me the basic techniques of those dances. Of the dances she shows me, blues is definitely the most physically intimate. From what my sister describes, dancers have a way of being pretty tactile, so that kind of scene could be good for finding people who would have similar touch needs.

 

My family is quite tactile, and exchanging massages is quite normal, so while I make sure to disclaimer that massages are 100% platonic for me, I do sometimes gives friends massages if they complain of stuff like shoulder/back pain. I like receiving massages more than I like giving them, but they're easier to offer than to ask for, and giving massages is still a form of physical intimacy to me.

 

It sucks seeing so many of us being touch starved. :( I'm in that same boat because I'm bad at initiating touch and don't live near my family. Transitioning only made the touch barrier stronger too, especially with my male friends. Of my dearest friends, the ones who are more tactile don't live nearby, and the one who lives with me isn't tactile at all. Being touch starved doesn't hit me that hard, as I tend to only notice it within very specific contexts and I have hard limits on how much touch I can handle at once as well, so I don't even know how much touch I would even want if I did have access to it.

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On 13/10/2017 at 8:43 PM, Josie said:

I kinda have this problem, and that is that im really aromantic, but at the same time there is nothing i love more than physical intimacy (and I'm not talking about sex, I just mean like cuddligt and hugging and just being physically close to someone.) and since I'm aro, I don't really get to experience it that much and that is something I don't really know how to deal with. It actually brings me down quite a bit and it makes me sad that I don't have someone to cuddle with. Physical touch is my first love language so it plays a major part in me acually feeling loved, and cuddling really makes me feel calm, happy and safe, so when I don't get it, it makes me really frustrated and I don't really know how to deal with these feelings. I guess it would be a bit easier if I had a pet or something to cuddle with but I don't, and I don't really have any friends to cuddle with either. I hug my friends and stuff, but it's not the level of cuddliness (that word exists now, okay) that I'm looking for. I have a long distance friend who I spoon with and stuff but since I don't see him that often it's not enough to keep me happy.

 

Do any of you have any experience when it comes to this? If yes, what do you do to deal with those feelings?

I would be really happy to get some advice since it's pretty much all I can think about and I don't know what to do about it.

The term for this is skin hunger
Some people can find pets and/or cuddly toys helpful. For others of us it seems more a case of "human only"..

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it sounds difficult :( I'm sorry to hear. I don't have any ideas, myself I am having a hard time establishing friendships that I enjoy and feel a part of.

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I'm the same! I consider myself romance-repulsed most of the time but I really enjoy cuddling and require some degree of human touch, daily, to be functional and happy. Owning a pet is incredibly helpful for me, but that is not exactly an easy fix for you. When I lived away from home it was especially difficult and I would get touch-starved. Perhaps ask to pet every pet you see outside (unless you have allergies)..? Sometimes a little thing like that would make my day.

I second (third?) @Mezzo Forteand @NullVector's suggestions of getting involved in something physical. I train in martial arts, for example, and we do a lot of partner stretching as part of our warmup. We also do those cute pat-on-the-shoulder things when we're too breathless to say, "Good job!". Things like partner dancing, yoga sometimes, and many team sports (even lighter contact than mine, if you're not a fan of bruising) may also involve a degree of touch that can satisfy you when your loved ones aren't around. Exercise in general is also a good distraction.

As well, although I used to be a very shy person (still am to a degree), I have tried extending the invitation to be touchy with new people I meet (or even old friends of mine). Since I don't want to invade anyone's space (especially in the case of touch-averse people), I'll often extend an elbow to signal linking arms or at the very least get people warmed up with high fives or pokes and work up from there. Just watching a movie with a casual friend and having them chill with linking arms sometimes satisfies me the same way cuddling would.

Hope that may help some?

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This is very relatable. I'm also someone who needs some kind of touch/intimacy sometimes, but over the years i've grown tired of it being misinterpreted as romantic, when it's not. So that means that people aren't an option a lot of the time. I agree with those who mentioned pets... they are life savers when it comes to cuddling and physical affection. I agree with @running.tally , sometimes a "smaller" display of affection , like linking arms or hand holding is enough and works just as well as cuddling. It's frustrating because a lot of people will read these things as romantic/sexual, so i find it very difficult to find someone who gets it.

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I feel this on a very deep level. Touch is also my primary love language, and I don't get nearly enough of it - especially since I moved thousands of km's away from everyone I was close with. So I'm pretty much always touch-starved and feel very restless/lost much of the time. It's gotten a bit better since I've found a very lovely and cuddly FWB, but even a lot of touch 1-2x a week isn't really enough. 

 

I would suggest getting a body pillow, I find those are really soothing. If you're a sexual person, maybe look for a FWB type relationship, or even a cuddle-buddy. If it works for you, one-night stands are also a quick-fix way to go (but just be safe about it) - and though they worked for me in the past, I find they're not worth the energy for me anymore. If it's within your budget, you could also look into having a massage 1-2x a month. :)

 

Hang in there though - I wish touch was way less romantically-coded and more of a common thing. 

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2 hours ago, ladyasym said:

I would suggest getting a body pillow, I find those are really soothing.

That sort of thing dosn't work for me

 

2 hours ago, ladyasym said:

If you're a sexual person, maybe look for a FWB type relationship, or even a cuddle-buddy. If it works for you, one-night stands are also a quick-fix way to go (but just be safe about it) - and though they worked for me in the past, I find they're not worth the energy for me anymore. If it's within your budget, you could also look into having a massage 1-2x a month. :)

These are the kind of relationships I've always wanted.
But I find virtually everyone treats me in a purely platonic way :( (May also be the reason why I'm no fan of the term "platonic" being used so liberally on aro forums.)
Similarly with ONS, I've never been asked.
All the "cuddle buddy" type sites I've found don't allow non binary people to even join.

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