Skin Hunger: What is it?
Skin hunger is simply a desire for physical contact with another person—and it’s a very human desire. While we tend to think of intimate touch as a strictly sexual experience, skin hunger is mostly a longing for non-sexual touch.
The topic of skin hunger presented itself after being at our recent Couples Retreat and seeing the glow that came of people’s faces after spending extra time getting close with each other. We encourage to take a closer look at this relationship building practice if letting your days go by without taking the time to connect physically with the one you love is becoming a common occurrence for you.
Over 40 years of research has shown that hugging enhances general wellbeing and promotes relaxation and bonding by releasing oxytocin, which is known as the ‘cuddle chemical’. The practice reduces your stress hormone cortisol levels too, as well as lowering the risk of anxiety and depression. Snuggling also lowers your blood pressure and enhances your immune system. In short, it’s a beautiful gift to give each other.
Being wrapped in the warm embrace of someone you trust can fulfil a wide range of emotional and physical needs you might not have even realised you had. Even if you’re not in a great place in your intimacy a simple hug can start to rebuild the bond between partners in ways beyond imagining.
Cuddling is so important it even became a movement. We attended a few ‘cuddle parties‘ that were popular a few years ago, which were parties set up for the explicit purpose of creating a safe environment for people (even complete strangers) to ‘cuddle’ in. To physically connect with each other without any sexual intent. It was amazing how comfortable people were quickly able to become with each other, although the first one was confronting for Annette as she realised she didn’t even know what non sexual touch was!
Suggestions for body contact
The 20 sec hug:
It makes a world of difference taking time to really be in a hug. It allows the exchange of all the goodies mentioned above, less frequently experienced by people who are in and out of a hug before they know it.
So the next time you go there try these steps:
– Let your partner know you would like to share a hug with them by making eye contact and asking.
– Make getting a no OK, it may just not be the right time for them.
– Put your arms gently right around each other.
– Let your whole bodies melt together at the heart, belly and genitals.
– Take a slightly deeper breath than normal. Take two, or even three.
– Sigh gently on the exhale.
– Enjoy and be happy!
Holding each other as you sleep:
If you’ve let this habit fade away from the days when you couldn’t let go of each other, even to sleep, reach out and bring it back in.
– Lie in spoons position, one person behind the other, with the rear persons’ underneath arm resting under the neck of the person in front.
– Or lie side by side facing each other with your arms in a position you both find comfortable.
– Breathe and relax.
– Make it a non doing activity.
– Even if you don’t stay this way all night every moment counts.
Sleeping together naked:
This is a simple and beautiful way to let love in. The other benefits from the lushness of skin-to-skin contact that’s experienced in sleeping naked are not to be sneezed at either. NB. Naked works best but if this is too much for you, try as little clothing as possible.
– Lie physically naked in bed and hold each other, either spooning, or face to face. You may not stay this way all night, but you can start here.
– Give yourself permission to really feel the skin on skin and enjoy it. Breathe through any resistance or arousal that comes up, and relax into yourselves.
– Make it a ‘non-doing’ activity. Resist the urge to stroke or actively arouse yourself or your partner in any way. Give yourselves permission to just be. If you try it, you’ll find it’s a delicious treat for both of you.
Body contact is a beautiful way to reach out for happiness rather than suffering…
It increases your comfort in intimacy and although this is not about being sexual it makes being sexual together easier as it opens your hearts…
And makes your skin hunger a thing of the past!