I was just thinking about when my dad will touch me in ways I don't like to be touched like putting his arm around me or putting his arm on my back. Without having a clearly defined rubric, I guess my deal is that with most people, what I want from physical contact is something brief--really tight hug and let go, squeeze hand and let go. I don't like to have to go a long time with someone's arm around me, especially if they are bigger than me.
Sometimes I have just sat in movies having my enjoyment of the movie dampened by my dad's arm on my back. Sometimes I have managed to come up with excuses to move away supposedly to do something else but really just to get away from contact. And sometimes especially lately I just immediately move away, stiffen to an extent that my dad can't ignore, pull my shoulders in away from his arm, or shrug him off. When I do those things, it's obvious that I am saying NO.
What I think is interesting is that when I do things that say NO, a)my dad looks offended, and b)my mom tells me, "That was mean."
Even though I am disabled and a woman and those are two groups of people who aren't supposed to say no to touch, I don't really think this happens because I am disabled or a woman, I think it's really normal. But it's kind of messed up and I think people should think more about touch!
Should someone have to accept touch that they don't want, especially for a long period of time? Is it mean to display nonverbally that you want someone to stop touching you? I don't think so.