Without touch humans will die. Among the living things on this planet, humans in particular, require being touched and nurtured as part of the survival matrix. A controlled study of infants who were not given proper nurturing (gentle touch, holding, verbal interaction, eye-gazing from another human being), while all other nutritional, health needs, and physiological needs (less the nurturing) were met, experienced a high mortality rate.
We know that hospitals, prisons, adult care facilities, and cemeteries are heavily populated by people who were not given adequate nurturing, human touch, and interaction in their younger years. While they received enough attention to survive, they were denied the ability to thrive for lack of touch.
Human beings need to be touched. The lack of compassionate human touching sends people in a whirlwind of exploration and searching for something to fill the void left by lack of touch. This pleasure-seeking enthusiasm leads to over-compensation by engaging in activities which seem to appease the need, or make you feel better, even though these efforts do not satisfy for long.
These activities include seeking material possessions, hoarding of objects or financial resources, living above one’s means, intense focus on increasing social status, moving into positions of power, risk taking, thrill seeking (engaging in potentially dangerous or questionably legal or moral activities), substance abuse, self-centered enhancements (i.e., cosmetic surgery, bodybuilding, etc.), among other things which can stave off the need for physical connection, including successive sexual encounters.
Sex and human connection with compassionate touching are not even closely related, therefore, the quest for successive sexual encounters, while it will ease the pain until the next dose, will not sustainably fill the void left by not touching and being connected to others.
Years of seeking to fill the void of left by lack of authentic human connection and nurturing touch, leads one to the conclusion that nothing can fill the gap, and without connected physical touch, the immune system declines, clearing the way for disease and one’s deterioration of heath.
If you are among those who did not receive adequate amounts of compassionate nurturing as a child, you probably don’t even know how important it is to you. You do not need to live your life as an A-type personality in a fervor to keep up with the Joneses, spending your life scurrying through the rat race, turn to a life of addiction, or crime, etc. in an attempt to feel better. You can engage in some healthy activities which can fill the void left by lack of connection.
Snuggling with a pet (that is not averse to the idea of snuggling) can help to feel the void, and it doesn’t even require the engagement of another person. This is a good source of connection in the absence of another human being and has proven to be effective for increasing health and longevity in the elderly.
Hugging (while it may sound crazy, at first) is an excellent non-threatening activity. If you are not well-acquainted with the idea of compassionate hugging, just for the sake of hugging without any sexual or manipulative intent, it can take some time to get used to the idea.
A 7-second hug boosts the immune system and releases health-enhancing feel good hormones, like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, while a 20-second hug (which would be awkward with someone with whom you did not know well or were intimate with) increases the effects exponentially.
There are other methods available to subsidize your lack of touch and to neutralize the effects of lack of touch in your childhood. These can be explored with an aware third-party, coach, or counselor.