Yet another epic thread at Hooking Up Smart has unearthed a gem. The always-insightful Dominican-born Stephenie Rowling responded to a comment on the thread thusly:
I also think that the reason there is so much sport-fu**ing going on is that overall the culture is very touch-negative and sexual intimacy became one of the ways to be close with someone.
I think you are onto something with this comment, is one of the big differences here about how people have “personal spaces” of the size of a small apartments and there is not kisses or hugs liberally given to people you meet, like in my culture. I wouldn’t be surprised if “touch deprivation” has to do with all the hook up culture being so prevalent. I wonder if ancient cultures were big on touching each other too…
I had never thought of it this way but it’s an accurate analysis. I lol’d at “personal spaces the size of small apartments.”
America is by and large a culture where people are walled off from each other. One of the big eye-openers when I started working to up my game was how hesitant I was to touch a woman I was interested in, even when she was giving signs it was welcome – and how effective it was at escalating the interaction. And because men raise their value when they stand out from the crowd, men who can use touch effectively (“kino” as the PUAs call it) massively differentiate themselves from average Joes afraid to put their paws on anybody.
As to why men in particular are generally poor at the touch game, it’s easy to figure out. It would repeat much work of the manosphere to discuss how male sexuality is criminalized from a very young age, and what Stephenie calls the “feelings-ocracy” has made a man “creepy” and/or worth a sexual harassment allegation if he uses in a way judged inappropriate. This promotes an overall feeling of anxiety and discomfort interacting with women entirely, and especially with romantic escalation.
Every culture has limits on what touching is deemed invasive, but Latin and Mediterranean cultures are well-known for being more tactile. A kiss on each cheek is de rigeur in some Spanish-speaking countries. My Belgian friends taught me that it’s three kisses on alternating cheeks (I am guessing this comes from both French and Spanish imperial influence; too bad the tradition of high-quality beer didn’t transfer the other way).
One of the most effective ways I learned about using touch effectively was from a ballroom dancing class. There’s a subtle line between sexual and non-sexual touching that takes place in partner dancing – how to be sensual while maintaining a literal “frame.”