Anthony Carter

Does Hyper Sexuality Start at Five?

Filed By Anthony Carter | April 06, 2011 8:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics, The Movement
Tags: addiction and recovery, child care, cruising for sex, sexuality

When baby animals don't get touched they die.5008705512_c1e29683c3.jpg

If this is the case for lesser developed creatures, why do we think humans can survive without touch.

In my post "Should Cruising Be Considered an Unacceptable Risk?" I made reference to gay men willing to risk life and limb in an effort to be seen. Perhaps all of the hyper sexuality was not really about sex at all.

In this installment, I would like to take to task the larger, straight community and any and all participants who feel that as men we do not require a loving touch.

I recently have been reading tons of books on the young male mind. It is often believed that young boys require a radically different rearing than girls .

While young girls are taught to relate socially, young males are taught to compete.

We are systematically taught to lock away feelings, vulnerability and want and channel every bit of energy into aggression sexualized or not. Anything but having the desire to touch and be touched.

In one study I read, it pointed out that young males (by the age of five ) are ripped away from the nurturing and emotional connection and dependency that is a result of being with caregivers.

Since no one explains this to children all they know is the feeling of abandonment that is entrenched at a young age with no justification or explanation. Without this need being met, the urge is satisfied elsewhere.

A great deal of the tussling, horseplay and physical risk taking is an attempt to regain the alive feeling one gets when he is physically and emotionally fed and attended to.

I remember being denied this sensation and for years not knowing why until I reached forty.

When I hit forty, the longing was so great and overwhelming that it felt as if I was housing a beast that if unleashed would destroy any and everything.

Once, I recounted to a friend through sobs, that I was going in to have a facial because without this bit of touch, the only option was anonymous sex.

I couldn't believe that at forty, the best I could do was either have a facial, sex with a stranger or no physical touch, thereby reigniting the longings that had run my life and overwhelmed me since boyhood.

This just couldn't be it.

I have been obsessed with the concept of touch every since this discovery.

Why are we so afraid of men being kind and loving ?

What does it say about us that our collective fantasies and roles for men include wars, murder and fear mongering?

Why is that more exciting than compassion and a heartfelt hug?

How in the world did the bigger culture make the decision that men hurting other men should be romanticized, sexualized ,and most frighteningly, normalized, and why did we buy into it ?

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I feel for you, I truly do. I have often said that it's bullshit that we teach boys and girls differently, when truly we're all human beings underneath. It's nonsense that we teach girls to nurture children and boys to fight and be stoic, as if there was much chance that they'd end up soldiers or the like, when really it's far more likely that they'll be parents alongside as their female counterparts. And somehow, men are just supposed to know how to do that, when no one's taught them? Foolishness. We truly need to do better by boys in this country. And I hope that you can find a relationship that fulfills you.

If it makes you feel any better, I'm in roughly the same boat, even though I'm female. Casual sex doesn't interest me, but I crave touch as well. Sometimes it amazes me that other people are there, since I'm lonely a lot of the time too. If the cashier touches my hand, giving me change, it kind of feels like a miracle. So, yeah, I feel your pain, I really do.

Regan DuCasse | April 6, 2011 1:00 PM

You nailed it Anthony! There was a hue and cry over the tender kiss between Blaine and Kurt of Glee, but all the assaults Kurt endured, the slush throwing and shoves into lockers went on without complaint.

Violence and how children are exposed to it, IS accepted. But hand holding, the most casual of affection in public is not only discouraged, but between same sex participants, invites murderous rage of it's own.
Religious texts are full of orgies of violence revenge and retribution and control of other human beings.
This is fervently embraced and used as a tool and extension of abuse.

The religious right in particular, states their embrace of 'God's word' but only as it's use to police and control.
Not at all as a directive to treat another person justly on the basis of being human beings and tapping the 'better angels'.

Children are not encouraged to understand better angels, but to enjoy the torment of another.
As they grow into adulthood, sometimes those same bullying tactics don't change as we see what happens in the workplace against women or others perceived as weak.

Religious leaders whose media savvy carries a lot of influence, they are just as likely to use the media to bring out the primal in their audience. Indeed, they foment it with zeal.

Hand holding is one of the most special, caring and loving of touches that can be done out in the open. It's the simplest of gestures, but it carries one of the most powerful feelings in it.

