Re: A Thought And A Question

1

After you move away from home, if you're single

ogged's never been married.


Posted by: Henny Youngman | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:11 PM
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After you move away from home, if you're single, you can go literally months (years?) without touching another person, even casually or accidentally.

How can this be?

Maybe we are too touchy-feely, but my people rarely go more than a hour without hugging someone.

Come on, Ogged, bring it in and give me a hug.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:13 PM
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Everyone else though the link in 2. was going to the gfe post, right?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:14 PM
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I thought about the evil electric lightbulb, and the havoc it's wrought on humanity's sleep and considered too that the generations of the early twentieth century were the first to deal with its disruptions

Here is the book for you.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:19 PM
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I almost remember a passage where Socrates is arguing that you can't distinguish dreams from reality based on duration, since it is evident that we sleep as much as we wake... twelve hours a day! This must be why the ancients were so much better at philosophy than we are.


Posted by: Tom from the Bx | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:20 PM
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This is a lonely, lonely country.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:21 PM
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Wasn't there just a book published on this topic not long ago? One that argued, inter alia, that people used to sleep twice per night, with an interlude of productive activity in the wee hours of the morning (this being purportedly a more natural sleep pattern in the absence of artificial light)? I think the same author argued that the prevailing pattern of sleep and wakefulness would not be possible without widespread access to stimulants (i.e. caffeine).


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:22 PM
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Here is the book for you.

By Wolfgang Schivelbusch, no less. Thanks. I was going to pitch the first thought as a dissertation topic, but the academics have been so touchy lately.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:23 PM
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4. I was overdue for a dose of pwnage.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:23 PM
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7: Ekirch. But it was pre-industrial sleep. Probably could read it alongside the Schivelbusch. I just wanted to write those names.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:23 PM
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7: "productive" s/b "reproductive"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:24 PM
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Ekirch also had an article on sleep in AHR.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:25 PM
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Maybe we are too touchy-feely, but my people rarely go more than a hour without hugging someone.

This reminds me of a moment in law-school when my best friend -- whom I lived with, and had already known a good decade at the time -- hugged someone goodbye and made a comment about how she wasn't going to hug me because she knew I wasn't a very huggy person.

Whaaa?!!!!

All those years, I had always though she was resistant to the touchy-feely thing. All those years, so many hugs lost! It would have been a very good thing to know in junior high/HS, too, as my family is the exact opposite of touchy-feely and I was a little short on hugs back then.

The need for touch, though, makes the weekends when Rory is with her dad so hard for me. When I have her, we snuggle in the mornings while we figure out what to wear, we snuggle in the evenings as we eat dinner together in front of the tv, we snuggle at bedtime with a story. When she's at her dad's, I pour myself a drink and crawl into bed (usually) alone. I (always) wake up and drink my coffee alone.

Oh, and per the post, I am going to blame this entire maudlin comment on not sleeping well last night.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:35 PM
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You don't shake hands?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:38 PM
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I'm pro-hug. Why I even corralled Fontana, Sifu, Blume, asilon, and teo into a group hugged at UnfoggeDCon II.

But I'm a bad sleeper and definitely sleep better alone.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:40 PM
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I'm sure I've gone months without shaking hands with anyone. Just no cause to. Depends on your job, etc.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:40 PM
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Anyway, shaking hands barely counts.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:40 PM
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Oh, and per the post, I am going to blame this entire maudlin comment on not sleeping well last night.

I'm sick of the tyranny of the happy, forever forcing us to apologize for the maudlin.

I hear you and have wondered before how many hugs I've lost due an unintentional appearance of standoffishness, both in me and the potential hugging partners. Will no one be bold enough to reach across the divide? I blame Minnesota.

But to answer the post's question, for the last n years >99% of my hugs have come from my immediate family, and hence only at major holidays. So yes, going months between has not been uncommon.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:42 PM
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Dammit, Gonnerill, I wanted to be the one to write a long and pedantic post about Schivelbusch. But that link thing you do, so concise, so clear, has ruined everything. If there's anyone who'd like me to wax pretentious about The Railway Journey, just let me know.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:43 PM
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I also wanted to spell your name correctly, but, apparently, that was a secondary concern. Sorry.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:44 PM
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Wax away, Ari. Meeting be damned!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:44 PM
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I was going to pitch the first thought as a dissertation topic

Excellent idea. Come study under my supervision.


Posted by: Eric | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:44 PM
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22: Seems like an awfully roundabout way to ask ogged to hug you.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:45 PM
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I had a friend in college that put a similar sentiment this way: "People weren't meant to sleep alone." It's so true.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:46 PM
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Come study under my supervision.

Sweet. This means no consequences for bad acts, right?

I pick at open sores, I know.

For seven centuries.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:46 PM
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Remember, ogged, "You can pick your sores, and you can pick your adviser, but you can't . . . ."


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:47 PM
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If there's anyone who'd like me to wax pretentious about The Railway Journey, just let me know.

