Holding hands

I came to a realization the other day. While driving I saw two bearish men walking down the street conversing, smiling and holding hands. My realization? I’ve never been one to hold hands.

I just have never been one for public displays of affection. I don’t know if it is some of the baggage I carry from growing up gay in the 1970s & 80s, being out but yet hiding that intimate part of me. Or if it is something from my childhood.

My family wasn’t the touchy type. I don’t really remember my parents holding hands, nor do I remember them holding mine. Was it a lack of this intimacy at the early stages that makes it foreign to me?

Dating the few girls I did in high school, I remember being uncomfortable when they reached out to hold hands. The dudes I dated in high school?….holding hands with them wasn’t an option, not in 1980. In 1980 it was more like date the girls, do what you could with them and then sneak off with one of the dudes to finish the job. If you know what I’m getting at.

Whatever it is, it doesn’t really matter. I need to get over it. I don’t think I will ever be one that skips around town holding my husband’s hand. I should hold his hand on occasion though. Holding hands is intimate. It is a nice way to show affection.

These two dudes seem to be very comfortable displaying their affection.

These two dudes seem to be very comfortable displaying their affection.

13 thoughts on “Holding hands

    • The Bushes are all quite huggy in fact. Doesn’t make them perfect, nor anyone else. But at least it shows that people with a deep connection can get past the stiff and express the true. That’s not easy when love is suppressed, but now we are living in an age of tearing away suppressions, so I say let the love come out wherever appropriate. It will heal so much more than it will offend, though it will take time.

  1. Puts me in mind of instructions given to British soldiers in long-gone days when there was a British Empire. When posted to mainly Muslim countries, such as Aden, they were told not to take any action if they saw two men walking around holding hands, because in such cultures it does NOT necessarily indicate homosexual affection. I always wondered whether the same instruction to ignore them would apply if they knew that a male couple were, in fact, gay. Unfortunately the instructions did not address that possibility.

  2. I did not grow up in a demonstrative family. No hugging hello or goodbye. Certainly no kissing hello or goodbye. We didn’t really talk about ‘feelings’ that much either. So that, coupled with the 70s / 80s even 90s thoughts of ‘don’t stir things up w the gay stuff’ has left me w very little PDA. Now we greet friends, if meeting them in public w hugs, but as for ourselves, 710 and I don’t hold hands or kiss in public.

  3. Great observation…and Bush 43 & the deceased Saudi King (I believed that was Faad) demonstrated something quite common in the middle East and Arab world. It is not uncommon for men to hold hands as a sign of friendship and alliance. Both are powerful in their family oil lineages. We in the west know so little of the east, of cultures that are older than our own. I’ve always had issues with the stark, starchy western ways of showing affection because they’re like spraying Lysol on lips that should have been kissed because they’re pure from the heart of the love behind them. That’s part of several Mediterranean and Indian cultures talking here.

  4. I didn’t date a lot of girls in high school but had a similar experience. My best friend and I would double date and then have sex after we ditched the girls. He became a marine after high school. My parents never showed any PDA. I tend to avoid PDA too.

    • We had love in the house. Huggers, kissers…and our share of fights too. As a kid I would wrap my arm around my closer friends and just talk on the back stoop. They would respond. In high school the furriest fella in the place (who became our Drum Major for the band) got me in one of the deepest serenades and bear hugs of my life. His girlfriend – also very close to me – said ‘Bill, he’s just trying to say he loves you’. Petrified at first, I finally just ‘let go’, and we fully embraced for awhile, with her looking on and then joining us. That taught me something very powerful about love and people. So much can be communicated by holding hands, unspoken words that finally shout out to the brain what can’t be verbalized. And the hugs? They heal divisions, stop wars, and bond souls.

  5. My family never showed affection, never said I love you etc, so I am not comfortable showing PDA as well. I feel it is a private thing only for the people I love. Except for that hot nipple pierced guy in your following post, I would let him crazy glue us butt naked together and walk around all day in public if he wanted us to!

  6. I’m with you. Even in the car with Frank I tend to shy away from it. I like to think I’m getting better, but it takes effort.

    Give me a couple of shots of Jack and I become all hands. What does that tell you?

  7. It seems I’m in the same background boat as a lot who commented: my family wasn’t the touchy-feely type, in any way. And it’s carried through to my current life. I feel… awkward… when the Husbear wants to hold hands. I know it’s conditioned, but it’s a hard thing to get through for me.

    And even weirder (too me): I notice that some of the straight men I know here in my part of Arkansas are huggers. And it freaks me out when I get hugged in public. I should be happy they are comfortable enough with themselves to have no problem hugging a known gay man in public, and I know it’s something I need to get over.

  8. I can empathize with you about straight dudes hugging. Having been living in CA for half my life now I’m finally getting comfortable with that one, growing up in the mountains of VA that was just not accepted.

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