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Touch aversion?

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I'm curious if touch aversion is a common experience among asexuals. I've been averse to people touching me my entire life, even in strictly platonic contexts (ie. a friend leaning her head on my shoulder or tapping her fingers on the back of my hand). Hugging or touching anything clothed is usually fine, I just hate the feeling of skin on skin-- it makes me feel like my personal space has been breached. I'm more comfortable if I'm the one touching someone else, but even still it's only with people I feel very comfortable around (or if I'm drunk lol).

 

But for me as a heteromantic asexual, I find touch aversion makes dating really difficult. I often give off signals of being uninterested romantically just because I don't make the physical moves that I "should" or naturally reciprocate to a given signal. And I'm worried that ever being in a relationship would require me to break those touch barriers much earlier than I would feel comfortable doing in order to not scare the other person away or leave them dissatisfied. Explaining to a potential partner that I'm sex-averse seems easier than trying to explain why I naturally recoil when they touch me. Even among friends, I feel like my body language is always so reserved and I don't want to give off the wrong impression.

 

Have you guys experienced the same thing, and if so how have you dealt with it? I'll add that I've also been considering the autochorissexual label, and I wonder if that detachment from the physical self could also be linked to touch aversion.

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Salmiakki

I really hate touching, I don't like to be physically close to people. I just deal with it by not touching people since I don't want to touch

I have no advice sorry

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wayward_zombie

I'm not too comfortable with people touching me either. I don't know if I would really call it aversion though, but i do hate even the smaller of the touches sometimes. I don't even know how it works myself to be honest, I guess for me it really depends on the mood and people but yeah generally I'm not used to people touching me and I dont like when they do. I feel you on the friend thing, and I was a lot more closed off in the past though I got better at managing it! It took some practice and people who just understood that thats just the way I am but I got more touchy and less disturbed by people touching me

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Yeast

The only touch that generates an emotional response with me is a hand shake after I've made some sort of business transaction. I'll let other people hug me but I do it as a favor to them. It makes me feel like a hamster sometimes. OK, pick me up and cuddle me if you must but I'd really rather be down on the floor gathering pumpkin seeds. Alone. Yes, you can watch me all you want... 

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Ytterbium

I'm very similar. I see all touch as either something neutral (e.g. handshakes, highfives) or negative (e.g. hugging, cuddling, intercourse).

 

I can't think of a scenario where I'd be glad if someone touched me.

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Finn.

 

It's possible you will find a partner who isn't the touchiest person either! There's different types of asexual, there are surely ones that don't like to hug or cuddle too. I held hands once, we both were wearing gloves, and it was bearable. So you could try that sort of fabric-barrier? Or just form the agreement, that you initiate touch if you want to do so.

 

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Carsonspire

Yep! Also touch averse here. That said, not always and not with everyone. It depends. -satellite-, you hit on a key point here (for me, at least) about skin-on-skin. Even beyond any aversion, there's an element of vulnerability there that could make anyone uncomfortable. 

 

And ... there's also *huge* overlap between the asexual community and the autistic spectrum community, as well as with people who experience sensory overload without necessarily being/identifying as autistic. Touch, and avoiding certain types of touch (light touch, for example), is key for some people in these communities. Not suggesting anything here, just making note of the connection for reference. 

 

Long story short: you are not alone!

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depressolation

Touch neutral/averse here.

 

I don’t necessarily hate touch per se, it’s just that it makes me very uncomfortable, whether that person is close to me or not. Still, there are times when I’m fine with it or even want to reciprocate.

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Fisheisley
16 hours ago, Ytterbium said:

I can't think of a scenario where I'd be glad if someone touched me.

I feel the same way. I am only ok hugging my best friend, and I do that mostly but not completely just for him. I don’t want to hug family, I don’t want to be touched by another human being. The thought of being intimate deadens and sometimes repulses me. I’ve had sex and did it because I thought I was supposed to (not a good reason) and just wanted it to be over with. I’ve tried going on dating sites because I’m a little lonely only to delete the app when someone says something remotely sexual. I feel like I’m expected to find someone, like I’m supposed to. I’m nearly 37 and I’d rather be alone and not touched.

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Laplace

I’m not the greatest with touch either; I haven’t suffered any sort of traumatic event, but it just doesn’t come naturally to me. Handshakes and greetings are easy enough but I find physical intimacy challenging. I am, in all likelihood, aro ace which contributes to this, however, I feel like there’s some other fundamental issue that encourages me to be a very private person. Maybe I’ve just grown up to be a really callous person, IDK 😐. It kinda makes me sad sometimes.

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atpsynthace

This this this. I'm pretty touch averse in romantic contexts especially, although I have my moments outside of that. Most of the way I deal with it is just communication. My boyfriend has gotten pretty good at reading me/verbally asking me before he touches me, but I still haven't gotten to a point where I feel anything upwards of neutral toward it in that context. Glad to see I'm not the only one :D

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CirothUngol
On 5/5/2018 at 2:54 PM, -satellite- said:

I'm curious if touch aversion is a common experience among asexuals.

Have you guys experienced the same thing, and if so how have you dealt with it?

Oh god, where do I start? I've kinda been psychoanalyzing myself for years, let's see what I got:

I was highly touch-averse and until my 30s had never really touched or was touched by anyone besides my mother and two older sisters. I was also asexual, aromantic even, never having dated, kissed, or rarely so much as hugged anyone outside my family. Oddly enough, I never worried about it or even noticed it very much... until someone touched me when I wasn't expecting it.