Pretentious, I don't know. But if you want nostalgia about the Railway Journey (as opposed to The Railway Journey instead, I've got the link for you, too.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:47 PM
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This means no consequences for bad acts, right?

For me. For you, not so much.


Posted by: Eric | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:49 PM
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As Rah, mrh and I left UnfoggeDCon II I randomly hugged FL. I can't imagine going months without touching somebody.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:49 PM
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29: The first group hug was when asilon left us. FL was so afraid that another group hug might ensue later after we were all going our separate ways that he dashed off precipitiously muttering "bye" over his shoulder.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:51 PM
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So how long has it been since you touched someone?

About 5 minutes.

How long have you ever gone without touching someone?

About a day or two, I guess. I like touching people.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:52 PM
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32

Show off.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:53 PM
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As Rah, mrh and I left UnfoggeDCon II I randomly hugged FL.

Are you really trying to make us believe that your choice of the tall, blond, and strikingly handsome FL is "random"?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:53 PM
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Imagine life in a supermax facility (or in some CIA black site), where depriving the inmate of human contact of any sort is SOP.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:54 PM
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wax pretentious about The Railway Journey,

Only if

1. You mention the somewhat critical review in Intellectual History Review

2. Compare Schivelbusch's analysis of technology and culture with the kind of analysis n+1 has engaged in for the "intellectual situation" stuff. I'm thinking particularly of the one about e-mail.

3. You're more pretentious than this comment.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:54 PM
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Oooh, no, longer - I was in Portugal by myself for a few weeks - about 6 weeks I think. Probably didn't do much touching then. And then my boyfriend arrived. (Insert huge cheesey grin emoticon.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:54 PM
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I like part 2. I don't usually touch someone in a given week, since my fiancee is in a different city.

I've had what one might call a crush on a girl in this city for some time now. I mainly fantasize about, say, walking down the street holding hands with her, or being locked in an embrace with her.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 2:58 PM
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38

Hugs schmugs. I jump when someone so much as brushes my arm to get my attention.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:01 PM
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39

I sometimes wonder if sex goes down in marriage--as our nation's comics suggest--because the primary caregiver gets so much affectionate touching from the kids.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:01 PM
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40

Certainly for me, some days there's an element of "if anyone else touches me, I'll punch them".


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:08 PM
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27: Show off.

35: Sorry, can't do it. The meeting ended sooner than expected. And yes, I know, that's the only time I'll ever type those words. Finally, it's true; I contain multitudes of pretense.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:08 PM
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39: There is no doubt in my mind that this is true. Co-sleeping, for all the benefits to child and mother, further aggravates the diversion of physical affection to the mother-child relationship


Posted by: Grover Cleveland | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:09 PM
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39: Yes, probably (though certainly not in my case, oh no). Plus, the parenting-induced fatigue really can be crippling.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:10 PM
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42 is sexist.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:10 PM
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45

I've definitely gone long periods without touching anyone, probably months at some points, and during those times I've often thought about this issue.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:11 PM
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45: Graduate students in history get lots of physical contact, if memory serves.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:13 PM
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39: "I've had a little boy playing with my breasts all day. I'm not about to let you start!"


Posted by: the president | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:13 PM
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I've definitely gone long periods without touching anyone

Not even yourself? I find this hard to believe.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:14 PM
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Decades. I can't stand to be touched. I have punched out New Agey psychotherapists. I can barely stand conversations.

Just kidding. Of course. Really.

Really


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:15 PM
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To me there's a difference between shaking hands and even hugging, on the one side, and much more casual contact like arm touching and that sort of thing.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:15 PM
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I touch people when I talk to them pretty frequently.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:16 PM
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46: I get plenty of touching now, thanks.

48: Fine, anyone else.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:17 PM
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I'm pro-hug. Why I even corralled Fontana, Sifu, Blume, asilon, and teo into a group hugged at UnfoggeDCon II.

What?!??!?!?

And Robust?!?!??!

So I am not good enough to hug Robust and M/tch!??!?

At least heebie grabbed BR's butt. I got nothing.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:18 PM
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I remember thinking very much about how sucky the lack of physical contact is. I also remember having a conversation with a friend from Massachusetts about the whole hugging thing so prevalent in California and the rave scene. Weird, we decided, but fundamentally not bad.

CN should consider becoming a frottuer; seems like the easiest, most logical progression.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:19 PM
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Graduate students in history get lots of physical contact, if memory serves.

In classics, they get taught what intercrural means.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:19 PM
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Contemplating how alternatively maudlin and quick to anger I am when I don't sleep well

I'm like this, too. Not good when you have two small children.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:19 PM
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I touch people when I talk to them pretty frequently.

Now that I think about it, Apo did softly caress my chest while we spoke.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:19 PM
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At least heebie grabbed BR's butt. I got nothing.

You get BR's butt regularly, though. So that's something.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:20 PM
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"I tried to control my compulsive frotteurism, but I just couldn't escape the feeling."

alt., "I used to be a really deft frotteur, but I've lost my touch."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:20 PM
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Graduate students in history get lots of physical contact, if memory serves.

