When baby animals don’t get touched they die.
If this is the case for lesser developed creatures, why do we think humans can survive without touch?
In my post “Should Cruising Be Considered an Unacceptable Risk?” I made reference to gay men willing to risk life and limb in an effort to be seen. Perhaps all of the hyper sexuality is not really about sex at all.
In this installment, I would like to take to task the larger, straight community and any and all participants who feel that as men we do not require a loving touch.
I recently have been reading tons of books on the young male mind. It is often believed that young boys require a radically different rearing than girls .
While young girls are taught to relate socially, young males are taught to compete.
We are systematically taught to lock away feelings, vulnerability and want and channel every bit of energy into aggression sexualized or not. Anything but having the desire to touch and be touched.
In one study I read, it pointed out that young males (by the age of five ) are ripped away from the nurturing and emotional connection and dependency that is a result of being with caregivers.
Since no one explains this to children all they know is the feeling of abandonment that is entrenched at a young age with no justification or explanation. Without this need being met, the urge is satisfied elsewhere.
A great deal of the tussling, horseplay and physical risk taking is an attempt to regain the alive feeling one gets when he is physically and emotionally fed and attended to.
I remember being denied this sensation and for years not knowing why until I reached forty.
When I hit forty, the longing was so great and overwhelming that it felt as if I was housing a beast that if unleashed would destroy any and everything.
Once, I recounted to a friend through sobs, that I was going in to have a facial because without this bit of touch, the only option was anonymous sex.
I couldn’t believe that at forty, the best I could do was either have a facial, sex with a stranger or no physical touch, thereby reigniting the longings that had run my life and overwhelmed me since boyhood.
This just couldn’t be it.
I have been obsessed with the concept of touch since this discovery.
Why are we so afraid of men being kind and loving ?
What does it say about us that our collective fantasies and roles for men include wars, murder and fear mongering?
Why is that more exciting than compassion and a heartfelt hug?
How in the world did the bigger culture make the decision that men hurting other men should be romanticized, sexualized ,and most frighteningly, normalized, and why did we buy into it ?