13 January 2011

PE: Afraid of touch

I have read a few blogs where gay Mormons have talked of this fear of being touched. I used to be the same way. It makes me wonder what is going on in our minds as we try to suppress our sexuality. What is it that causes us to fear touch or closeness? Friends could tell you that I used to flinch when I was touched. It was that bad. I hated hugging or being close to people.

Since coming out and finally coming to terms with my sexuality, however, it is amazing how much I crave it. I am no longer afraid of touch. I love hugging. I love just holding onto a friend's arm or even holding hands (in a purely platonic way). It feels so good to finally be able to let people in. To touch and be touched. Little things like this that I used to overlook make me realize the extent of the damage caused my suppression and self-denial. I finally feel free to express love... whether it is romantic or not. It is a wonderful thing.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you that expressing love is a wonderful thing. I do not have a partner, nor girlfriend. I do, though, try to make my life as satisfying and happy as possible. I express love to my aging parents, my siblings, their children, my friends, my trusted colleagues and even to my students, and in non-gushing, non-threatening ways.

I feel very fortunate- while I was dealing with some very personal issues aside from being gay, I worked with a very gifted therapist. She, also a gay woman, but with a partner, often told me she loved me, and I told her. It was cathartic, healing, trusting, and in the healthiest of ways.

I had this conversation with John G-W a while back. this is one of the reasons I think love is so important. I believe that after we are resurrected and there is no longer the need for blood to be flowing through our bodies, there will be a different substance, more refined and pure, that will keep us alive, and I feel that it will be love. I know this is a bit far-fetched, but why not? The Savior's whole being is love. He emanates it in everything He does. Why not have our bodies filled with love as the means of helping us be eternal beings?

And, what are you doing up so late?? ;) Do you ever sleep?

(I am up because of pain. I forgot to take my pain meds earlier, so now I have to wait to for them to kick in before I can retire for the evening.)

Anonymous said...

May I ask you a technical question? How did you post a gadget to keep track of your page views? And, where did you find such a gadget?

BLB said...

It's like this post was written with me in mind. I still have tons of things I must wrestle when it comes to close physical touch. Coming from a touchy-feely, but really conservative and stringent family, I realise now that I've come to associate physical touch and hugging to being controlled and restricted.

Thus, I only allow people who I've become close with, as well as built some degree of trust on to hug me. However, once I feel ready for physical contact, people are too scared to touch me because I came across as a cold fish in the beginning.


A Gay Mormon Boy said...

Nice observation. Touch is not something emphasized in my family, so growing up an introvert it seemed kind of scary. Since 'figuring things out' I feel like I understand so much more. I'm able to connect with my friends and share love physically and verbally as a result. It was almost like going years of my life without knowing how to do something as basic as walking.

jen said...

Thank you for writing this. Sometimes I think I'm broken, and then I read blog posts by people who I view as "normal" and you say the same things - and other people comment and say they understand... And I don't feel so broken.

So, thanks!

El Genio said...

I could not agree more. I think the closet has had a very negative affect on my ability to physically express my feelings. I've gotten a lot better since coming out, and I do even better still when I'm in a relationship.

Ben said...

Laff! Just last night I hugged my friend and he immediately scolded me for being awkward about it. Being out has enlarged my "bubble" you might say, but it's still very much there. I have a feeling that once I experience the deepest physical intimacies I can possibly experience with a person, all other intimacy will become relatively simple. But I could be wrong.

jen said...

Ben - " I have a feeling that once I experience the deepest physical intimacies I can possibly experience with a person, all other intimacy will become relatively simple. But I could be wrong."

Seriously... I can't breath. What if you're right? I think you're right. Ugh. Thanks. Oh. Gosh.

Jonathan Adamson said...

@Duck- When you go to your design page, click on "add gadget" and select "Blog's Stats." I think your take on love becoming our blood is very beautiful. Perhaps you are right.

@BLB- Don't loose heart. I thought that I was a lost cause too. But now, not only do I feel comfortable with physical touch, I crave it. I also know how it heals hearts. A warm, sincere embrace, holding the hand of someone in pain, these actions can do so much when you let them speak of your love for the other person.

@A Gay Mormon Boy- I agree, coming to terms with my sexuality has really helped me connect on a deeper level with people in all relationships.

@Jen- We are all at least a little broken. That's why Christ's atonement is such a miracle. He can (and does) mend the broken hearted. Sometimes it happens in ways we would never expect.

@El Genio- yep- no comparison to my relationships now vs before coming out. The ability to connect with people on a deeper level is one of the many good "fruits" that have come of my journey.

@Ben- It was only when I became completely comfortable with myself that I could rid myself of the awkwardness. I had to forget about what anyone else might think and focus on what I felt. If you are thinking about what others think, there is no feeling or emotion in the action, which is why it feels "awkward." When you are simply focused on channeling your love for the other person through the action, that's when you really feel it and it can work wonders :)

@Jen- I think that in a way it could help a lot. Obviously not a one-night-stand or anything, but to really trust another person (the right person) and be completely vulnerable by sharing the deepest of intimacies probably does wonders for your ability to be in touch with your feelings and relationships with loved ones in general.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Jonathan, for giving me that information. You are a computer guru. :)

Have a safe and great night.

Love and respect, always.

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