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This need can be so strong, such that women of this type can be promiscuous, even resorting to prostitution....


Not long ago, I read a small item in a magazine which told about the findings of three psychiatrists reporting on bodily contact. They discovered that most women find bodily contact pleasant, and some find it disagreeable and even repugnant; but there are some women who have such a strong desire to be held, touched and cuddled, that this resembles an addiction.

This need can be so strong, such that women of this type can be promiscuous, even resorting to prostitution. They will have intercourse with a man in return for the physical contact; what they want most is to be cuddled.

This sounds so clear cut that it seems a very simple desire to satisfy. But, believe me, it isn't. I know because I am one of those women; and there is very much more to this need and the satisfying of it than would appear. For me, the pleasure of touching and to be touched is so great I can reserve it only for a man I want very much.

To be touched by a man I don't find attractive is, I think, doubly repulsive to me than a normally sensitive woman. I certainly would not trade a sexual experience with a man for the pleasure of being cuddled; to me it would not be a pleasure if I didn't want that particular man sexually. In fact, if I don't want someone sexually, I will avoid even the physical contact of a handshake if I can.

But when someone is appealing to me, I imagine I get as much thrill out of holding his hand or having his arm around my waist as most women get in the act of intercourse. I am not talking, of course, about having an orgasm. I am talking of the mental and physical joy of touching and being touched, to be held by someone whose appeal can be intoxicating. Only a few times in my life have I had this need satisfied.

I am now well in my thirties, free (divorced), and if it were all as simple as our psychologist suggested, I could get myself cuddled by filling my bed any night of the week. Instead, I am very much alone. This great need to give and receive affection is sublimated in many, not terribly pleasant ways. This accentuated sense of touch is, I believe, part of the oral type of a person's makeup. All senses are more keyed up, as it were.

Touching, cuddling, and contact with another warm body are all bound up with kissing, taking in pleasure through the mouth with smoking, eating and drinking. I believe we are called by some psychologists the self-indulgent type.

Early last year I met a man for whom I immediately felt this great urge for contact. I met him in the company of a fellow I was dating at that time, and it was a few months before I could actually come close to the man of my choice. Whenever we met by accident at a party or in a bar I would try to get close to him. If we touched shoulders or he put his hand on mine while lighting my cigarette, this small contact was more to me than going to bed with someone else.

When we finally had an affair, I fell madly in love with him. During the time we were together, it is strange to reflect that I smoked less, drank less and lost my usual great interest in food. To be near him and make love with him satisfied this central need in me which usually embraces all the wider interests of most other women. …Mrs. C.T.


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