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How to meet the need for physical contact without it becoming sexual?

I am a Christian girl of 22 and I have never had a boyfriend. I am not in a hurry with this, but does the Bible say it's wrong to dance intimately with other boys? Being physical like being stroked, cuddling, sitting close, etc.

I often feel the desire to get together with someone just to be close to someone and can fantasize about being in the arms of a man. But I want to follow the Bible and not get together with someone if I'm not seriously considering marrying him...

Do you have any tips on how to meet the need for physical contact without it becoming sexual? Is it okay to get a shoulder massage from a friend? Sit in the arms of a friend while watching TV? Is it okay to dance couple-dances?

Greetings from someone who wonders if she has an unnaturally high need for physical contact

Hello Dear,

We have answered similar questions in the past and would recommend you read them:

Behov for fysisk kontakt
Savner fysisk nærhet og sex

You probably don't have an unnaturally high need for physical contact. All people have a need for physical touch, but it is very individual how much skin contact we need. For some, physical touch is linked to the experience of being loved, so for them a lot of physical contact is important, but for others it is not so important. From the moment we are born and throughout our lives, physical touch is important for our physical and mental health, and for a newborn child, it is absolutely essential for healthy development, both physically, cognitively and emotionally. Although adults are not so dependent on physical closeness and can live without it, it is without doubt healthier to have physical closeness to other people and a good hug is good for body and mind.

The fact that you long for a partner who you can hold and be close to is completely natural and God-given. But many people do not find this person in their life and fortunately it is possible to live a good and meaningful life without having a partner and being sexually active. Then it is extra important to have close relationships and family to whom you can give hugs and loving touches. Fortunately, our need for closeness and skin-to-skin contact is not mainly about sex. It can equally be about having someone to hold on to, hug, hold hands with, someone to stroke your hair, pat your cheek and scratch your back, massage your shoulders and give loving non-sexual touches. Often it doesn't take much body contact before it has a positive effect both physically and mentally. So, often perhaps your very thought of  longing can be just as controlling for your need as the purely physical need.

Read: When I get married I can finally have sex

It is important that the physical need does not govern when and who you choose as a partner.
Physical contact produces feelings both of well-being, the feeling of falling in love and connection, so it it risky to initiate physical proximity to a person you are not matching with and committed to you as spouse. 

You can read more about it here: : Hva skjer i det usynlige når to mennesker har sex

We at GuttogJente.no base our counseling on biblical principles and believe that the lifelong marriage between a man and a woman is the only proper and safe framework for living out the sexual urges. We would therefore not advise you to use friends to satisfy your sexual desires. You should still have close relationships with family and friends.

You ask about a shoulder massage from a boyfriend and being held in you girlfriend arms is okay and generally it would be, but you have to be aware of when the touch goes from being friendly to being sexual. It may be that the others limits for physical touch are different from yours and maybe they can view the touch as flirting and an invitation for more.

Read: : Kan jenter og gutter faktisk bare være venner

When it comes to dancing, it can be both good exercise and a way to have a natural physicality closeness. But you must be mindful here as well, because the boundaries can be different and the touch can be experienced differently, so if the dance has a sexual feel and a lot of physicality contact, it can lead to temptation and lust both for you and the person you dance with.

Read: Danse intimt

A good massage does not only gives you mental stimulation, but the cortisol level is lowered and does the same effect on the immune system as physical touch. So if you have the finances for it, it can be good to get a massage, facial treatment, scalp massage, or go to the hairdresser and enjoy washing and pampering your hair. Maybe you and your girlfriends can give each other massages, facials and hair braiding. Community and cuddles with animals will also be able to fulfill part of the need for closeness.

Be aware that your need for closeness and cuddling does not lead to being perceived as too close and clingy, it can become uncomfortable for both you and the others. To deal with the longing for physical closeness in a good way is useful for your personal development and maturity, and you will benefit greatly from it later whether you stay single or get into a relationship.

Wishing you all the best,

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