It is a shame, a crying, low down and sad, terrible shame...that it cannot be expressed among those of who need it the most.

One of my biggest regrets about my relationship is that Jerame isn't very physical. He doesn't even like to hold hands privately. It's caused quite a bit of problems for us, but he was raised without touch as an important part of his life.

Anthony Carter | April 6, 2011 7:38 PM


Maybe this post can start a discussion....

While I am in agreement with many of the points above, can we avoid some of this generalizing? Not everyone likes being touched or goes about seeking to be touched. As a person with aspergers, I have spent large parts of my life trying to get people to not touch me without asking. I was not comfortable with casual touching until my teens, and, even now, I only want to be touched in certain ways, at certain times, by certain people (and I do not like to be touched without warning). The more upset I am, the less I want to be touched. Not only could I survive without touch, in some situations casual touch can result in a full meltdown for me. (I also like casual sex, but I only have sex at all when I am having a less intense aspie day and am in a fairly good mood).

I do not really think there can be a complete discussion of touch without including the issue of consent. The right to consensually touch to display affection AND the right to be free from nonconsensual touching are both massively important. Consent is at issue for people with autism, for example, but it is also at issue for women and children, for whom being considered as having a right to refuse physical contact is often something that cannot be taken for granted.

I'm gonna hug my male friends today!

Anthony Carter | April 7, 2011 12:18 AM

Intern Jake,

This means so much we rarely get touched unless it violent or sexual. A good clean hug/touch increases the humanity of all involved parties..

I work at my local LGBT Center and one of the best things in my day is walking in to the Center and being hugged by everyone else who is there at the time, from our director to the volunteer at the desk to any visitors who may be in house. We are a hugging bunch of fools and it just makes all the rest of the day go better, no matter what else we have to deal with . And we don't care about the sexuality or gender of the others. We just hug till it feels good, then go on with our day. Maybe it will catch on!

Anthony! So good to have seen you last night in LB! Miles

Jerry Weiss | April 7, 2011 3:45 PM

Hugs and holding hands are nice, but pale when compared to real same-sex non-sexual intimacy.
Growing up in the 40's, I am just old enough to remember when such intimacy was not the taboo it is today. There have been a number of photo anthologies published lately which document the way it used to be. Guys with their heads in another guy's lap, around one another's shoulders, legs draped across one another, etc. And even relatively contemporaneously -- remember those Russian male Olympic gymnasts giving each other prolonged kisses on the lips? In my family, where the first generation immigrants were still living,kisses on the lips between male relatives was expected.

The oppression, and I believe it is a real, very serious oppression, is that today it is either no touch at all or sex. I have a full spectrum of what I'd like to express, for both male and female, ranging from more prolonged hugs to light cuddling to more intimate cuddling, to making out, all short of sex. But here in America, it's all black and white, no shades of gray.

Anthony Carter | April 7, 2011 7:16 PM

Jerry this is exactly what I'm talking about. Closeness without sex...why is this a problem ?

Gaytorguy | April 8, 2011 8:26 PM

I understand completely. My degrees are in psychology and secondary education. My main therapeutic clientage were adolescents. Sort of a nip problems in the bud ideology. I am a friendly person and used to end sessions with a hug.
Females, women and teens had no problem with it. And thought it sort of a release from the session's less positive parts.
Males had a problem at first. Males over the age of 14, mostly. But soon it changed after they were reminded of what they may have lost from their childhood. Then is became a ritual that they would hug both after a session and before. Why the males and not the females? For the same reasons you commented. The women got and get the touches. The men do not.
My main reason for doing that was a thesis I read on the study of touch. Touching made most people feel better about themselves and the world around them. Males seemed less volatile. People, it concluded, needed at least 3 hugs per day. Those with chronic illnesses needed 10.
Not only did these males get the touch they needed. The sessions went so much better and resolutions came expeditiously. I added it to group therapy that everyone hug before and after. What a wonderful increase in therapy!

Too bad society changes more slowly from its traditions and stereotypes than science and knowledge advise.
I get massages at the massage school from the students in training. I, too, am in the same boat now. But when I was a child, even as a teen, I was hugged often by family. Maybe it's a European thing. I don't know.