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People don't like being touched in these places

Sasha Brown-Worsham

by

Sasha Brown-Worsham

Sasha Brown-Worsham has written for dozens of publications over the course of her years as a journalist and blogger. She lives outside NYC with her three children, husband, and multiple pets. She is working on her first novel.

We humans like affection, but don't touch us on these places!

We all like to be touched, right? The feel of another person's hands on our bodies, both in sexual and affectionate ways, are some of the most important human interactions we have. But, the truth is, not all touch is welcome.

A new study has found that humans, no matter what culture they are from, tend to like being touched in certain places... and dislike being touched in others.

The study, which was published in the journal PNAS, asked more than 1,300 men and women to color in areas of the body that they would allow different people with different relationships to them to touch.

They created a map from the results.Some of it is unsurprising. Men don't want their genitals touched by a relative (duh) and women generally don't want to be touched by male strangers. But some was enlightening as well.

More: 'Physical contact map' might make you think twice about that hug

Most people do not want to be touched by strangers, in general. But touch is crucial in terms of creating a social bond. Study co-author Robin Dunbar, PhD, a professor of psychology at Oxford University, told Yahoo Health that the research stresses the importance of touch in creating a social bond. “This is a very ancient monkey/ape mechanism for creating friendships, and it seems that it is still important for us,” he says.

So what does this mean for us?

As someone who is only into the touch of people I know well, I appreciate this study. I have always felt a little like a weirdo for not appreciating the touch of strangers. Especially hugs. I am just not a huggy person. It turns out that's OK! So ha!

But love is all about touch and sensuality. And for most of us humans, the deeper touches and interactions are best to be done with people we know well. I am affectionate with my children and husband and some very close friends. But touch is such an exchange. When I hug or kiss someone, I am taking a piece of them into me and vice versa. I won't do that with just anyone. That's what makes LOVE special, isn't it?

We touch those we love. We don't touch the people we don't. That's how I feel about it and it has always worked for me. That's what love really is, after all.

Where do you like to be touched?

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