Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Pole star, May 27, 2018.
Don’t be embarrassed, it’s a good place to touch. I do it to my wife as well
Thanks. We both get a bit shy about our desires at times as we worry that the other person will think badly of it.
I understand. I was embarrassed to tell my wife some of my desires as well. Of course, I’m still keeping my bisexuality from her
It seems like it is all about vulnerability. I am not used to being so vulnerable...whenever I open up to her or she to me it seems to increase the intimacy between us. But with vulnerability and intimacy comes fear.
It can. It took me awhile with my wife as well. There is a fear of being shamed or embarrassed. I completely understand that. For the most part, I’ve become much more open over the years
[I have only read the opening post and the first few posts after that. I’m not gonna read through all of that right now. Anyway here are my two cents…]
I am not a touchy-feely man at all so I have never noticed that platonic touch between men was frowned upon in western society as platonic touch was nothing I missed in the first place. The occasional punch on the shoulder, shoving or bro hug was okay and more than enough for me. I don’t want to be touched by strangers at all and acquaintances or friends not too much, I don’t even see the point and it obviously has nothing to do with a fear of being read as gay, as I am in fact gay and I am not ashamed of it. I think that particular issue about not wanting to be seen as gay is one of some straight men who are insecure within their own sexuality and not a general one or one of western societies. I would also like to remind that the western societies are the most accepting and safest for LGBT people and I am glad to live in the western world.
What I personally observed instead of ‘western society frowns upon men touching each other platonically’ was men on average are just much less touchy-feely than women are on average. And that observation didn’t surprise me at all because men and women are actually really different.
I think the overall view of and feeling about touch (not solely between men specifically) differs from culture to culture too though. Not only am I not a touchy-feely individual, I am also from a country and culture where there is not much touch between people, that is more reserved with touch in general. When I was visiting the family of an acquaintance who has another culture where there is more touching overall between everyone I found it too much and was rather overwhelmed by a bunch of strangers pulling me into close hugs as if they knew me and kissing my face, it was an odd situation for me. Side note: The society, government and law of his home country are incredibly homophobic regardless of the people being touchier by the way whereas in my reserved country over 80% of the population supported marriage equality, we have openly gay and lesbian politicians in high positions of the government and homosexual people are equal before the law.
I honestly can also understand the man you’re putting in such a negative light here to an extent. Though I don’t mind being touched when I am in a romantic constellation and I care about the person, I like touching more than being touched.
And personally can’t stand someone trying to hold me or to cuddle me, it weirds me out completely so I only like to hold and cuddle a partner but never vice versa. I can’t stand and don’t want to be put into any kind of passive position because I personally strongly dislike it and find it unbearable. However this has nothing to do with society or even gender roles, I mean, I am a gay man and a partner of mine obviously has the same gender and is not any less manly or whatever, it’s about me as an individual and what I like and dislike and what I am comfortable with and what I am not comfortable with and don’t want and hence wouldn’t put myself into.
It is absolutely valid to be touchy-feely and to want more touch and to feel different about this but so are the experiences of that man who doesn’t like to be touched but solely touches for whatever reason for instance and I think it is not the wisest thing for anyone to try to judge him without knowledge about him, his experiences and past, his reasons and the concrete situation.
I think it has something to do with making yourself vulnerable. A lot of men value their independence, and really only open up with their partners or family members. Its "acceptable" if its in a sport, warfare, or other form of challenge. A lot of people will say its fear of being seen as "gay", but in the past, it was quite common for men to sit on each other's laps, sleep in the same bed, etc. Its possible some of them could have been gay, but people didn't make a distinction (not unless you were gender non conforming, a "sodomite", or what have you).
I do envy how touchy feely women are allowed to be with one another. This extends to things like compliments and how emotionally available they are with one another.
I have a group of gay friends that are very touchy - huggy kissy people. They like to hug and kiss friends they haven't seen in awhile. It's almost a counter cultural thing (against the American norm). I'm gay but not that expressionistic (not the right word). I'm very straight acting - a firm handshake kind of guy. I can adapt though just takes me a bit.
Close friends that I haven't seen in awhile or are leaving will get a hug. I'll hold hands / cuddle with my partner but not in public.
Working in the Middle East and Africa most other cultures are far more touchy than Americans. Most Indian / Iraqi / Somali men will hold hands as they walk down the street. This is a cultural norm for them.
I think of this as one of the main benefits of being gay. Masculinity, as currently constituted in the US, is exceedingly fragile and men have to constantly be on the lookout for all the things that might damage it. I've never understood it because in my mind there are few things less masculine than being afraid what people think. Luckily being gay takes you out of all that. You can just be you and in my experience people are alright with it.
Interesting that OGS sees this as a benefit of being gay. I see this more as societal political situation.
I'm a rock climber. In my group of climbing friends and acquaintances, it is very common to hug and pat someone on the back. This extends to the town I work in (a liberal mountain enclave). I will meet on a job site with guys I've worked with for a couple dozen years and there is always a lot of back slapping and arms on shoulders. At a social function most all the guys hug each other.
The small conservative town my wife works in, it is the opposite. Very little hugging between men at social functions.
I have to be careful to remember which group I'm in!
The topic of touching always reminds me of a really interesting study that was conducted. Researchers waited with video cameras in cover across the street from a sidewalk that had a billfold lying on it. When someone strolling by would pick up the wallet and walk away with it, the researchers would send a signal to a lady to come walking up to the person who had walked off with the wallet. She would explain that she had lost a billfold and had they seen one anywhere. If, during the conversation, our lady assistant touched the person, even if so very briefly, the person was 70% more likely to admit to having the wallet and turn it over to her. That brief touch created a connection that made the person want to help. I saw this research years ago and it always stuck with me. Yes, I am a hugger and when it’s a male that I’m hugging, I feel good doing it.
a guy hugged me once. it felt like the safest place on earth.
Interesting discussion. When I mentioned touch, I did not mean strangers touching someone. I meant those in a relationship or dating. Having said that in my field of work, I get a touch on the shoulder very often from people. I take that as a sign they are happy and satisfied and I don't find it odd at all.
I would be very impressed by a guy who is able to use his touch sensitively and appropriately and being confident with it.
I don't mind being touched or touching a man in public but being a "Western Culture" gay man I do find myself uncomfortable and in some cases even offended by open displays of public affection that blatantly acknowledge sexual attraction to one another regardless if it is by gay or cis people.
They're sitting close and holding hands, the rest of us get it, these two are obviously a couple and no need from them to openly fondle sex bits or French kiss while moaning loudly to prove this to the rest of us.
I am also uncomfortable watching a theatrical movie that features a sex scene and for me at least it is more about sex between people who love each other is something extremely private and intimate and I need not see their bedtime adventures to understand the implication and confirmation of their relationship.
However I am also completely OK with pornographic movies where the sex is the focus of the entertainment factor of the movie rather than the intimacy of the relationship.