The Herald reports:
Oxford University scientists have created a series of body maps that show just where we are comfortable to be touched. …
It also showed – again, unsurprisingly – that the less we know someone, the less comfortable we are to be touched by them. However, there was one noticeable exception.
Men, it seems, have no areas which would be completely off limits to a touch from a total stranger – as long as the stranger is a woman.
This is amusing, but also no surprise.
How often do you see men hugging each other?
I am an occasional man hugger – like when we have just got to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro, or when NZ wins the rugby world cup. Or maybe if someone has died!
In general the closer the relationship, the fewer areas of the body that were taboo, although people tended to be uncomfortable about letting anyone except their nearest and dearest touch their erogenous zones.
This meant that while a woman might be happy for her uncle to stroke her back, her front would be off limits. And male strangers should note that almost all parts of the female body are to be avoided, other than the hands.
Interestingly, the men studied had a different viewpoint.
They didn’t want another man touching them, with even the head and the feet no-go zones.
However, almost the entire male body was up for grabs to a female stranger or acquaintance, with no part considered taboo.
In fact, for men, a woman they barely know has similar “touching rights” to a parent and more than a brother or sister, the journal Proceedings of the Royal Academy of Sciences reports. Although the reason for this is not clear, the study did find that the more pleasurable a touch was believed to be, the larger the body area that person was allowed access to.
I could take a wild guess at the reason!