I was googling for something like why some people don't like to touch velvet, and the top hit was https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/haptodysphoria where it's defined as

An odd, disagreeable sensation felt by certain people when handling peaches, velvet or other fuzzy surfaces.

but there are zero hits on that term in pubmed. So is this phenomenon of dislinking to touch some materials something more seriously studied under some other terminology?

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    $\begingroup$ In Spain this sensation is known as grima, and I found quite a bit on the internet under that name. It can apply to many things, not just velvet. Microfibres cloths are another common one, as can be denim, though it can be any texture for different people. Some even say touching the substance makes their teeth feel soft. It may also be known as Tactile Hypersensitivity Disorder, though disorder seems rather a strong description for the vast majority of sufferers? $\endgroup$
    – JessH
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 9:50
  • $\begingroup$ Hi I have haptodysphoria as I don’t like touching velvet, I go all shakes and I get churning feeling in my abdomen( as well as a tingle in my spine). This is not a myth $\endgroup$
    – user23364
    Commented May 31, 2019 at 20:11
  • $\begingroup$ Interestingly (though I can't confirm it as deliberate), Tolkien named one of his more repulsive characters Grima in Lord of the Rings. It certainly fits. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ I’m so glad to read here that I’m not the only person to have shivers down my spine when I Touch velvet. Even the thought of velvet gives me the creeps. And most of all that I can you the right term of my ‘illness’ ;-) Greets from Belgium !! Cindy $\endgroup$
    – Cindy
    Commented Sep 22, 2020 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


Apparently "sensory over-responsivity" is a more widely used term:

Sensory over-responsivity, a subtype of sensory modulation disorder, is characterized by extreme negative reactions to normative sensory experiences. Individuals vary widely in their reactions to sensory stimuli, with some children and adults reporting aversive, even painful, responses to contact with everyday objects and exposure to everyday sounds. Some people find the sound of vacuum cleaners or sirens highly aversive, and some children fuss about stiff new clothes and labels sewn inside collars. They may dislike being lightly touched or vigorously protest brushing their teeth.

No mention of velvet though in that article.


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