"Touch is the most fundamental sense. A baby experiences it, all over, before he is born and long before he learns to use sight, hearing, or taste, and no human ever ceases to need it. Keep your children short on pocket money — but long on hugs."
-Lazarus Long, Time Enough for Love by Robert Heinlein
Touch is the most important sense. Some people might be tempted to say that sight is, but no matter how much you can see it doesn't matter if you can't touch it. If you can't feel physically, how are you supposed to feel emotionally and psychologically? Touch is the most important sense.
I don't need to hold hands and talk about our plans. I don't want to kiss you, make out with you, or spoon. I don't need you to talk me down or whisper reassurances in my ear. I just need a hug, is all. That's all I really need. That's all I really want.
I want you to hold me so tight that it hurts. I don't care about the pain. With you in my arms there could be no pain. When I hold you in my arms all the pain seems to go away. I treasure our hugs more than just about anything else.
I feel safe and warm in your arms. Nothing else makes me feel as warm as you do. You provide a warmth that a blanket, a space heater, kind words never could. I've heard that shaking hands started as a way for two people to check each other for weapons up their sleeves. Hugs have something in the same way too. When you hug someone you are trusting them with your back. Maybe this isn't hundreds of years ago and maybe it's absurd to imagine someone coming up behind another person being hugged and stabbing them in the back. But when you hug me I feel safe nonetheless. I know that you love me and will protect me, just as I will love and protect you. I will always have your back and will never betray you.
When I start to shake I need you to hold me so I can be steady. I need to put my arms around something solid to help calm me. Let me lean my head on your shoulder and rest for a moment. If you'll let me do this, I'll be forever grateful.