The regular beatings from your advisor alone will easily satisfy all your needs for touch.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:21 PM
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I love The Railway Journey. I manage to teach it in nearly every class I do. I can't have it impugned; this is not Paglia for Christ's sake!


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:23 PM
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I don't think it's being impugned; at least not by me. I used it for part of the one lecture I gave as a TA.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:25 PM
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Also, I touch a lot. I have always had touchy friends and am myself a touchy friend. But having a toddler has made me more attuned to the luscious wonderfulness of touch than any of that.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:25 PM
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60: Dude, you're frock-blocking. Plus, have you seen his new blog? Don't stand in the way of Teo's meeting with destiny, PGD.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:26 PM
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Does it count if the people touching you are trying to choke or joint lock you? I was going to say I go long periods of time without significant human contact until I remembered I do submission grappling every week. There is a lot of contact, but I don't know if that would full fill the same kind of need.

So much low hanging fruit in this comment.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:26 PM
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Also, I touch a lot. I have always had touchy friends and am myself a touchy friend. But having a toddler has made me more attuned to the luscious wonderfulness of touch than any of that.

I've always known that Sybil is one of us. And not just bc she shares my dear deceased grandma's name!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:27 PM
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61: No impugning on my end. Really, I quite like the book. I'm cast as the pretentious one in 19, not Schivelbusch. And the role is not a stretch for me, I assure you.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:27 PM
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Does it count if the people touching you are trying to choke or joint lock you?

Does it count? Why do you think you're doing it?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:28 PM
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Everybody loves Schivelbusch, everybody loves touching. This thread makes me so much happier than others this week.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:29 PM
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OT: Hey, remember this story about South Carolina? Turns out, Philadelphia has "street money" too.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:31 PM
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17 - I think hand-shaking counts, but mainly because it was a form of regular human contact of which I was suddenly deprived. Moved from NYC, where I shook hands with all man-friends and cheek-kissed with all woman-friends, on every meeting. To Georgia, where Southern hospitality etc apparently means offering lots of snacks from a distance, no contact. Nobody shook hands and they made odd faces at me when I tried. It didn't make me turn to prositutes or anything, but it was weird.


Posted by: marichiweu | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:32 PM
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It takes a thread about world war and loneliness to cheer people up around here.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:32 PM
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64: Dammit, Ari, the combination of the awesomeness of "frock-blocking" with the unsolicited plug for my blog is starting to erode my resistance to your entreaties.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:33 PM
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Everybody ruined the nice girl jogs with the homeless thread. And they shat all over our Paglia appreciation.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:34 PM
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Nobody shook hands and they made odd faces at me when I tried. It didn't make me turn to prositutes or anything, but it was weird.

Interesting.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:34 PM
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39: This is perhaps more true if sex prior to kids was more about the need for touch than about the need for, well, sex. In that case, kids can be especially welcome because they offer that physical affection without the pressure to always equate physical affection with sex.


Posted by: Sam Adams | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:36 PM
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Nobody shook hands and they made odd faces at me when I tried. It didn't make me turn to prositutes or anything, but it was weird.

To this day, there's a group of Georgia prostitutes who laugh themselves silly when they reminisce about the yankee who used to pay them cash just to shake hands with them.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:36 PM
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That's not been my experience in Georgia. In fact, I feel like I could stand a little more personal space often.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:37 PM
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It takes a thread about world war and loneliness to cheer people up around here.

This reminds me that I really liked A Very Long Engagement.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:37 PM
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"Frock-blocking" is very good.

I agree with ogged that too many people are touch-deprived. But some of the remedies/solutions to this problem are just so cheesy.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:38 PM
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Does it count? Why do you think you're doing it?

Because it is really good exercise and the application of leverage and pressure on the human body is quite interesting.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:41 PM
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Are you really trying to make us believe that your choice of the tall, blond, and strikingly handsome FL is "random"?

The hug was planned; winding up on the other side of the stall wall from him was dumb luck.

I actually am a touchy toucher. I am very comfortable with casual touches from people I like, anything from a high-five to a farewell hug, etc. If it's someone who annoys me then I go all bad-touch on them in a heartbeat.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:42 PM
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You know who somewhat recently left home and for all I know is single? L.. I volunteer to touch her when she's around the bay this summer.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:43 PM
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Because it is really good exercise and the application of leverage and pressure on the human body is quite interesting.

Gaylord.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:43 PM
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I've probably been as long as five or six weeks without touching someone, maybe, when my wife was living abroad and I was living away from friends and family. Not for a long time, though.

re: 65

Do you get injured much? It always looks that way from talking to people who do it.

I was thinking about this, re: the torture thread, and previous discussions of propensities to violence (or lack thereof). I spend an hour or so every week hitting people. People I actually like, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:44 PM
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69:I not only don't count, I am apparently invisible.
But that's way cool, by rejecting me, society reinforces my opinion of it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:45 PM
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I think that pre-school and early-age elementary school children from certain types of families run teh risk of being touch-deprived. The concerns about abuse are legitimate, but I think it's awfully hard for some teachers who are told that they can't give a kid a hug.

