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Aphephilia is the scientific term for a sexual fetish concerning being touched. People who have aphephilia are known as aphephiles.
Aphephiles may become aroused by the thought of touching someone or being touched, as well as the act of touching another person or being touched. All touch may arouse aphephiles, not just the touch most of us consider to be sexual.
Aphephilia is considered a fairly harmless fetish. Most people would identify as having some degree of aphephilia, as it is very common for people to require human touch to become aroused. It’s also not unusual for people to become aroused by touch that is not considered erogenous by the bulk of the human population.
Aphephilia is the opposite of haphephobia, sometimes called aphephobia, which is the fear of being touched. This condition can be far more devastating for relationships than aphephilia.
Most people who identify as aphephiles accept their fetish as part of their sexuality. This fetish is rarely disruptive to any person’s life and most aphephiles do not find it difficult to form relationships. However, if aphephilia does become disruptive or concerning in any way, counseling may help manage the condition.