Human Social Behavior (Touch) Question

by Damien Lee

Photo Credit: Cassidy Curtis

Photo Credit: Cassidy Curtis

What could cause an aversion to human touch? I have a friend who describes it to me as feeling 'incredibly uncomfortable' with human touch. She says that sometimes she feels pain, like a hot or cold sensation, when she is touched.

Typically when touched she freezes up, and she tells me that the only way she can force herself to touch other people or be touched by them is by 'going somewhere else' mentally and detaching herself from her body. What could cause these sorts of reactions to human contact?

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Jul 23, 2011
Maybe not psychological, but sensory

Unfortunately, I can't really say which psychological factors may cause aversion to touch. I think I've read that trauma can cause reactions like that - I don't know whether this applies to your friend.

But the reason does not have to be a psychological one. It could be a sensory problem, too. I have a tactile hypersensitivity, which basically means that whatever comes into contact with my skin feels different for me than it feels for other people. I can't stand being touched lightly and being tickled is horrible. I also don't like a lot of food because it feels strange in my mouth. When I was little, even the water in the shower hurt me, but thankfully it all became easier as I grew up.

I think you could ask you friend whether she is only sensitive to human touch (that would point towards a psychological reason) or also to other tactile stimuli, e.g. the texture of clothing, water on her skin or the texture of certain foods.

Jul 15, 2011
Husband grossed out of touch
by: Anonymous

My husband is like that. At first he didn't say anything but after we were married he is vocal about it. He physically pushes me away if I stand too close or try to hug him and he won't even let me kiss him. He hates to be touched or have someone near him. The only time he will kiss me is if we are having sex and its very mechanical like his brain has flipped a switch.

The funny thing is that I am grossed out in that situation because its like he is out of his mind and it only lasts a few minutes (like he is imagining I am someone else) and then I am pushed away. It makes me sad and sick it feels gross to me like he isn't there in the present.

I want to be touched and kissed and cuddled and hugged. I'm not sure if he hates the sensation or if he feels its germy but he even hates a massage. I totally don't get it. Perhaps because of being in such a "cold" touchless marriage I crave touch more. I once had a guy friend who massaged my feet, we were just friends but the touch brough us close and now I crave for that. It's like a starving craving emptiness that I want to fill. The connection I had with the friend massaging my feet is like no feeling of desire between my husband and I. I think this lack of touch is what is missing that could bring us together.

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