I hate being touched.
Every time I hold hands with someone, whether or not we're romantically involved, I feel like I'm just trying to wait for an appropriate moment to let go.
It's not a germ thing; I'm just not comfortable with it. What is the point? Why are we doing this? Does it lead to an orgasm?
Outside of sex, which has a designated beginning and ending, affectionate touch genuinely confuses me.
Here are some of the struggles that people who hate to be touched need everyone out there to understand:
1. Whispering is an abomination.
There is no reason on God's green earth you should ever need to breathe that close to my ear.
You might not be touching me, but I can feel your words hitting my skin, and to be honest, that is 100 times worse.
Don't even try to come at me with your secrets, bro. This is the Information Age. You can text me.
2. Porcupines are more relatable than dogs.
Sure, everyone loves dogs.
You might also actually love dogs, but if you took the neediest human you've ever met and multiplied their hunger for affection by like 1000 percent, you'd have a dog.
I love dogs probably more than any other animal on earth. But, do I relate to their open-hearted need to be touched?
Absolutely not. My spirit animal is a porcupine.
3. PDA makes you want to run for the hills.
When I see people on the train full-on swallowing each other's faces or even just touching their knees together, I want to yell for the sake of common decency, "No one needs to be doing this!"
It's great that you're in love. I just wish your love would die, at least until we reach your stop.
You are making this commute uncomfortable for all of us.
4. When people hug you, you're like, "WHY? WHAT IS THIS FOR?"
Oh my god, please don't touch me. Please.
You're trapping me in a prison of forced affection and throwing my body into a paralysis. All there is left for me to do is think of the sweet moment of release.
Hugs make people who hate to be touched feel like they are fish on a hook. We cannot breathe until you let us go and return us to our natural habitat: solitude.
If you absolutely MUST fucking hug me, at least give me an ass-out hug. Respect the bubble.
5. You've avoided getting tattoos so people won't touch them.
Tattoos are cool. I love tattoos.
Will I get one that is visible to strangers? Not on your mother's life I won't.
I will never understand why, when people see that you have body art, you all of a sudden become some interactive art installation for them.
On second thought, maybe I should get a tattoo that reads, "DO NOT FUCKING TOUCH ME."
6. You've had "the talk" with all your affectionate friends.
"Look, Becky. You're great. I love you with all of my heart, and I love that you're an affectionate, sensitive soul who wants to spread love in this world. But please, for the love of God, keep your fucking hands off the merchandise."
It's possible for people who are touch-phobic to love you without loving the hugs you give. And if you're a real friend, you'll understand that.
7. No, hugs will cure you of this. This is a life choice.
People are always trying to cure you of this phobia, or they're trying to figure out WHY you hate being touched.
Are you a victim of some crime? Were you deprived of love as a child? Have you tried looking into solving this problem?
No, no and no. This is not a problem. This is a way of life.
I can be an openhearted person who listens well and shows affection in ways that do not involve wiping my hands on you.
Do you need someone to go buy you Advil, do your laundry or clean your home? I would rather clean your toilet for you. Just don't pat me on the back after.
8. You fully understand couples with separate beds in the '50s.
Sure, they didn't understand a lot of things in the '50s, but one thing they did understand? Separate beds.
Do you even know how much more successful my relationships could've been if I wasn't constantly waiting for my significant other to fall asleep before moving to the couch?
9. You are filled with fear when someone picks the treadmill next to yours.
The whole gym is empty, just the way you like it.
You go directly to the end of the line of treadmills or ellipticals, and then all of a sudden, a sweaty stranger decides to waltz right up to the treadmill next to yours and mounts that thing like you came here together.
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? There are, like, nine other treadmills, and you choose the one where your sweat will inevitably be flying into my mouth?
Don't be this person EVER.
10. Holding hands is for when you've fallen onto the subway tracks.
Until I am hanging from the side of a building, have been thrown off the bow of a ship or have stumbled onto the tracks of the subway, there is no reason, under any circumstances, that you should need to HOLD my HAND.
My hand is not for holding. It doesn't need to be held.
It is not a pile of loose change requiring a container. It is MY hand, and you cannot touch it.
If you feel that affection is necessary or appropriate, please take note of this manifesto.
Those of us who do not want or like to be touched really need your cooperation on this.
Every day is a struggle for us, and we often feel like we're the dark clouds in the Prozac commercial of life.