Touch is important because it’s the most highly developed sense at birth. That means it lets us know if the world is a safe place or not during this vital developmental period.
Touch always comes with emotion. For example, there is a specialised system of nerve fibres called C-Tactiles specifically designed to pick up slow-moving, gentle touch on your skin.
As well as being biologically programmed, the emotions we experience in touch are also learned through experience.
What all of us desperately need is good touch. And the goodness of touch starts with having a trusting relationship with the person you’re touching.
Good touch, such as hand-holding and hugs from a friend, has a range of health benefits because it’s a physical reminder that we have people who around us who care.
Because the rules of human touch are complicated, it’s sometimes tempting to stay behind a screen and keep ‘safe’ with virtual touch. This is an especially big problem with porn because the clash of intimacy and isolation is linked to loneliness and dissatisfaction with life.