http://www.yuletidetreasure.org/archive/49/realizations.html -- nsfw, Ari.
Today one of my co-workers hopefully learned that you do NOT touch me, and especially do not touch me roughly, when I am not expecting it (cannot see it or am concentrating too hard to see). I was on the phone, and I don't think I bobbled, but I was distracted, and fight-or-flight is not a good thing to have in the workplace. Not at all. I made frantic "oh no do not do that the fuck again, woman" gestures at her, and when I do have a moment I will apologize for flailing at her but NO. Pagan Dude got away with poking me in the ribs because he is him, and has jumped a few levels on the trust scale. Not other people on the team.
People can touch me, but there's a hierarchy of who's allowed to touch where and when. If I don't know you, you should be in visual range and have made eye contact, and touch only my hand or forearm. Acquaintances should have at least passed through my visual range, and that tap-the-opposite-shoulder thing is getting old enough that it's almost a shoving offense. (People can tap me from behind, but I don't prefer that.) I am a wacky combination of highly socialized introvert, with bonus snuggle fiend requirements. I really do need a decent amount of hugging, but I don't seem to have particularly many friends I can lean upon on a regular basis. I've developed more complex layers of guardedness, which leads to being stiff and less huggable in general. Many of the people who would volunteer to hug are more than welcome to do so ... except there are those, inevitably, who would volunteer but I'm really not hugging-close to, and some people would take the news of that well and some would take it poorly, and sometimes I just prefer to circumvent the drama by not playing the "oh woe I am hug-deprived won't someone hug me -- but not you, or you, or you!" game.