I am not a fan of being touched. At all. I end up feeling deeply uncomfortable pretty much any time someone touches me. Even the thought of a massage makes me cringe.
Hands off. Stay back.
In particular, tickling is a horrible, tortuous experience for me. I remember as a child, everyone was like “Oh, how cute, look at him squirm! Let’s tickle some more!” That was a nightmare. Saying no didn’t work. Saying stop didn’t work. Hitting? Hitting worked, but it got me in trouble. I hated visiting a particular relative who did nothing but tickle me. It still bothers me to this day. Right now, writing this, I’m alone in my house, yet I feel like I have to protect my sides.
People think it’s a joke. It is not a joke. I am absolutely serious.
I actually have a fear that if I ever ended up in a close relationship, that my partner wouldn’t understand, wouldn’t think I was serious, and would try it and wouldn’t stop. I mean, it’s highly unlikely that I’ll ever end up in a relationship, but this is seriously something that bothers me about the thought.
So yeah, not a fan of touch.
Anyway, when I was in a relationship, and touching was expected, I remember being completely baffled about what I was supposed to do, both giving and receiving. When receiving, my first impulse was to move away, because so many touches had been so unpleasant in the past. When I managed to get comfortable with her touching me, I didn’t understand what the point was. With the exception of very specific areas, being touched wasn’t particularly exciting for me. And I knew I was supposed to touch her in return, but how? Why am I doing this? What should I be doing here? “Friend level” touching didn’t seem that different to me than “boyfriend level” touching did. There was no guide to what I should be doing. Arm, side, back, stomach, they all felt pretty much the same to me, and I didn’t get much out of it. I’m pretty sure she had to physically direct my hands to her breasts once, because they weren’t going to get there on their own. (And then, it was like “Okay, this is what one feels like. Now what?”)
Much more recently, there was someone who was interested in me. During a long conversation, they moved closer and eventually put their hand on my leg and I just didn’t feel anything from it.
And as you may have gathered, I’m not really much of a fan of cuddling.
It’s a bit easier to deal with than random touches, but I still find it strange. But mostly boring. I gather the point of cuddling is to remain in close contact for a length of time, but I generally find that within a minute, I’m done and want to move on. Remaining still for any length of time also starts to become physically uncomfortable for me.
I will say that I did find the hug-from-behind form of cuddling to be somewhat arousing in a somewhat sexual context. Full torso skin to skin contact also felt warmly pleasant. But that didn’t outweigh the boredom and discomfort. Trying-to-sleep cuddles really didn’t work, because it’s hard to sleep with a faceful of hair, and the size difference meant I couldn’t be little spoon.
I’d have to say that, for the most part, cuddling fell into the “This is what I’m supposed to do” bucket, like so much else.