body language: touch zones

October 9, 2010

I had a few e-mails, asking if I had wrapped up my “series” on body language.

No, I haven’t. So here’s a bit more about body language and touching.

Some areas of our bodies may be touched by acquaintances and, under the right circumstances, even by strangers. In western cultures, these “touchable” body parts are usually hands, arms, shoulders, and upper back.

Head, neck, chest, legs, and feet are taboo for touching except for people we’re really close to.

We know these unspoken rules and act accordingly, even if we don’t consciously think about it.

Socially accepted touch zones vary in different cultures. There also might be interpersonal differences. One person I know can’t stand having her face touched, even by the people she’s very close to.

So as your characters go from being strangers to acquaintances, then friends and maybe finally lovers, they’ll not only touch more frequently, but the touch zones will change too.


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