The other day, I wrote about how liberating it is not to have an assumed end-point to your emotions. If you can push past the ‘I want to know them… biblically. I want to have them… monogamously.’ impulse, there are so many ways to know, have, own, use, find, connect to, experience another human being. Sex and romance become symbols of the giddy thrill of experiencing another person, but that experience is richer if you chuck out the guidelines and start with the tailor-made approach.
For example, I was thinking about one guy I met who I flagged as a zucchini possible (a zucchini, in case you’ve not yet heard, is currently the closest we have to a label for people who are in relationships which defy traditional structures of friendship or romance) trying to isolate what I actually wanted from him. It occurred to me that the main thing I wanted from him was his touch. I tend to think of the traditional things, emotional intimacy, sexual involvement, as being quite impersonal, I could have them as easily with one person as with another. And yet there are certain uniquenesses which help me to define relationships.
In terms of touch, I’ve never really understood the point of cuddles, except at moments of genuine isolation, as a physical metaphor for two people enveloping each other, holding each other up. I don’t think I get whatever it is everyone else gets out of touch. I’ve tended to struggle with some aspects of touch, I didn’t hug for much of my teenage years, I’ve always found the contact moves in martial arts too hard because touching another person doesn’t feel natural to me.
There have been two people in my life who have made me feel completely safe whenever we touched. It doesn’t seem to be anything to do with emotion- the first person I actually disliked, and was a renowned jerk. This second one has suddenly started being heterosexist, transphobic and fat-phobic, and that slams the breaks on any blossoming emotional/intellectual attraction for him. It’s nothing to do with sexual attraction- I’m not sexually attracted to either of them. It’s nothing to do with the nature of the touch- hugs work best, but hand-holding or leaning almost as well. If I had to describe the sensation, it’s like their skin has the power to transport me somewhere, hence the nerdy reference in the title. When I touch them or they touch me, instantly I’m somewhere else, somewhere calm, shaded and sombre.
This is really powerful. I’m glad that my life has lead me to where I am now, witnessing the birth of a new model of intimacy, because it means I can witness, possibly even harness, this energy without having to confuse it with sex or romance.
Now I just need to find someone like this who isn’t a jerk…