Imagine life in a supermax facility (or in some CIA black site), where depriving the inmate of human contact of any sort is SOP.

At the prison where I mentor someone going to college there's a dog that one of the prisoners cares for during one phase of its training as a guide dog. I remarked on it once, and my prisoner said that he could never do that, because you just have to give up the dog after a year. I said something about playing with cuddling up with dogs, and he said quietly that not being touched was one of the hardest things about being in prison.

I always shake his hand, but (at least at this prison) prisoners don't shake eachother's hands. They believe that HIV and hepatitis can be spread via handshake, so they tap the other guy's knuckle with a closed fist.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:45 PM
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When shivbunny and I were long-distance, I would go months without any kind of physical contact. It sucked.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:45 PM
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Gaylord

No, that is Kajukenbo.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:46 PM
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I spend an hour or so every week hitting people. People I actually like, too.

I wish Emerson were here to make a snarky comment about Scottish leisure activities.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:46 PM
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Southern hospitality etc apparently means offering lots of snacks from a distance, no contact

You didn't fit into the complex and shifting definition of "relation," with whom touching is usually OK (anything from immediate family to long-time friend to distant cousin's prom date, low-hanging-fruit or no). Neighbors and the new people at work/church/PTA are to be greeted at the very edge of visibility using semaphore.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:47 PM
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They believe that HIV and hepatitis can be spread via handshake, so they tap the other guy's knuckle with a closed fist.

I'm going to be tickled if the fist bump originated in a folk misapprehension.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:48 PM
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87:Wait, wait a minute. Dogs count for touching? I can make me fucking dogs purr.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:50 PM
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But having a toddler has made me more attuned to the luscious wonderfulness of touch than any of that.

God yes. I grew up in a very non-touchy family, and that wonderfulness has been a delightful surprise.

Speaking of railway journeys, after a year and a half in Japan—where a lot of social behavior seems directed at sharing confined spaces without touching—I spent a week on the Trans-Siberian, and the first few times I had people touch me, like squarely lay their hands on my shoulders as they passed in a carriage, I felt as though I was going to jump out of my skin.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:53 PM
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Do you get injured much? It always looks that way from talking to people who do it.

I was thinking about this, re: the torture thread, and previous discussions of propensities to violence (or lack thereof). I spend an hour or so every week hitting people. People I actually like, too

I haven't been injured. We have had a couple hyper extended elbows and such. Nothing too bad. Most of the injuries happen if you try to be too macho and don't tap. I am usually pretty fast to tap if I don't think I have much of a chance to get out. I probably give up some stuff I could have escaped, but I would rather my joints stay together.

My main art is actually TKD so I also hit people several times a week. The submission grappling is just for fun and to round me out a little.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:54 PM
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Well, all, it appears to be quitting time in these here parts, so I think I shall meander off to the local watering hole to see what kind of touching is being gathered by the assembled friends, colleagues, and random strangers....


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 3:57 PM
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re: 95

We have had a couple hyper extended elbows and such.

Ouch.

I have fairly dodgy joints -- I'm prone to picking up minor joint injuries -- so I think submission grappling would be a recipe for extreme pain (for me).


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 4:00 PM
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96: just remember to tap if you're worried about hyperextending a knee, Di.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 4:06 PM
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70: the subliminal pairing of Obama and "Chorizo" is an obvious piece of subliminal messaging to telegraph virility.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 4:08 PM
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Whereas pairing Kobe with "Chorizo" would be racist.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 4:16 PM
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If it's someone who annoys me then I go all bad-touch on them in a heartbeat.

I can't resist asking about the McManly version of "bad touch". Do you lick their face? Or just grope them lewdly?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 4:17 PM
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Oh, not that I produce one; I simply make it plain that I'd rather they not touch me. I don't have the nerve to be that aggressive.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 4:26 PM
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pairing Kobe with "Chorizo" would be racista winning entry on Iron Chef.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 4:38 PM
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Okay,okay:We have been over this in part before, in a thread about Obama grabbing Clinton's arm on an airport tarmac "in order to calm her down.". The Obama crowd interpreted the touching as kindness, Clinton interpreted the touching as aggression.

Now the feminists have long said that the sexists fanny-patting and other intrusions are not, as claimed, affection but actually aggression. Is this still a matter of dispute and interpretation?

Now as someone asocial, my observation that most touching, from a stranger, from a friend or relative, from a parent to a child is aggression, an attempt to manipulate & dominate & control, much much more often than affection, whatever the hell affection might be.

And I consider this not merely gender-neutral, but physical attempts at emotional manipulation covered by a veneer of "unquestionable" kind intent are much more common by women than men. Men are not as socially conditioned to touching, at least in America and the West.

Although politicians and other skilled manipulators are good at it. LBJ & Obama are apparently big "touchers."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 4:53 PM
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As Rah, mrh and I left UnfoggeDCon II I randomly hugged FL.

Without reading further in the thread, as I was leaving UnfoggedCon I placed my hand on Ben's chest and said a few words.

