What about non-sexual touch?

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What about non-sexual touch?

Unread postby Siân » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:51 am

I was reading Al's latest blog post, Sexuality in Color: I Need to Feel Your Touch and they asked some questions that got me thinking:

What kind of cultural expectations surround haptic communication in your communit(ies)? How do you feel about them? How do they compare to your interactions with peers, or with members of the general public? How does your understanding of your body and lived experiences affect how you think about “personal space”?

Marina's story in the article made me think about how in my teens and 20's physical affection dropped off, as if adults aren't still people who need comfort sometimes, and how much of a relief it can be to just have a hug from a friend. A few years ago, I was single for the first time in several years and mourned physical closeness that wasn't about sex. Over time, I've become more likely to ask for a cuddle from people I'm close to, and also to offer them to people I care about besides romantic partners as for me it offers a sense of safety and acceptance.

How about you?

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Re: What about non-sexual touch?

Unread postby bitheway » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:47 am

I personally LOVE platonic physical contact. I tend to be a little bit awkward about initiating touch for the first time, but once the touch barrier's been broken, I have no problem with cuddling friends.

This might just be a thing with regards to my personal friend groups, but I've noticed that in general my LGBTQ+ friends tend to be a bit more okay with platonic cuddling/casual friendly touching and the like, while my straight friends (especially straight males) seem to be a bit more reserved on that front—I have a couple straight female friends I'll cuddle with from time to time, but it's never to the extent that it is with queer friends. I certainly don't mean to imply that all straight people are repressed, but I do think there is something to the idea that since queer people are already rejecting societal roles about relationships in one sense, they're more likely to disregard ideas about who should be making physical contact with whom in what context, if that makes sense. Again, though, I can't speak to everyone's perspective, just my own.

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Re: What about non-sexual touch?

Unread postby Mo » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:59 pm

I wonder if one reason why some queer people are more comfortable with same-gender platonic touch is that a lot of people assume physical affection, even when it's explicitly nonsexual, is a sign of romantic or sexual feelings, and some straight people don't want to be perceived as non-straight by others. I realize there can be a lot of reasons people may or may not want to pursue nonsexual touch with others, but that's one I thought of.

I do have friends I can be comfortable casually touching, but I find that I'm reluctant to initiate that contact unless I already feel super confident that it's wanted. I am a naturally affectionate person but really want to avoid making other people uncomfortable, so I wind up being a little shy about this sort of touch in a lot of situations.

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