Seems to me people have lost sight of what touch means, and how it relates to becoming a happier, healthier individual. I'm here to set the record straight, with dynamite.
I get this feeling that people don't respect physical contact like they used to in the good ol' days. Okay, so the past was usually a whole heck of a lot worse than modern times. One thing they did have down however, was morality. Admittedly they fumbled that one often enough as well, but at least they considered it important. Now I'm not going to get preachy, I'm just gonna tell it how I see this stuff, human nature and touch and all that. Hopefully it won't get too heavy.
Math is not my strong suit, but if I had to write a simplistic formula for desire I might take imagined pleasure or utility, add attainability mixed with scarcity, and brew the whole mess up in the cauldron of time. Trouble with that little recipe though, take one ingredient out and the whole thing falls apart! I'm not really a great cook either, but I know this much. Give a person the same delicacies night after night and he soon grows weary. Make a delectable treat utterly unavailable and he'll soon forget. Take the taste away and soon he would only eat to stave off starvation.
Folks like balance and thrive on moderation. It may not be super exciting, but it seems to be healthier for the mind, body, and soul than the alternatives of thrill seeking, overindulgence, or asceticism. Youth might scoff, but give 'em a few years and they usually come 'round. Question is, how do we keep ourselves balanced and content, especially when it comes to relationships.
Speaking as a man, we want to be intimate with many people, often utterly inappropriate people. Good looking? Good enough. But there's this silly little thing called self control that shouts: NO, wait, don't be an idiot! It's not just because we're scared of rejection, but because we have a brain, capable of logical thought that's trying to reacquaint us with reality. It wants to save us from our biological urges that will lead to emotional ruin.
All relationships come with a boat load of responsibility and commitment. Ignoring that is a form of abuse. People like to fool themselves though, and the idea of intimacy without relationship is a fairly popular bit of nonsense. Back on the reality side of the wishful thinking glass however, intimacy means relationship, which means responsibility. So while a hot chick, to use the ludicrous modern vernacular, or a cute guy is all well and good from a distance, and possibly they are even exactly the right person for you in other, more critical respects, that obviously can't be relied on.
The trouble in modern times is how casually all this touching has become. Someone who wants to keep his head straight, who doesn't want to get involved in regrettable circumstances and relationships, they've got a hard time of it. The western world is plagued by teen pregnancy, promiscuity, acrimonious divorce, and so on and so forth. So how does one protect himself from all this uncomfortable and unnecessary heartache?
Avoiding it is as simple as avoiding it. I know what that sounds like but I'm not avoiding it, the question that is. What I mean is this. Safeguard yourself with rules regulating your behavior. Wait! Before you back away slowly, hear me out. We look both ways before crossing the street to avoid getting run over, we smell the milk to avoid getting ill, etc, etc. Our lives are chock full of self imposed rules to ensure health, why not safeguard happiness as well?
In such an effort, touch is first contact, the gateway gesture of intimacy, so to speak. If we are looking for something to restrict which will allow us to make decisions with the brain in our head rather than the one in our... heart, touch is the prime candidate.
So just to clarify, do I mean any touch whatsoever? Yes. Even a handshake? Absolutely. Seriously? Indeed, seriously, a rule is only worthwhile if kept. So there are no exceptions? Stop. Of course there are exceptions! If a woman is drowning, choking, or in some other form of distress, is any male going to claim his peace of mind is more valuable than her life?
To conclude, or summarize, or whatever. What people want is not always, and in fact is almost never, what people need. Self control is about doing the right thing rather than the convenient or desirable one, and benefiting in the long run. Sensible rules are there to help people. Yada yada, you know the rest.