failure to thrive syndrome and controlled studies show that adults who hug often are protected against increased heart rates and stress.
Nina Jablonski, Ph.D., professor of anthropology at Penn State, pointed out to Matesa that humans and primates who groomed one another often had less anxiety and depression, and stated that “touch needs to be a part of addiction treatment because brain chemicals are altered through affecting systems.”
Matesa believes that abuse often happens as a consequence of people lacking vital physical connections. “Part of the reason why abuse goes on is because people feel so untouched that they take it by force,” she said. “The kind of chemistry two people, or two or more people, can experience when they get together sexually is amazing and healing.”
Intimacy is important for human beings, whether they struggle with addiction or not, but those who do should be prepared for a different sexual dynamic. According to Rizzo, people should know that their first sober sexual experiences will be awkward and uncomfortable, but that’s perfectly normal. However sex after recovery will become more pleasurable as individuals begin developing relationships and intimacy, he said.
“I asked one lesbian I talked to how sexuality had changed after she stopped drinking,” Matesa added. “She said, ‘well I no longer got raped, and I no longer had sex with men.’ That goes to show the kinds of amazing transformations that happen to people once they start to have sex sober.”