Yes, people go months without touching; yes, or no, depending on the trend of the thread, people are uncomfortable with touching, and I've become more of a touchy person as time goes on.

Now I'll see what you all are talking about at the moment.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 5:04 PM
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as I was leaving UnfoggedCon I placed my hand on Ben's chest and said a few words

"That's close enough, young man."


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 5:06 PM
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I have also been at this in thread on child-spanking, which is also considered an act of kindness and affection by the spankers.

Fuck yeah, I am "crazy." What is "socialization?" Makes no sense if isn't submission, obediance, acceptance of a subordinate position. Most people consider that submission to be a net good. Obey the law and all that.

What is affection? Very likely just the ritualized and socially (or individually) acceptable forms of aggression.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 5:15 PM
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What is affection? Very likely just the ritualized and socially (or individually) acceptable forms of aggression.

All sex is rape


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 5:18 PM
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Even more specifically, I suspect the impulse to touch is generated by a confidence in ones's dominant position. Very much like throwing the first punch in a fight.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 5:22 PM
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108:I added the "individually" to 107.3 for a reason.

But I am not so far from "all sex is rape."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 5:26 PM
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I suspect the impulse to touch is generated by a confidence in ones's dominant position

I suspect that on the most basic level, it's more like monkey grooming and that people who feel a need to assert their dominance do it through touch (among plenty of other ways) is a correlation, not a causation.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 5:27 PM
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In fact, parents are child-molesters.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 5:33 PM
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I suspect the impulse to touch is generated by a confidence in ones's dominant position

I knew it must have been bob who said this. My friend, no, not really.

Eh, so much of it is a function of upbringing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 5:37 PM
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I agree with Bob that "socialization" is a form of "submission". Very Ayn Rand of you, Bob.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 5:39 PM
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Does the intimacy of touch make others behave more positively toward us? Kleinke (1977) created an experiment with two variations. In the first, female confederates approached people who were leaving a telephone booth and asked whether they had found a dime there (which had been left on the shelf by the experimenter). In the second variation, female confederates approached people in a shopping mall and asked to borrow a dime. When the requests for a lost or free dime were accompanied by a touch, ther ewas more compliance. There was almost 100 percent compliance in returning the dime when touched as opposed to 65 percent compliance when there was no touching, and almost twice as many dimes were offered when the confederates touched the subject while making the request.

Posted by: Tactual Perception | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 5:42 PM
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113:Nothing personal, but I won't listen to the fanny-patters, child spankers, or the burqa-enforcers...all who claim to act out of love...and I will figure this out for myself, by myself.

Non serviam. Maybe I'm demonic.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 5:44 PM
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Mcmanus, there's a reason why solitary confinement is such a dreaded punishment. We're social animals.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 5:47 PM
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I'll admit to being less touch-y with friends in practice than in my heart. Fear of erroneously projecting dominance is a factor.

I looked up from the computer after first reading the post and there, 5 stories down across the street, was a late 20s couple. He was tall, wearing a suit, with long hair in what I would call the Italian style. She was also wearing work clothes, but maybe a click and a half down the scale. Feet about 18 inches apart. Animated conversation. Her hands rubbing his chest up and down. He clearly didn't know what to do with his.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 5:49 PM
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Also, though I didn't click through the link to the cuddle parties in whatever thread in which it came up, I've heard of such things, mostly through earthy-crunchy types, and despite the susceptibility to charges of cheesiness, in the right environment, I'd consider it. Sounds like fun among the right people.

Though the ones I've heard about may not be like whatever was linked.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 5:50 PM
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OMG, bringdown Bob is ruining the thread. How trollish.

For those who imagine me living in a literally loveless world, well, there are the dogs. Although I have qualms about being alpha.

And there is caritas.

I give money to the Salvation Army (& United Way) because a) SA is Christian and I am not, b) because I don't know the recipients nor am I feeding a self aggrandizing cause, c) because they don't say "Thank You."

I am also very kind to strangers.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 5:52 PM
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120: Also surely you smile from time to time. Admit it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 5:55 PM
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121:Human , all too human.

114:In a world of dominance & submission, it can't be all about & for me. No not never egoism.

The opposite of egoism. Caritas.

Not to say I'm any fucking good at it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 6:06 PM
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Caritas is compatible with and may even result in a willingness or desire to touch. So I say.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 6:27 PM
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This thread is making me think about Samoa, where I was both very socially lonely and isolated feeling, and massively annoyed by my students' habit of being unable to talk without draping themselves all over me. It's a hard country to have a conversation in without someone leaning on you.

I do remember feeling short on touch in college -- I'm very much not a huggy person (I fake it, now, because I'm in a huggy social circle, but it's not natural) but I did hit a point where I wasn't getting enough, and it made me sad.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 6:32 PM
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People invest so much of their need for touch in their significant others, or children if they have them. Sex becomes a substitute for touch (76 upthread reminds me of this). I miss my hippie friends very much sometimes. Social touching is mostly deprecated nowadays.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 6:52 PM
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My husband left me a year ago this week.

