Have you ever been hungry? Not the sort of hunger where there is a slight craving for a bite to eat or the kind where your stomach reminds you that it’s mealtime. No. It’s the ‘hunger‘ where nothing but the feeling of famishment takes over your body, mind, and soul. It’s a whole different sentiment that is indescribably powerful yet crippling. It is the biggest juxtaposition that I have seen everyone around me faced with. But you must be wondering what I’m talking about. It is a common deficiency in people that never seems to be taken seriously enough to be fulfilled. I am talking about touch starvation.

A simple truth in most people’s lives is that they need someone. Someone to love. Someone to be in love with. Someone to love them. Someone to be in love with them. But, most importantly, someone to touch. It can be sexual, platonic, conscious, subconscious, and even accidental. These touches can be as simple as a brush of the hand or as meaningful as being held close to someone’s chest, hearing their heartbeat and feeling their breath, but their power is very unassuming. Especially for those of us who are selective about who we touch. We become deprived of contact which goes unnoticed until we get a taste of the sweet essence of someone’s flesh on ours. Of someone’s warmth seeping into our veins. Of someone’s scent invading our carefully preserved space.

Touch is a drug which addicts people to its sensation very differently than others. It doesn’t increase your addiction with its use, but rather with its disuse. When a touch starved person finally gets touched, the feeling is so foreign that we tend to shy away from it for a few moments, but begin to slowly get sucked into its aura. The feeling of being touched to a touch starved is like waking up from a grey haze and being thrust into a fiery pit, only to emerge onto the other side like a phoenix, and surrounded by the most comforting warmth imaginable.

We tend to savor touches and elongate their moments as long as possible; by letting go of someone’s hand slowly, until only pinkies are left touching, by digging our fingers into the clothes or skin of the person we are embracing, by brushing our lips over the person’slips we have just finished (or even just started) kissing, by closing our eyes and living in the moment of our hand accidentally brushing against a stranger’s hand. We the touch starved may not constantly be in touch with people, but when we are, the bond between the flesh of us and the other person saturates the air. The touch of the touch starved is powerful.

-Yukta Bhagat

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