The pandemic has created a very strange time for many of us and has changed the way that we interact with people to great lengths. Not only that, but many of us now lead much more reserved life’s and are experiencing
Yep, it’s a thing.
Skin hunger, or touch starvation comes from the deprivation of physical contact. With the pandemic and the regulations it’s any wonder that many of the world’s population is currently suffering through this.
So what is it?
Skin hunger is not just intimate touch. It’s any touch. Any physical touch. Shaking hands, a pat on the back, a hug, a kiss on the cheek. Hell, being squished in Sydney trains during peak hour. It all contributes. All of these contribute to the production of oxytocin which is the superfighting hormone Oxytocin which if you really want to simplify it, is the arch nemesis to Cortisol, which in large quantities is the stress hormone.
You’re probably thinking right about now, that your cortisol levels have probably increased this last year. You would probably be right. Not only that, but the lack of touch has also been shown to contribute to the rise in cortisol. In past studies in offices, research found that after shaking hands, staff felt happier or more at peace than those who routinely did not engage in shaking hands.
Many people interpret Skin hunger as wanting sex, but thi might not be the case, it might just be the need for physical contact. Any physical contact. As Humans we are hardwired to seek touch. In fact our bodies, our senses are primarily made up of “touch” with our skin being our largest organ, making up a large portion of our senses.
So yes, while we are stuck at home, or not able to go around touching as many people as we did before, how do we combat our need for physical touch and closeness? I get it, it’s hard, and nothing is going to beat the real thing. I understand. I am not suggesting that we say screw the system and go around touching. That would be ludicrous.
Instead, what I have is several self touch techniques that are here to help promote your oxytocin levels, that will stimulate your physical touch reserves and help with Touch Hunger. It is important to note that with these, it is very very very important to couple this with keeping in touch with friends and family, phone calls, texts, skype, video call to keep social. We need to feed our social beasties as well for this to work long term.
You would be surprised how often we neglect our own bodies and forget to enjoy ourselves and be mindful of the way that we touch, feel and stimulate our own senses.
Some simple ways to promote self touch:
Run a warm bath – Add bath salts or oil.
Wrap yourself in heavy blankets or pillows. The pressure of these will stimulate the receptors that will trigger the oxytocin as a by-product of the vagus nerve.
Massage Techniques for Self touch
Using a rubber ball, place the ball beneath the arch of your foot either sitting or standing. Applying pressure (how hard is up to you) roll the ball up and down your foot and breathe deeply, activating the vagus nerve.
Face One hand (B) palm up. Using the other hand (A), clasp around the forearm of your other arm (B) and squeeze ever so gently. Now turn Arm B so that your palm faces the sky then the ground. Repeat for 5. You should feel a warm tightening sensation in your muscles. Try moving your Hand (A) further up or down your forearm of (B). Switch arms and repeat.
Placing one arm bent behind in a fist in the centre of your back, pull your elbow back to feel a stretch across your chest, shoulder and upper arm. Close your eyes and breathe. Using your other hand, rub up and down the bent arm, continue to rub, moving further and further along your shoulder and chest. Repeat this exercise on the other side.
Sitting down, take both your hands and start near your ears and temples, place your thumbs under the lobes of your ears and your fingers from the top of your ears along your temple. Move your hands back and forth across your scalp with varied pressure.
Use oils and creams to lubricate your skin as you run your fingers along your body in long slow movements. This will activate your nervous system and help your body to connect. Not feeling it? That’s perfectly normal, as weird as it may seem. Closing your eyes, taking away your sight (one of your other senses) will help you to connect with your body and stimulate that oxytocin that your body needs. Don’t believe me? Try it. Even if it is just a little, simply rubbing your hand feels different when you close your eyes.
Masturbating is a wonderful way to get closer to yourself, not to fill a hole, but rather to get in touch with yourself and your desires. Being mindful of masturbation can be very rewarding and fulfilling. Try a new position you have never tried before. Use a toy you haven’t thought to use. Use edging and denial, bring yourself close to climax and stop. Tease yourself and see how many times you can make it to the edge. Can you make it to ten? Try warming or cooling lubricant or arousal oils. And who said libido enhancers have to be used only with company?
BDSM doesn’t need to be something that is sacrificed during a pandemic. It just means that we need to get creative. We have touched on denying yourself orgasms. Wear a cock cage, enjoy that feeling of chastity, your hands exploring your body over the device. This feeling will also increase your oxytocin levels which will help your feeling of Touch Starvation.
Have you tried wax play? Now might be the time. It’s a wonderful sensation play perfect for solo adventurers. Start with massage candles and their low low burning temperatures before moving onto the sweet thick trails of the warm then hot wax.
Nipple clamps, clamps, cupping and suction have always had the ability to be lovingly used solo and leave loving little marks
Vampire mits and paddles can also administer perfect little kisses for your attention.
Impact play can be self-inflicted at varying degrees as well for the solo masochist. It is not the same, I am aware, it is not supposed to be the same, and we are not condoning nor suggesting this as an exercise as self harm, but merely as another form of self touch. Think of it as a slightly more extreme massage such as a gentle whack with a paddle to the thigh.
Bondage is a little harder solo. Cuffing yourself can be a little dangerous so we do not condone it safely. Rope play can be stimulating for the sense however, tying hip harnesses or futomomos provided that you have safety shears close at hand. These ties will give you the pressure as well as the delight and sensory feel that may appease in symptoms of Touch Starvation. There are some wonderful online tutorials for simple self-ties to try like through Rory’s Brainworks or Studio Kink’s online courses.
Craving touch and closeness is not something new, nor is it something that we should be ashamed of. It is indeed a very human trait. That want for sex you may be craving may in fact be personal closeness and it is important to recognise this during this strange time where it may be harder to go out and meet new people.
Visit our Stores in Ohzone Caringbah, Ohzone Penrith and Adultsmart Kogarah for other tips and toys to add to your self pleasure routine to better know your body and kickstart your system’s touch reserves.
As always, At your Service,
Oh Zone Sales Consultant, Educator and Touch aware.
Tiffany is studying to be a future Sexologist with a current background in education and leadership. As a passionate writer; Tiffany is heavily interested and invested in all things kink, sex and pleasure. Tiffany has spent much of her life experimenting, learning, reading and seeking out as much information as she can from various sources to bring you great reads and tantalizing information.