All last spring, summer and fall, the only human touch I got were a few hugs from old friends at a high school reunion and some very painful touching from a physiotherapist as she worked on the various stress injuries caused by me obsessively walking all over the neighborhood for hours each day. I dragged my cats into bed each night this winter to stay warm and to feel something, someone else breathing.

But I've just started seeing someone new. (Not a cat: a human. I have standards.) While the sex is sweet and awesome, one thing we agreed on that first night, and many nights since, was that going without touching anyone else for so long was incredibly difficult and that it was really wonderful to just be able to cuddle somebody again. Some of the best time we spend together is cooking in the kitchen, then drifting away from the stove and counter to hug each other a bit. Sometimes a very long bit. The occasional overcooked veggie is worth it.


Posted by: F. | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 7:51 PM
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Wow, F., that hurts to even think about. I'm glad to hear that things are looking up for you.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 8:12 PM
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Wow, F., that hurts to even think about.

Nothing upsets Knecht like an overcooked veggie.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 8:28 PM
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Man, I leave for a couple hours and McManus stakes out the anti-human contact position: so awesome!

I hug because punching is not allowed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 8:42 PM
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After the revolution, there will be no need of human contact, because the alienation of humankind from the product of its labor will be eliminated, and we will be restored to wholeness. The perceived need for skin-to-skin contact is a superstructural phenomenon, a mere appendage of the true drivers of history, the underlying relations of production. IOW, cuddling is the opiate of the masses.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 8:51 PM
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I touch humanity with my mind, only all at once, that my message may reach each and every human according to their (psychic) ability, to fulfill their (telepathic) needs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 8:54 PM
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129: because punching is not allowed

It is mistakenly not included as one of the six simple forms of physical touching:

Hug
Handshake
Arm pat
Butt slap
Kiss
Facial


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 8:54 PM
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the six simple forms of physical touching

This isn't going to turn into a repeat of the debate over simple machines, is it? "The handjob is not a simple form of touch. It is a compound form combining the handshake and genital contact."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 9:01 PM
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Oddly, I was thinking today during my pedicure that women definitely have the advantage over men when it comes to socially acceptable ways of being touched.

In other words, Ogged, if you weren't so hung up on your machismo, you could go get a massage.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 9:07 PM
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134: I know! Dudes can't just stick a finger up the other's butt all friendly-like, at least not in most bars.

Boy was I sorry!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 9:08 PM
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135: Yes, I'm sure that taught you to verify the list of bars where assless jeans are acceptable before going out.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 9:18 PM
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136: buttoned up and shipshape, yes sir.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 9:19 PM
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I sometimes wonder if sex goes down in marriage--as our nation's comics suggest--because the primary caregiver gets so much affectionate touching from the kids.

Yes.

I also think that men being unhappy about this is part of what leads women to pull the condescending thing about how men are really just like children. Because it's not so much that hey, the mom is getting all her touch needs met; it's more that mom is getting way, way, WAY overtouched and needs to have some private time, and then dad coming along wanting touch becomes either a source of conflict or something that mom provides out of a kind of resigned charity.

I'm exaggerating, of course, but I do think that this kind of thing is a big issue. The mom complaint, that dad should do more child care, has some validity, but of course the problem with *that* is that the child itself ends up having fairly strong preferences, and dad has to really go out of his way to overcompensate in order to teach the kid to come to him, rather than automatically going to mom.

All of which just goes to show that the real reason married men with kids don't get enough nookie is capitalism.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 9:24 PM
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138 makes interesting points but I have nothing intelligent to add.

I will say that I am generally keen on personal space, more so than many of the people I interact with daily, but working in majority-non-Anglo environments has absolutely shifted me on this.

The other day I met an Orthodox man who couldn't even shake my hand, and boy was that weird. I mean, not the first time it's ever happened to me, but in a setting where you're going along all happy and easy and shaking everybody's hands and greeting them warmly and then someone steps way back -- whoa. (Not to say he wasn't nice about it.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 10:13 PM
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Did you grab him and lick him?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 10:15 PM
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I knew there was a step I forgot.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 10:18 PM
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I've gone months without human touch, but being able to cuddle my cat went a long way to make up for it.

So next time Ogged's feeling compelled to go all Spitzer, he should get a pet. Preferably a cat.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 11:05 PM
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I've gone months without human touch, but being able to cuddle my cat went a long way to make up for it... IYKWIM, AITYD.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 11:15 PM
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No, that's what the vibrator was for.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 04-11-08 11:29 PM
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It's never occured to me, but I must have gone months without any touching, especially when I was younger. I've never missed it.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 12:19 AM
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I sort of prefer kissing to hugging. NYC suits me well in this sense. A nice cheek-kiss, even, or a chaste lip-kiss, is really nice between friends. Plus, it's Biblical!

