sex, money, and miscellany: talking about what matters

loving touch

In Uncategorized on August 19, 2009 at 6:00 am

I didn’t discover I loved touch until I was 14. Why? Doesn’t really matter. What matters is that touch turned my life around. It was this pivotal, life-changing moment, like meeting the person you know you should marry or finding your life’s calling.

Like everything in my life, I went about it a little backwards–I discovered touch in church. I discovered touch when youth, UU youth, started hugging me and I didn’t want them to stop. Before that I understood the theory of good touch-bad touch, but never grasped the practice because everything made me feel slightly ill. But total immersion in a non-sexual touch-based culture literally changed my life. It brought me out of my shell. It made me nine tenths of who I am today…

which is why I’m so irritated that our popular culture can’t seem to manage good nonsexual touch between consenting adults. What is up with that? It’s easy. I hold your hand. It feels good. It has nothing to do with whether I find you sexy or want to sleep with you. And there’s another phrase. Sleep? I can sleep with anyone who doesn’t steal the blankets or snore too loudly. What we mean is .have sex with. –which is an entirely different thing. And falling asleep in the middle of that doesn’t usually go over very well. Sleeping with someone can be sweet and healing and involve nothing more complicated than sheets and pillows. Sure, it makes us vulnerable. So does driving a car. So does crossing the street. Touch is about stepping through boundaries, gently, with consent, not driving over them with a bulldozer. Why do we think that distance keeps us safe?

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