How to Satisfy Skin Hunger When… | Counseling | Therapy

How to Satisfy Skin Hunger When Single

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You have been single for some time now. You’ve managed the single life rather well, at the same time, there’s one aspect that you’re struggling with: satisfying your skin hunger. This article is going to explore exactly what skin hunger is, as well as ways to satisfy skin hunger when single.

What is Skin Hunger?

Skin hunger is simply the desire for consensual, physical touch. This form of touch can be sexual, but is not limited to it. For instance, caring for an infant or receiving a loving hug from your parent can satiate skin hunger. Humans are social creatures, and having physical contact allows us to feel connected with our loved ones. Ways to satisfy skin hunger can range from something as small as a pat on the back, playing contact sports, greeting people with a hug, or caring for a young child, to something as big as spooning with a loved one in bed or even having sex. Here are some common examples of satisfying skin hunger.

  • Breastfeeding
  • Caring for young children
  • Kissing
  • Caring for an elderly parent who needs living assistance
  • Cuddling
  • Hugging people hello and goodbye
  • Contact sports
  • Holding hands
  • Oral sex
  • Getting a massage (from a friend or paid)
  • Back rub
  • Penetrative sex

Why is it Important to Satisfy Skin Hunger?

Over the years, more and more research has highlighted the need for physical touch. For example, Harry Harlow studied the attachment and dependency needs of rhesus monkeys. He discovered that the monkeys preferred a soft, surrogate mother to a cold one that provided food. Gary Chapman also emphasized the importance of skin hunger with his book, The Five Love Languages. Chapman argued that people have five main ways in which they prefer to receive love, with touch being one of them. Furthermore, touch releases oxytocin, a hormone that produces pleasure, bonding, and even anti-depressive effects.

To be clear, satisfying skin hunger can include sexual touch, but is not limited to it. It’s similar to having hunger for food. After all, fruit, vegetables, grains, and meat can all satiate hunger. Skin hunger is simply the desire for touch, which is a legitimate issue for anyone, whether they are in a relationship or not. Therefore, how can one satisfy their skin hunger when single?

Utilizing Friends

One easy way to satisfy skin hunger when single is to reach out to your friends. Once again, there are multiple ways to satiate skin hunger; therefore, you can find a method that feels comfortable for you. One reasonable request is simply asking for a hug. It’s unobtrusive and likely requires no explanation. Simply asking for hugs when you’re around a friend can go a long way in reducing your skin hunger. Just make sure you get their consent first; some people simply value personal space and aren’t very “touchy-feely.” If you have a more comfortable relationship with a friend, you can ask for other methods of touch. You could ask for a shoulder massage, or even a “cuddle session” if the two of you are that relaxed with one another. Of course, there is also a “friend-with-benefits” situation, where there’s sex within a platonic relationship. Once again, skin hunger includes both regular and sexual touch. If we’re going back to the food analogy, regular touch would be eating a potato, where sexual touch would be having an orange. Both satisfy your desire for physical contact.


If you don’t feel comfortable asking your friends to satisfy your skin hunger, there are other options. One simple solution is to seek a professional for skin hunger. Specifically, you can employ the services of a certified masseuse. Depending on your comfort level (and wallet), you can request a shoulder, back, or full-body massage. Seeing a masseuse allows you to reap the benefits of physical touch, without worrying about boundaries or possible awkwardness with friends.


Depending on your type of pet , animals can be a great way to satisfy skin hunger. Their warm, soft fur can be just the pick-me-up that you need at the end of a day. Similar to humans, you can hold, cuddle, and caress a pet. Additionally, they can return affection through their playful licks and nudges. Pets can also be time consuming and expensive, so it’s understandable if you don’t have one. If this is the case, you can always visit a friend or family member who does have a pet. You can even satisfy skin hunger by visiting a pet store or petting zoo. Also, certain animal shelters have events where volunteers come and play with the animals to promote their socialization. It’s a win-win for the animals and for anyone looking to satisfy skin hunger.

Closing Thoughts

Skin hunger is something that nearly every person experiences. It’s our body telling us that we need more touch, more physical contact. Due to the construction of our society, satisfying skin hunger can be a challenge when single. However, there are still options. Utilizing friends, pets, and masseuses can all provide much-needed physical touch. Satisfying skin hunger when single may be hard, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. The Center for Growth has therapy locations in Philadelphia, PA, Ocean City NJ, Mechanicsville VA and Santa Fe NM.

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