Social touch is critical to relational bonds. A hug from a relative or friend evokes strong feelings of reward. Despite this general appreciation, the question remains, “how is social touch rewarding?” Although the intact nervous system faithfully transmits information about rewarding touch from skin-to-brain at rapid speed, the molecular logic of how this process works remains unknown. Here, we are using mouse genetics to test for necessity and sufficiency of molecular classes of peripheral sensory neurons in promoting normal development, resilience, and the rewarding nature of social interactions. Ongoing studies are connecting the skin and brain in vivo, by manipulating peripheral circuits while recording neuronal activity across the brain to uncover molecular details of skin-to-brain circuitry for rewarding social touch.