Hugging is fine and good. It just raises a lot of anxieties about how to do it. NYC has kissing-standards in a way that's easier to navigate than hugging-standards.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 12:50 AM
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Generation Awesome has, apparently, adopted the fist-bump+explosion as the universal greeting. You bump fists, then open your hand while pulling away while making an explode-y sound, to demonstrate that your hand has "blown up" upon contact with the other individual. Fact.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 12:54 AM
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Bave and I just had a really deep conversation about different types of handshaking, knowing nothing (I think) of the existence of this thread. I have learned that there are high-class ways of handshaking that I don't know about or engage in. I am a deep, firm handshaker, and apparently this doesn't always go over well.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 12:58 AM
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I went without physical contact for years because of severe psoriasis. For one, any contact was painful - clothes hurt, sheets on the bed hurt - and for another, at some point I lost my bravado. In my twenties, before the psoriasis covered me, I could say to lovers: yeah, well, just deal, dude: it's not catching. I got much more self-conscious when the lesions were all over my body.

I didn't realize how much I missed physical touch until I started babysitting my new niece and nephew, who didn't give a damn about my lesions. It still hurt to be touched, but I was so starved for that human contact. Plus, they were toddlers - all they knew was that their aunt felt like sandpaper; they required no further explanation. It was just another experience to them. It was heaven to me - to kiss and cuddle receptive kids is a lovely thing anyway, and we all should get a dose of it regularly, but man, I'd been the lizard lady for so long!

So cuddle parties seem okayfine to me. Lack of human contact sure made me feel as tho I was outside humanity.


Posted by: Eleanor Roosevelt | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 1:06 AM
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re: 148

Some men do that "I crush your hand in my mighty paw" handshake. Those self-same people usually get their grip in quickly, and, rather than pushing their hand all the way forward allowing you to reciprocate, stop and squeeze right behind the knuckles which prevents you returning their shake firmly. There's a specific trick to it. Stupid macho games. The only thing that makes me want to do is head-butt them.* The only thing [in terms of public behaviour] that provokes a more visceral and immediate desire to hurt someone is spitting.

"Not so macho now, eh?"

Otherwise, a firm (but not excessively so) brief handshake is good.

* you can take the man out of Scotland but not Scotland out of the man. Of course, in reality, one just smiles and mentally files them away as a probable bastard with adequacy issues.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 1:20 AM
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I am a deep, firm handshaker, and apparently this doesn't always go over well.

When they say the safety word, you're supposed to let go.

This thread is a subject I've thought a fair amount about. I get a fair amount of informal touch, a lot of my friends are huggy people and I'm completely down with that. I also tend to touch my friends who are down with that pretty often just walking together, gently tapping the shoulder or hip as we turn in a new direction or whatever.

But that sort of contact is totally different than the important stuff I really tend to miss, cuddling or the such. This may seem odd, but one of the things I miss most is walking with a girl and having my arm around her waist with my hand resting on her hip. It's just such a perfect fit, and feels so wonderful, the right amount of closeness without any discomfort or tripping one another up while walking.

This is pretty embarrassing, but I actually asked a friend who was crashing with me about a week ago whether she wanted to have sex, mostly because I do really miss the touch thing. Sadly, the very good emotional reason she gave for why we shouldn't have sex at that time also ruled out sleeping together, which probably would have made me just as happy.

Yeah... Cuddle parties, I could totally see that.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 1:25 AM
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I hugged w-lfs-n today, multiple times. Even though it is now tomorrow, I declare this "Hug an Unfogged Person Day." Also, the band No Kids is pretty cool.

I didn't grow up with a lot of hugginess, but now I can't imagine not hugging. It helps to be a girl and have female friends, especially during the years and years of singledom. So even the most mundane, every day goodbyes ended with hugs, and that helped me get through law school. Sisterhood is powerful.

My boyfriend is not used to being touched (not raised touchy-feely, also went for years as single, is a guy) and isn't touchy himself. He sometimes flinches when I touch him, doesn't like to hold hands, and occasionally forgets to hug me back when I hug him. It hurts my feelings a little, but we are compromising.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 1:40 AM
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F. I'm glad that things are looking up!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 5:45 AM
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Maybe someone has mentioned the obvious one?

But, when I was single, I had sex with some women simply because I wanted to touch and be touched.

I also acutely remember the first months after getting separated. Instead of being with my kids every single evening, I would go an entire weekend without seeing them.

I would wander public places (bookstores, malls, etc) just to be around other people.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 5:55 AM
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I was raised without much touching, or emoting either, and have to train myself not to flinch when I'm in huggy environments. I remember that in about 1975 a lot of non-huggy people were reconstructing their psyches in order to become properly huggy, but I didn't follow. It was part of the great war against macho WASPism.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 6:07 AM
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That explains so much, John.

My family does group hugs regularly. Everyone is required to groan loudly while we do a group squeeze.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 6:15 AM
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Mrs. Roosevelt, That sounds really awful. Have you had any kuck treating it since?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 6:24 AM
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the first months after getting separated [...] I would wander public places (bookstores, malls, etc) just to be around other people.

Oh man, I did this too. But it sometimes it would backfire badly and I'd find myself trying to get to my car as fast as I could, because I just couldn't take the sight of any more happy couples with their kids.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 8:36 AM
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God, you people are depressing.

