I have a tiny dog whose sole mission in life is to sit on my lap. In fact, I feel bad when I don't have the time to have him curl up next to me in the chair. He helps a lot. I would be infinitely worse off in life overall where it not for my dogs (past and present).
But I miss people touch. However, I hate it when people I don't know - or don't know well enough - touch me. I've always had this strong boundary; my parents noted that as a toddler, I was particular about who I liked to be picked up by. (Mom, Dad, Grandparents, some aunts and uncles but not others, and that's about it.) I've gotten to the point where hugs from someone new doesn't bother me. I don't care for massage for the same reason - I do not like strangers touching me that intimately. I think it is partly because I connect that kind of intimate touch with sex. So massage feels like the prelude to sex but it's not and it's done by a stranger who is getting paid to touch me and so I get all weird about it. (Yes, I totally realize massage is not sex work - just describing my tangled feelings about it.)
So touch is complicated for me. (For everyone I guess, really.) And I have not found answers so far, beyond hugging my friends more. Which I am trying to do.