Jump to content
awkwardchickenpotatodragon

Where does touch aversion come from?

Recommended Posts

Touch aversion is just a thing that sometimes shows up in the aro and ace communities, and I haven't really seen any discussion (that I remember or know of) about why it exists.

 

I guess touch aversion has connections with romantic stuff/sexual stuff, but I'm touch averse to a lot of things that are entirely platonic, that I do not at all associate with romance or anything.

 

Is touch aversion just a thing that shows up in the aspec communities? (not counting touch aversion or whatever as a result of trauma. that's a whole different thing, as there is a logical explanation and all) Why are some of us (such as me) touch averse, and especially why are some of us (me) touch averse to entirely platonic gestures?

 

I feel like these questions have a super obvious answer that I haven't understood yet, but if there is an obvious answer I would like to hear it anyways.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same here friend. Although I do enjoy hugs and stuff like that, some gestures do make me uncomfortable. As we know, aromanticism is a spectrum. Some aros are more open to cuddling, kissing, holding hands etc., while others like us may feel more aversion to certain gestures, including platonic. Romantic coding is a thing I’ve seem around the community, and I think a possibility may be that those platonic displays of affection may be coded as “romance” for you. It could be for other reasons, but these were some I thought would be nice to think about. Also, no, I don’t think it’s just in aspec communities. I actually do know a couple allos in real life that feel uncomfortable towards certain gestures, whether it be romantic or platonic (my friend doesn’t really like hugs at all.) But thank you for sharing your question! And don’t ever feel stupid for asking, all questions are valid. Have a great day 💚

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you!

 

On 1/19/2019 at 6:14 PM, Anything_but_allo said:

I actually do know a couple allos in real life that feel uncomfortable towards certain gestures, whether it be romantic or platonic (my friend doesn’t really like hugs at all.)

Good to know!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know my aversions are mainly from romantic coding (or sexual coding and I'm not willing to do anything of a sexual nature with them). Sometimes my sense of love will get skewed and I will be repulsed by some platonic affectionate actions from individual people. Luckily I do know other people who have aversions, and they are very allo/allo people. One is touch averse, especially in public, she seems slightly more accepting in private, but only slightly. Another has a thing about her hands, she won't even high-5.

As for why we are like this.......I have no clue.

For some there might be some buried childhood trauma. Simply being forced to hug and kiss a decrepit elderly relative never met before can be horrifying to a small child - I know my disdain of washcloths is linked to a particularly bad visit to a nursing home when I was about 6. Really, one bad experience in formative years can leave the weirdest scars and influence attitudes in the future. 

 

It would be interesting to know how prevalent touch aversion is in the population and how it might correlate to different orientations

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/22/2019 at 4:30 PM, Apathetic Echidna said:

Luckily I do know other people who have aversions, and they are very allo/allo people. One is touch averse, especially in public, she seems slightly more accepting in private, but only slightly. Another has a thing about her hands, she won't even high-5.

Good to know. With the hand thing, I think my touch aversion is mostly with hands and faces and everything else is almost an afterthought really.

 

On 1/22/2019 at 4:30 PM, Apathetic Echidna said:

For some there might be some buried childhood trauma. Simply being forced to hug and kiss a decrepit elderly relative never met before can be horrifying to a small child - I know my disdain of washcloths is linked to a particularly bad visit to a nursing home when I was about 6. Really, one bad experience in formative years can leave the weirdest scars and influence attitudes in the future.

Huh. That's an interesting thought. I can't think of any circumstances that would lead to my touch aversion, but what do I know.

 

On 1/22/2019 at 4:30 PM, Apathetic Echidna said:

It would be interesting to know how prevalent touch aversion is in the population and how it might correlate to different orientations

Yeah, that's what I want to know too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, awkwardchickenpotatodragon said:

Huh. That's an interesting thought. I can't think of any circumstances that would lead to my touch aversion, but what do I know.

our brains are like a multi-million sided rubiks cubes, so take all my comments as slightly thought about brain farts. I'm just glad you thought it was interesting.

As for the finding out how prevalent it is I'll see if I can interest any of my psychology friends to work out an effective survey or something

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've thought about it for a while now and realized the following:
I'm definitely touch averse when someone wants to be smoochy with me, it's especially bad if the other person has romantic intentions.
But like you, OP, I'm often averse to platonic touch as well.
I rarely initiate it, often draw back when someone tries to touch me and most of the time I only touch my friends to comfort them because they are sad, etc.
A former friend of mine wanted to hold hands as a sort of experiment between us. I felt really awkward during it and it wasn't because of him - I liked him.
But the touch, urgh.

And honestly I'm like this since my childhood.
My parents weren't very physical with me which could be one cause. But I also didn't demand them to be.
However, I sometimes got hugs from my grandmother and actually loved it when she stroked me.
Since then they were only few people (can count them on one hand) I felt good with when they touched me.
I can't put my finger on the exact circumstances needed for me to feel good with it.
I said I'd need trust, which still calls true. But just because I trust someone doesn't mean I'll enjoy their touch
(which I experienced with my roommate).
It's complicated and I still want to figure it out.
In my case maybe it's just cause I'm not used to being touched?
Anyway, the question doesn't leave my mind too.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I think is going on is that it's less taboo for people to be touch adverse in aro spaces.
Whereas allos might well avoid mentioning it at all. Possibly only tolerating touch with a romantic partner, whilst seeking to minimise it.

Where this can lead to issues is assuming that all aros are touch adverse including insisting that someone very tactile can't be aro.

There appear to be similar issues of conflation surrounding philemaphobia.
 

On 1/23/2019 at 12:30 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

It would be interesting to know how prevalent touch aversion is in the population and how it might correlate to different orientations

I couldn't find any data on prevalance at all.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Mark said:

I couldn't find any data on prevalance at all.

Thanks for trying! 

Though I definitely see that people with only a mild aversion would fake or force themselves to act 'normal'. I didn't even know the concept of touch aversion before I came here, especially as I explained mine away as being moody because mine is variable

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/29/2019 at 6:57 PM, Mark said:

What I think is going on is that it's less taboo for people to be touch adverse in aro spaces

 

On 1/30/2019 at 3:14 PM, Apathetic Echidna said:

I didn't even know the concept of touch aversion before I came here, especially as I explained mine away as being moody because mine is variable

Both of your points are really good ones IMO.
People talk about being touch averse here (and on AVEN) very openly which is refreshing and even comforting at times, to know you're not the only one.
And since I stick around I finally have a word for this "quirk". Whereas in the past I thought it must be because of mental health problems or the way I was raised.
I tried to explain my aversion to touch to my current psychotherapist but after we analysed my childhood situation he said something along the lines of: "eh, you''re going to like it in the future" (generally, he's a good psychologist that helped me with a lot difficulties but I do wish professionals would desist from projecting some of their personal beliefs onto their patients. Even with my former therapist; whenever I only mentioned I'm not interested in romantic relationships, they flipped their shit a little. But that belongs in another topic).
In past relationships I tried to convince myself to like being touched so much. It didn't work and felt revulsion too many times.
This is a little less touch related but you know how people say it's romantic when someone (you like) looks deep into your eyes?
Happened to me in my first attempt at a relationship. It was plain horrible. I still get shudders just remembering and not in a good way.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×