10.3 C
Madrid
Sunday, October 25, 2020

Love & OM: To Touch Or Not To Touch: A COVID-19 Calculus

Physio-emotional benefits of touch raise concerns about single people living without physical connection

Must read

Mantra Healing Through Gayatri Worship

INDIA. The current ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdowns have brought special significance to the chanting of the Gayatri Mantra. The sense...

The Disha Patil Digital First Season Fluid Edition Collection At Lakmé Fashion Week 2020–A Beautiful Offering Of Stylish Geometric Creations

INDIA. Mumbai. When geometry and fashion merge creatively for a collection, the result is a grand offering of stunning ensembles. Disha Patil’s...

Spain And France Exceed One Million COVID-19 Cases

SPAIN. Spain and France have surpassed one million COVID-19 cases this week. Many European countries are still battling with the COVID-19 outbreak....

Thai Parliament To Hold Special Session

THAILAND. Bangkok: The Royal Gazette of Thailand announced on 21 October that there will be a special parliamentary meeting starting on 26...
Lisa Carley Hotaling
Lisa Carley Hotaling
Editor-in-Chief of Transcontinental Times. I have a graduate degree in Humanistic Psychology and live in Upstate New York.

The need for intimacy

Social distancing mandates to prevent the spread of COVID-19 hit single people especially hard. Many who had previously enjoyed their single life, dating, seeking casual hook-ups, or hanging out with friends, may have found themselves facing isolation and a newfound need for intimacy. In a recent poll, “Sixty-seven percent admitted social distancing has even increased their cravings for physical intimacy.”

A 43-year-old woman from Upstate New York began a new relationship with a man living in a local monastery just prior to the mandatory lockdowns. The monastery disallowed outside contact to prevent viral spread through the community. Their relationship continued through phone calls, text messages, and the infrequent physically distanced walk in the park.  However, the longing for physical intimacy only increased, and she ended their relationship.

- Advertisement -

Through a popular dating app, she found a man who was a healthcare worker and maintained strict COVID-19 precautions. They dated and began a sexual relationship, keeping their circles limited to immediate family only.

In an interview with Transcontinental Times, she shared, “Overall, I felt I had to keep a balance between my own need for intimate connection and health safety. I probably leaned more towards physical connection for emotional health rather than to stay distant to protect my physical health.”

Sexting

- Advertisement -

“We met through one of the dating apps while we were stranded in Bangalore,” said a 25-year-old software engineer in India. “And while the lockdown was still in place and shops and streets were closed, we felt the urge to meet. I met her on a shady street, we kissed, and we parted. That was enough to strike a connection.” The couple’s longing for one another was so intense, they violated lockdown laws to meet. “Having someone to confide in makes this dismal situation better,” he told Transcontinental Times.

Read also: Love & OM: The Journey To Self Through Relationship: Part 1: Basic Needs

- Advertisement -

The couple went on to talk about their sex life. They opened up about sexting and said, “When we only had [our phones], we explored so much; we never knew there is so much to sexting and teasing. It only makes our desperation to meet more. Yes, we are desperate to feel each other’s skin.” The couple is holding on at the moment with a hope to again meet soon.

While social media, online dating, and “sexting” provide one kind of connection, there is no replacement for the benefits of human touch. Physical intimacy, including but not limited to sexual intimacy, releases critical hormones for bonding (vasopressin) and pleasure (oxytocin), among others. “Positive touch, even in the simple gesture of holding someone’s hand or in a spontaneous hug, reassures the recipient that someone cares. The receiver knows he or she is not alone” (Psychology Today).

Physio-emotional benefits of touch

Increasingly, endocrinologists and psychologists are closing the physio-emotional gap between the benefits of touch.

Psychologists have long known that the need for touch is essential to emotional well-being. A growing body of evidence confirms that touch is equally essential for physical health as well, reducing cortisol (linked to stress) and improving cardiac health.

For those who did not want to take the risk of physical contact with others outside their pod, virtual/video dating/sex saw a sharp increase as well. However, in the complex calculus of “to touch or not to touch” to prevent the further reach of COVID-19, one is left to wonder if we are preventing a viral pandemic while inadvertently opening the gates for a bio-psycho-social one.

Co-authored by: Onkar Mishra

More articles

Latest article

India’s Best-Selling Collaborative Fiction Novelists Launch Their Second Book

INDIA. India's first collaborative fiction writers have published their second fiction novel 'Mooncircles - As the Night Unravelled'. The authors who have...

Masaba Gupta Launches A Limited Edition Of Headphones Designed For The Millennial At Lakmé Fashion Week 2020

INDIA. Mumbai. When one thinks of a great lifestyle brand then it is boAt that makes life truly exciting. The brand has...

The Disha Patil Digital First Season Fluid Edition Collection At Lakmé Fashion Week 2020–A Beautiful Offering Of Stylish Geometric Creations

INDIA. Mumbai. When geometry and fashion merge creatively for a collection, the result is a grand offering of stunning ensembles. Disha Patil’s...

Photocarrefour Africa Invites Abuja To View The Global Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic shapes a new reality where exhibits serve as a viewpoint to understand it. He said, “We expect people to look at the images of various artists from the world. And feel the changes brought by the pandemic from their perspective.”

Spain And France Exceed One Million COVID-19 Cases

SPAIN. Spain and France have surpassed one million COVID-19 cases this week. Many European countries are still battling with the COVID-19 outbreak....