I have been bothered by the division into “platonic” versus “sexual” touch, and the commonly held idea that the more intimate the touching gets, the more “sexual” it also necessarily gets. So I created my own model that makes sense to me. On the “calm/sameness” side of the spectrum are some of the kinds of touch that a loving parent and child might engage in. As we age, they become taboo to do with anyone except our (potential or current) sexual partners. For no good reason other than this is our inherited custom and tradition. Because of the implicit assumption in the dominant culture that physical closeness is a gateway to sex. That makes me sad. I want a culture where bonding behaviors are common and acceptable and non-suspect among people who feel closeness and intimacy with each other, even if they don’t necessarily want to be sexual. Where hugs and kisses are not just some x’s and o’s you write at the end of a letter — you actually feel comfortable doing that in real life. I also want a culture where we don’t have to seek out sex just in order to have that human closeness.
– Any relationship can inhabit any part of this graph at any point, and be complete in itself — I’m not meaning to imply that there is an expected progression towards an “end point”.
– Although “sameness” can mean “same physical sex”, that is not the implied meaning.
– This is not to imply that “bonding” cannot occur on the right side and “differences” cannot occur on the left side. Merely that I chose to use the words “bonding” and “difference” to stand as a symbol of representing the general drift of a distinction that I perceive.