This thread makes me miss high school. Back in those days, I was a theater kid, and you know how those people are. All manner of hugging, cheek-kissing, randomly delivered back massages, and other forms of touch. I had a huggy friend or two in college, and I have another one now, but most of my friends and acquaintances are not much of touchers. We hug at seeing each other after a trip, or when making up after a fight, but on a normal meeting it's just "hey." I guess I could remedy this situation by being a huggy person myself, but I suppose I'm just not. You know those people? Who give hugs to everyone and it's ok? Yeah, I should have been one of those.

Anyway, as it is, I require at least thirty solid minutes a day of cuddling from my boyfriend, and thank the lord god he is more than happy to oblige.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 9:21 AM
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I don't believe 147 at all.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 9:23 AM
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158: Oh yeah, the sight of people with small children killed me for months. (We tried and failed to conceive, and the woman -- correction, girl-young-enough-to-be-our-daughter -- he left me for had been feeding him the "you'd make such a wonderful father" line for months. I found out about that pressure point the night he walked out.)

Now it's just overcooked veggies that make me sad. A little.


Posted by: F. | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 9:31 AM
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F., that's terrible. What a jerk.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 12:47 PM
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All of which just goes to show that the real reason married men with kids don't get enough nookie is capitalism.

No, if capitalism was allowed to roam free and unchecked, there would be prostitutes enough for all.


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 12:54 PM
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It's a small thing, but in my college/church choir every rehearsal (weeknight and Sunday morning) begins with about a one-minute backrub of the chorister to your left (and from the one on your right) and then reversed/reciprocated.

Not, I'm sure, a solution to touch deprival (I wouldn't know, having been happily married 38 years - ;} ), but it can't hurt. Plus, it does help loosen up some of the singing muscles.


Posted by: dr ngo | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 1:56 PM
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149: Man, I thought I had the worst psoriasis I'd ever seen, but unfortunately I think you have me topped. It's never been a proximate reason for going without touch, but I know exactly what you're talking about. I'm sorry you've had to go through that.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 1:58 PM
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So I got back from my date. A couple of times I realized that I was bored, and he just didn't appreciate the movie. (I enjoyed In Bruge by the way.) I don't think he reads either. So, I don't exactly see this going anywhere.

BUT it was just so much easier to let him put his arm around my shoulder as we walked back to the train station. And since his arm was already there, the easiest way to say goodnight was to kiss him.

It wasn't a bad kiss, but I'm not super attracted to him either. I am a bad person.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 9:47 PM
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You're not a bad person, BG.

Definitely not.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 9:49 PM
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No!

What?

Why?

Not a bad person.

Arm-enfolding, kissing: objectively fun, and signify nothing other than themselves.

Enjoy yourself!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 9:49 PM
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after reading this thread, ogged, i understand why you started the kind of blog you did!

i never go more than a few days without being touched - a week tops. good friends & i hug or kiss. and there is yoga - one of the reasons i like it so much is that you can have a non-sexual kind of touch -- your body can be touched and it doesn't have to be and isn't sexual -- something that is pretty rare in our culture.

(hands off the low-hanging fruit, thanks!)


Posted by: mmf! | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 9:52 PM
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(hands off the low-hanging fruit, thanks!)

I thought you said you wanted to be touched.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 9:54 PM
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It wouldn't normally, but this guy has memorized my grade school and everything. He rows with a friend of mine from church, and so he started coming to my church and asking about the services I'm going to. So, I can't just blow him off if I don't want to date him.

I don't really think that I'm a bad person.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 9:56 PM
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Of course you can blow him off! Blowing people off is what America is all about. This country was founded by people blowing other people off.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 9:57 PM
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When I was an intern at the National Archives, I was allowed to see the secret first draft of the Declaration of Independence. It was beautiful in its simplicity:

"Later, dude."


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 10:00 PM
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This country was founded by people blowing other people off.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 10:00 PM
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It's a small thing, but in my college/church choir every rehearsal (weeknight and Sunday morning) begins with about a one-minute backrub of the chorister to your left (and from the one on your right) and then reversed/reciprocated.

Gah. Just reading this makes me break out in uptight WASP hives.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-12-08 10:00 PM
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And after the backrubs, they take off their clothes, do a grouphug, and chant O-o-o-o-o-o-m-m-m-m. And then the fun begins!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-13-08 1:25 PM
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bostoniangirl: Yes. [Will abandon the Eleanor Roosevelt psued]. A couple years ago I scored one of the new biologic drugs, which were formulated for rheumatoid arthritis but work pretty well for my degree of psoriasis. [Being without health insurance, I had to score it from the manufacturer.] My chances at a certain form of cancer are increased by injecting myself with Enbrel weekly, but I don't really care: once I knew that my skin would clear up and I could be with another human, I went out and asked this certain fella for a date. It's dumb luck that it was the right fella; we've been together for two years.


Posted by: goofyfoot | Link to this comment | 04-13-08 3:46 PM
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