This week’s guest is Epiphany Jordan of Austin, Texas – a nurturing touch professional whose therapy sessions help triage the crisis of loneliness and touch-hunger facing billions of tech-immersed but intimacy-stranded people. In her new book, Somebody Hold Me: The Single Person’s Guide to Nurturing Human Touch (Printed • E-Book), Epiphany explains how to get your basic touch needs met – consensually – outside of romantic relationship. In our conversation we talk about why this is such a widespread issue, how people are fumbling their attempts to connect with one another, and what to do about it.
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The internet has not replaced human intimacy; it has only convinced many of us that it can.
“Because our culture identifies sex with touch, if you’re not in a romantic relationship, you’re not getting your touch needs met.”
“Nonconsensual touch is like a starving person stealing a loaf of bread, or something.”
When hugging someone is their worst nightmare.
Is not wanting to be touched something that should or should not be seen through the lens of trauma-induced disorder?
The future of getting touch needs met by nonpersons: heavy blankets, hugging machines, womb simulators, intimacy robots…
Eliza Schlesinger’s Elder Millennial standup special and how women in their 30s start displacing mother impulses onto their pets.
Why don’t we extend the same rights we give people to other nonhuman beings? (e.g., nonconsensual touch of animals…)
Is professional cuddling a symptom of a tragic dehumanizing trend in the evolution of civilization?
Tips for effective, safe, consensual, non-sexual cuddling.
The tribal joy of the pseudo-anonymity of cuddle puddles.
The double-edged sword of oxytocin.
Teaching touch to teenagers.
Touch deprived, or touch illiterate? Multicultural societies and trouble navigating overlapping rules about intimacy.
“Part of what I’m trying to do is have people write another story about what it means to be human and how humans treat them. There’s so much distrust and fear of other humans, and humans can be nice to each other, and kind and gentle and look out for each other. I think it can help us be more of a global village…”
“I don’t want to be a part of the revolution unless it has to do with people being nice to each other.”