Sex isn’t the only area of physical affection where people can have varied preferences. Just ’cause it’s fun to do and good to think about ahead of time, I’ve made a brief list of what I’ve figured out so far. You may have opposite preferences, or you may like none of these at all, and that’s all fine. This is just me and my quirks, and if you read this, I hope it encourages you to think about what your own preferences are.
hugs — These are good. I like hugs. Greeting hugs, comfort hugs, cuddle hugs, all of ’em. There are some people I won’t hug, but being a good friend/someone I know well is not one of the prerequisites.
nuzzles — By which I mean rubbing your face on someone’s shoulder/arm/neck or something. For me, these are more affectionate than hugs (more likely with family and close friends) but still good territory.
hand holding — eh… Symbolically, it makes a nice metaphor and all, but I’ve found I really don’t like that palm-on-palm feeling and tend not to enjoy this much. Besides, I have clammy hands anyway.
arm holding — Yes!
arm draped around shoulders/waist/neck — No.
pat on the head/ “noogies” /hair scruffle — NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? NO.
scalp massage — This is completely different. Unless I took the time to make my hair look nice that morning and don’t want you to mess it up, this is pretty much always a yes. I love getting these, and I like giving them, too.
shoulder rubs — If you really love me.
nose bumps/nose rubs — If I really love you. These are adorable. Kind of intimate/not something I’d do as casually as hugs, but adorable.
pressing foreheads together — Same as above.
kisses — ??? Not sure about these, especially mouth-on-mouth kisses. Other types of kisses, like kisses on the neck, kisses on the ears, kisses on the forehead, and kisses on the eyelids, sound more appealing to me, and I might like those more than “traditional” kisses, or at least relatively so — but until I get someone to test that with, the jury’s still out.
What about you? Are there any forms of nonsexual physical affection that you have an unusual opinion on?