I won't name any titles of books or people or podcasts, but I get so smad! Sad and mad, because touch is my dominant mode of exploring, getting a read and understanding my world. It is the ONE predominant way I give and receive love. And in our culture, it feels very lonely a lot of times because of the stigma, on several different fronts, that affection and touch has.
In many circles, the 'safe' way to hug a man is 'sideways'. This is all well and good if you are a flat chested woman and the distance between the two of you is full of air, which takes calculation, strategy and purpose. I happen to be a big woman with a bosom to match my size, hence, a 'safe' sideways hug could go awry for a lustful or fearful man as my breast could give his side a serious poke if he wasn't careful. So legalistically, he/me would be 'safe', but realistically, on accident, he could be getting a sideful! I have breasts, which I don't want to smear all over anyone. I'm also highly unaware of these sometimes offending twins and yet, I still want to have and give hugs! What to do? When I was younger they were for milk production, for years they have been Craig's favorite pillow and now it is starting to be a challenge to find quality support to encourage them to defy gravity. Sigh.
I wish homosexual men and women would get smothered in good affection by safe and appropriate men and women who aren't afraid of being harmed or giving harm. I wish men who have failed morally in their marriages by pornography or infidelity could experience warm tenderhearted loving kindness from uncalulating women who don't consider them lepers. I wish girlfriends could cuddle, hug, hold hands without raised eyebrows or anxious rumors.
Most of my friends' husbands are my friends also. I love and treasure the hugs, love, affection, kisses on the cheek and forehead from all of them! Affection does raise our endorphin levels, which doesn't equal sexual arousal, hello!
When my mom had her knee replaced last year, one of the most poignant and sweetest things she said was, "honey, when you massage me, it feels better than any of the pain killers".
In the movie 'Amelie', the little girl has very eccentric parents who never interact with her or touch her. Once a year, her father, who is a physician, gives her a simple exam/physical. When he checks her heart with a stethoscope and looks into her eyes, ears and throat, her little heart races with a mixture of craving her daddy's affection, awkwardness from it being so unfamiliar, etc. Her father thinks she has heart trouble, giving her an almost invalid status for most of her life, making her fearful of living fully. I wonder how many affection deprived people feel this heightened pleasure and equate it with sexual arousal? Makes me cry for them.
In "Lorenzo's Oil", the remedy is an oxymoron, a paradox. The general consensus from the Dr's is to give this disease no fat or oil, when the remedy is actually the opposite. The body needs an abundant supply of the good kind, so it doesn't have to furiously try to make the damaging kind.
When fear of homosexuality, fear of a lawsuit, fear of an affair, fear of failing, fear of gorging is the topmost thing on our minds, we have no freedom..... the fear and focus set you up to fail.
I don't want a strategized, calculated and distance - measured hug from anyone. No thanks! I want men to look at me, in my eyes and heart, not at my breasts, but when they are so conscious of trying not to oggle, they end up oggling! Or so conscious of intercepting a front hug that the side hug they trade it for is perfunctory....no thanks.
I have been in a marriage for 20 years with a man who is easy to love and respect. His love language is also physical touch, which helps us both feel full all the time. We both have had a few times when chemistry with another person has happened. We have been able to talk about it, process it, pray together, encourage each other, remind each other of our commitment and covenant, reassure each other that if we had to do it all over again~'I CHOOSE YOU'.......... But, there isn't any shame, blame, threat or fear. There is actually a renewed trust built from the honesty.
Sometimes, across cultures, seas, genders, size or age, I have experienced intimacy of soul with another human. It doesn't scare me or thankfully, Craig! It just is. Hugging or not hugging, distance or no distance, adhering to this rule or that just isn't the question or the answer! Loving my Creator, my family, my spouse ~ and my self because of their collective love for me ~ this is what keeps me focused on the right way to act, respond, initiate, be affectionate, live and love, all the while refraining from insulting anyone's spouse. This lets me live wide open without fear. And respect other's parameters, boundaries and 'bubble'. Speaking of bubbles, I don't have one. My lack of a bubble though, is not license to be mauled, abused, disrespected, seduced, dishonored, groped or slobbered on!
At almost 50, looking back, there have been many honorable men who have, unbeknownst to me, trained me in being appropriately affectionate so I wouldn't be a danger to myself or others. I also have come to believe that as honorable, vibrant, captivating women, we can train men and boys to be affectionate without being dangerous to us or to themselves. It's love. It's giving instead of taking. It's having someone else's best interest at heart instead of our own.
The other night, unintentionally, I was caressing another man's backside very lovingly and with wifely designs. As I was casually heading south to what I thought was Craig's fine behind, I looked up to see him across the room. Shocked I looked over at the guy's face to find that it was a young man built like Craig with a look-alike Hawaiian shirt who had come over to greet a family behind us. I gasped. He smiled and graciously held out his hand and said he thought we should introduce ourselves. He assured me he understood and explained that he thought it was just his mom lovin' on him like usual. I blushed, Craig laughed.
My flower containers start wilting within a day if I don't water them daily. I would wilt without abundant affection from my family and friends. I'm so thankful for hugs, kisses and whisker rubs!