The description of the new group is:
"Touch Practice has come to describe an intentional, mindful, 60-90 minute exchange of non-sexual touch between men. The practice is based on hugging, holding, and being held.."
And what does the following tell you? (extracted from About Touch Practice, at the site):
"Touch Practice partner may wish only to have contact between our hands, and no other parts of the body. On the other hand, partners may also explore full body touch up to and including genital touch. Some Touch Practice partnerships explore erotic energy, and others have no erotic interest."
We are living in a culture where feminists have successfully inculcated into the masses that men should be more like women and eschew any thoughts and/or outward demonstrations of dominance and violence in favor of acceptance, passivity and vulnerability as a virtue. It is a glorification of "touchy-feely" that has succeeded to a great extent in confusing our young men's sexuality and emasculating them, as is proven in a great many of the discussions and comments on AoM from lost young men seeking guidance.
What say you?
The last time a guy got touchy feely with my genital area, I touch him with a hard right.
Men of our father's and grandfather's generations touched each other physically much more than men today. All I have to do is look at snapshots my dad brought back from WWII, many are of two men and groups of men hugging or with their arms around each other. There was never anything erotic or sexual implied. The sexual revolution sexualized everything, add to that gay "liberation" on the heels of that, so now something as innocent and innocuous as two men hugging can take on a sexual connotation. I agree our young men are confused about their sexuality, and some are emasculated for which I blame the feminists, but I think they are only partly to blame.
I don't agree that touching is a feminine trait. We're mostly Americans here, and Americans are among the least touchy-feely on the planet, but in other cultures, men aren't ashamed to touch each other. I recall visiting Africa, and as I walked back from the bus stop to the convention center, the physics student I'd been talking with took my hand. I'd heard about the cultural thing, and took it as a friendly gesture (acquaintance-friendly, not bosom-buddy-friendly). No biggie.
(Exploring THAT area, though -- no way in hell!)
I'll admit, 60 minutes of holding or being held by a man seems like at least 59 minutes 30 seconds too long for me; but that's just me being American. If it floats your boat, go for it, with no shame from me. If it's the wrong way of filling a need, it won't work. If it's the right way, it will. Question is: what is the need?
There was a video I used many years ago when I did staff trainings for people who work with persons with developmental disabilities. It was called The Touch Video, it was short and had an older woman talking about how we all need to be physically touched and all the benefits that accrue from that using scientific research to support her claims. She cited "failure to thrive" in babies who aren't held, and noted the same thing happening in nursing homes with elderly residents who don't have regular visits by family or friends who hug them or hold their hands. I think its legitimate, American men have been taught--either overtly or indirectly--that we don't need that, that's for women, or that touching another man means they're gay, all of which are wrong. I just wonder how many men who call themselves gay are just looking to be touched by another man, and the only way to get that now is to have sex with them.
Will, I've seem much of this world up close and personal enough to have smelled the blood, urine, vomit and death.
There are indeed some cultures where men are more accepting of touch from another man then in our own; but it should be impossible for anyone to deny that hugging, holding, crying on shoulders, cuddling, etc., are feminine actions by far. Men tend to be much more reserved and distant. Although fear of being thought of as gay is practically absent in some cultures, men characteristically want and need to display the strength of character that makes women, children and the helpless feel safe. Touchy-feely doesn't tend to do that, rather the opposite.
When a child hurts himself, he doesn't go running to another child, he goes to an adult, same thing with a strong man.
I think a man can be strong without being distant. (And a good thing, for the little ones who need strength close up.) The Third World seems to agree.
The 3rd world experiences most of the violence, misery and cruelty of man. There is nothing at all wrong with a strong and caring man hugging and consoling his loved ones and any of the terrified weak - I should have thought that to be obvious. Distance is required of leaders in difficult times. It shows confidence and is generally expected by the led.
There is a time and place for everything. The seeking or need for touchy-feely from other men would cause me to not want such a man guarding my back.
As you say, there is a time and a place for everything. No man can (or should) be stoic and aloof all the time. I think you have to separate the qualities of a leader from just being human. A leader acts the way he does when its appropriate, he should also be able to take off his leader hat and just be a man when he's not leading other men. Did u ever see the movie "The Great Santini" with Robert Duvall and Blythe Danner? Seems appropriate for this discussion.
I think "reserved and distant" is important in a man who's trying to command and control others. However, when it comes to building trust in others, I believe emotional, and to some degree physical, openness is just as important to men.
Now, the all-out, here's-my-life-story kind of openness is too much for most situations, and just the same, groping your buddy to show you like him (as a friend) is going to backfire severely. But, if my friend is having a hard time in classes, girlfriend issues, lost a family member, I feel much more support is communicated if I give him an arm on the shoulder, two-handed handshake, or even a hug if he's in that bad of shape. My verbal support usually falls short of what such a show of solidarity can do.
In fact, much of this physical support between men I've seen is in military pictures when soldiers loose friends. Have you never seen this kind of stuff in your life, Andrew?
This Touch Practice stuff, though, sounds to me like a bunch of new-age, exploratory B.S. that will be most taken up by guys who haven't figured out their self-image, and will fade as most of these fads do.
Andrew, why are you so angry about this? It's a group, it's not for everyone (not for me, anyway). So don't join; somehow creating a whole thread about this so you can demean it and get all riled up to affirm your own distaste for the concept seems a bit heavy-handed.
This entire discussion is about far more than Andrew's distain for this new group and its ideals and goals. It's a simptom of a much larger problem that so many people with penises are so hopelessly lost and confused as to what being a man is and are so willing to let women with an extreme anti-male ajenda define that for them. I get "live and let live" but that's not what this is all about.