Skin Hunger 3

Have you ever noticed that when cats and dogs get near each other, they immediately sniff, touch and frolic?  They know something that human beings often forget – that touching and playing is essential to our well being.

I remember a period in my life when I was getting no touching, no hugging, no kissing, no frolicking, no nothing.  That was a bleak period.  I could get over the lack of Vitamin F if you will, but to not get hugged was a terrible kind of starvation.  I was suffering from a deep case of skin hunger.  My skin felt dry; like it would crackle like peanut brittle.

I have a few friends and some other acquaintances who just need a touch…a touch…a touch.  Hugs on a regular basis would make them feel much better.  They need that sense of connection one feels when one touches another.  For many of them – it has been years since they’ve been in a relationship that included touching.  If one is not in a relationship – it can be almost impossible to get touched.  Think of it – living in a great big city with hundreds of thousands of people – and yet having no one to touch (non-sexually or sexually).  How bereft!

I probably frightened a young friend once, when I grabbed his hand while we were walking down the street talking.  I wasn’t flirting at all.  We were talking soul-to-soul and it just felt wrong not to have skin contact while we conversed.  I’ve also been in a number of powerful meetings and trainings where those of us participating got through a difficult project or broke through to a new insight or just learned something deeply and then we all said thank you and left.  It didn’t feel right.  It felt like we should hug each other.  A couple of times in these situations, I’ve actually asked the other participants if they minded if I gave them a hug.  I’ve never had anyone turn me down.

I made a decision a few years ago that I would say hello to people when I walk down the street.  This can be a revolutionary act in Boston.  I decided to use my home-training and say hello, like everyone in St. Louis did when I was growing up.  I decided I wouldn’t worry whether the people I spoke to back.  I have noticed that more people speak back now than they did when I started doing this.  I have also noticed that some people, like teenagers, are surprised when I say hello.

If I could, I would gift massages to those friends who have acute cases of skin hunger.  Since I can’t, I will be more demonstrative than my innately shy and sometimes aloof nature prompts me to be, and give them a hug.  In fact, I’ll give a metaphorical hug to the world as I say my prayers tonight.  Squeeze…squeeze.

About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

3 thoughts on “Skin Hunger

  • Jim Lewis

    I have always said hello to people on the street and in other public places. Eye contact alone can be misleading. I think this habit comes directly from my father’s midwestern confidence and cheerful personality. I wave to people when they or I drive by in cars on neighborhood roads. I started this after a vacation in the Irish countryside when I discovered that it is the rule that strangers should greet, particularly from the side of the road; my teen aged kids were appalled when I eagerly returned those fleeting waves. I often talk in elevators, and I usually try to be humorous, break up that interminably long, close ride. When I am walking and I see someone who looks lost, I almost always offer help; Boston can be a thoroughly confusing place to a native, let alone a visitor. But, I confess, the MBTA chills me, it has an ice that’s very hard to break, and I was a regular rider before the IPod, I can imagine how thick it must be now. I hugged two people outside my family in the past two weeks. One, a business associate who is down on his luck; he was visibly pleased. The other, a client who had worked her tail off to get a show up and running and was just beginning to hit the wall. She thanked me. I kissed a customer yesterday in lieu of a Christmas card. Does it all make a difference? To me it does.

  • Carolyn Ruth

    Skin Hunger is a point well made. I realized the need for human contact several years ago and I took action—I had my first massage—to add that vital missing ingredient. Granted, this step do not provide anything other than human contact—nuttin’ sexual or erotic and definitely no happy endings—however a kind, medicinal, supportive connection with another person was established. Human contact is so important.
    I’ve noticed some cultures around the world are so much more touchy-feely—the greeting with a kiss on each cheek or the “hello” hug. Unfortunately, as a society, we have become unavailable because we are fearful of one another—now I have to admit there have been situations portrayed on the news that depict such senseless violence however that is still the exception—thank goodness—not the norm . Moreover, I too began speaking to people on the street as I pass; my grandmother, from the south, was bothered by the unfriendliness of the north, “Where I come from you even speak to a dog that passes on the street.” I believe we can make a difference by extending a reasonable amount of kindness and a smile whenever we can. And remember, be wise as a serpent yet gentle as a dove.
    P.S. I highly recommend a modality of bodywork called cranial sacral massage.

  • Rape sex.

    Rape sex.

    Sex pictures rape torture archive free. Sex rape. Rape sex. Link to http ybsearch com redir rape sex. Rape sex stories. Click here rape fantasies forced sex rape fantas.

Comments are closed.