To most men, the sense of touch is underutilized because it’s not considered manly. Doug Zeigler invites all men to shed that notion and experience life more fully through the wonder of touch.
It’s the most versatile of all the senses. With it, we can show love, empathy, sensuality, sadness, anger, exuberance, loss, joy, sorrow, excitement. It can be electric. It can be cathartic. Through it we can show support, express lust, bond with loved ones and strangers alike. Touch can be done and felt a myriad of ways. An enveloping hug. A morning kiss from your daughter or son. A warm summer rain bouncing it’s droplets on you. A reassuring hand on your shoulder. A firm respectful handshake. A loving caress of your cheek. Your mother holding your hand, patting it, making things seem better by the second. Tousling of your toddler’s hair. The first time your child grabs your finger. The wind in your face. The feel of well-worn book in your hand. Your wife giving your hand a quick squeeze as she walks by in the chaos of kids and home. All of these experiences, all by touch.
All of these are directly related to being close to another person; a positive physical exchange of energy. All of them inherently make us feel loved and connected. If we can all agree that feeling loved and connected are you good for each and every one of us, why are men deemed in many cases to be less masculine for wanting and participating in the joy of touch?
Even I was guilty of this for the majority of my life. The most I would allow myself to do with any woman I was with was hold hands, maybe a public kiss here and there. I would hug my mom, but never my dad. My dad seemed perfectly fine with that arrangement too. And forget giving my brothers anything more than a handshake. Even today, hugs with my dad and my father-in-law are wooden, like we’re not sure if it’s OK to enjoy an embrace between two men. The foundation was laid for that early; men are stoic and have to be strong and emotionless. The “rock” of the relationship. But that social construct is bullshit.
For far too long, men have willfully ignored this most salient of senses. It’s time, guys, to push that nonsense to the side and experience life in all its grandeur, and that includes using your body to its fullest. I challenge all men to explore your sense of touch, especially with other humans. Hold your partner’s hand, if you happen to have one. Snuggle with your children; even if you worry they may be too old for it. Chances are (unless they’re teens, then they most likely won’t admit that they need or want that) they’ll relish the chance to be close to you. Hug your father. I mean really give him a genuine full “I Love You” hug. Be unafraid of contact with those that mean the most to you. Be happy and be free to demonstrate to your partner and to your kids that affection is expressed not just through words, but through feeling with their hands as well as their words and emotions. Show your kids that touching and being close people you love is a grand and powerful thing.
It can be the most wonderful gift we have, if you let it be.
It’s a beautiful thing, if you let it be.