In a sense, the field of haptics has always been concerned with affect: the use of touch technologies to elicit emotional responses goes back to the earliest instantiations of haptics in the 1970s. However, the emergence of affective haptics as a discrete subfield of haptics research, beginning in the early 2000s and expanding gradually thereafter, provided a new language for describing existing research into devices like shirts, vests, wristbands, and robots that aimed at creating, maintaining, and cementing affective bonds between remote communicative subjects. A central motivation for this research concerns the purported inadequacy of audiovisual media in conveying emotions: sight and sound on their own, from this perspective, will always fall short in their efforts to provide emotionally meaningful mediated experiences and connections, reaching a limit that cannot be surpassed without the addition of another sensory modality. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the absence of physical touch from intersubjective communication seemed to expose these limits; migrating from face-to-face communication to communication mediated by an audiovisual apparatus proved straining to our mental health, with media reports frequently documenting our unfulfilled need to touch and caress our distanced loved ones. Specific to affective haptics, this pandemic has been something of a missed opportunity: given the desire for affective tactile contact at a distance, physical distancing conditions could have occasioned a widespread uptake of affective haptics devices and applications. Instead, mediated communication remains heavily and almost exclusively reliant on the audiovisual, with considerations of haptics virtually non-existent. To critically evaluate this situation, I approach affective haptics in extended reality from the intersection of media theory, media history, and Science and Technology Studies (STS). Reviewing recent examples and applications of affective haptics, I offer some speculations on why such technologies have not been more widely adopted. Then, looking forward, I raise ethical concerns around the potential uptake of affective haptics, focusing on the experimental processes by which affective haptics captures, segments, and quantifies both touch and affect.