I call it "panic-jump".

 

Not just a startled reaction, but a sudden panic with fight-or-flight on top. I would literally dash or leap from my chair, and usually become frightened or angry. I've come to feel that some apparent childhood trauma is at root. Maybe? There were some occurrences in my past that are supposedly traumatic, but I've only recently come to know them as traumatic... and at the time, I honestly didn't know of them at all. A different traumatic event in my early 30s caused the memories to resurface, first as nightmares  and then while I was actually wide awake. It was a dangerous few weeks followed by a rough couple of years (being psychotic sucks), but I was able to lean on a couple of good friends, one of which I started to cuddle-up with (no 'sex', just touching), and felt rather good about it. It would be years afterward that I finally realized what my issue with touch was all about.

Trust.

 

My issue was trust. I didn't know other people, I wasn't attracted to other people, and I didn't trust other people... but after my fall I learned to trust that friend. She was kind to me, we had fun together, and for a little over a year we went out, we stayed in, and we cuddled, held-hands, and hung on each other, but we never kissed or had any other intimate touching. At the time, I didn't quite understand why she wanted to move on to a new boyfriend, but I do now.

Because we never kissed nor had any other intimate touching.

 

Who knew?! To do so honestly never crossed my mind. If she had wanted greater intimacy, she should have asked. We could have talked. Communicate, people! Anyway, afterwards I was much better at allowing others to touch me, but to this day I still seem quite wary. If you're my friend and I know you, I'm disgustingly "all hugs". Weird and total backlash I know, but afterwards I literally started hugging everyone I knew and loved when I saw them. It was both relieving and oddly cathartic. If I don't know you, even a handshake is kind of a drag, and I-don't-care-how-cute-you-are please don't hug me, but I get over it and no harm done. However, just last week at a crowded club with loud music a girl was trying to get by me from behind, and placed her hand, palm down, in a gripping fashion, just above my hip, and pushed... and there it was. Autonomic. I lunged. I'm so glad there was no one in front of me, because I lunged hard. I didn't even turn around to look, instead treating it as a typical reaction any normal dude would have and leaving it at that.

Trust and consent.

 

I didn't know her and she didn't ask if she could touch me. Crowded club, loud music, I honestly don't expect anyone to beg for graces before laying hands upon in those surroundings. I know that's ridiculous, unrealistic, and otherwise undo-able, but the aversion is still often there nonetheless. So I guess that's your answer as far as I'm concerned:

It can go from bad-as-it-gets to really-not-that-bad... but you have to go crazy first. ^_^

 

Addendum:

I've now been married 10+ years and my wife has full reign over touching rights. I'm fully non-averse with her because I trust her with my life. Literally. It's rarely insurmountable, you just need to find the root, the impetus, the cause. If it doesn't really bother you, as it really didn't me, then perhaps choose to do nothing about it, as I didn't. But if it does bother you, and you'd like to try and overcome it, then you probably can by finding out what you're specifically averse to and examining why it bothers you.

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megtheleg22

I identify as autochorissexual and I hate to be touched. Especially if they touch me with their hands. I am generally more ok with it if I am the one initiating the contact, but I really hate when someone, especially someone I don't know makes any contact with me, especially skin-to-skin. However, I don't know how strongly this relates to my sexuality, because it might just stem from my germophobia. I carry hand-sanitizer with me at all times. ;)

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XIII

I'm a sex-repulsed aromantic and I HATE it when people touch me, even if it's a soft tap on my shoulder to get my attention. I don't let anyone touch me, not even my friends or family. If I'm dating someone, I can handle them holding my hand, but beyond that I can't do it

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Madao

I can't really call myself touch-averse since I touch my parents and my sibling a lot, to the point they get irritated. But yes, even with my closest friends, I tend to avoid touching. But don't you worry! I am sure you will find someone who's like you and will be a suitable partner for you :)

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snapesonalane
On 5/6/2018 at 3:14 PM, Fisheisley said:

I feel the same way. I am only ok hugging my best friend, and I do that mostly but not completely just for him.

This is the same with me as well. My friends joke that I had to be "hug trained" because I was so averse to it and now I just hug them occasionally entirely because they want to. 

 

On 5/6/2018 at 3:14 PM, Fisheisley said:

The thought of being intimate deadens and sometimes repulses me. I’ve had sex and did it because I thought I was supposed to (not a good reason) and just wanted it to be over with. I’ve tried going on dating sites because I’m a little lonely only to delete the app when someone says something remotely sexual.

The only time I had sex I had to get drunk to do it. Very unhealthy and I would have never done it had I been sober. I try remembering details through the hazy alcohol memories and the only thing that seems clear is that it was kind of fruitless and got little reaction out of me. Basically, it was boring. I also use dating apps when I'm feeling lonely and instantly get turned off when something sexual is mentioned. 

 

On 5/15/2018 at 4:01 PM, megtheleg22 said:

initiating the contact, but I really hate when someone, especially someone I don't know makes any contact with me, especially skin-to-skin

I also feel this way but I suspect for me the skin-to-skin thing is probably due to Aspergers. I can hug my family for example, but I cannot help flinching when skin-to-skin contact takes place. 

 

The whole touch aversion I've sort of come to terms with  Its probably not just because of my aceness but because of mild sensory issues which make prolonged contact next to unbearable. Having said that, I don't mind pats or hugs with family when I'm the one initiating them, but with friends a short hug is all I can take. 

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