A Different Kind of Intimacy

A beautiful woman with a pony tail and a camera in her beautiful hands? So very.
A beautiful woman with a pony tail and a camera in her beautiful hands? So very.

I feel sad for people who are incapable of genuine intimacy.

“Our communication is almost entirely physical, through looks and, mostly, through touch. What we say to each other seems incidental. Tonight I rubbed her back for a while, then brushed her silky blonde hair for half an hour. She fell asleep in my lap,” I said in my journal in January 1993 about a young woman with whom I had a friendship with limited benefits. She an had extraordinarily soft neck, and her hands were as soft as melted butter, though her heart was as hard as steel.

“I wish I had someone’s lap to fall asleep in.” ~The Girlfriend Who Wasn’t

Thinking about them summoned my thoughts about hands. I love women’s hands, and I love my wife’s hands most of all. Why do I love hands? Is it that hands are our first line of contact, and thus our first line of defense? Or is is that women’s hands are evolutionarily constructed to attract someone like me?

“Hold me tight.” ~Girlfriend from 2000. She had tiny, pretty, soft hands, but a shallow disposition.

The Girlfriend Who Wasn’t told me on a number of occasions that she didn’t like “being touched or tied down,” but she always held my hand. I don’t know if that was because she realized it meant something to me, or she liked it, or she imagined she would get something from it, or even that she was lying when she said she didn’t like being touched. Part of me thinks she only said this to guys like me because she considered us unattractive.

“I’m going through another, ‘I can’t deal with our life/work arrangement another minute longer!’ I feel like my life is wasting away and the next time I turn around, I’ll be turning 50 instead of 40, and I’ll be in the same situation.” ~The Girlfriend Who Wasn’t, who turns 58 in a few days.

I knew several women who had rough hands, and it always turned me off.

And yes, I know that the size and shape of fingers and hands are genetic, but at the same time, it is a mistake to dismiss genetics as a valid criteria for finding our way.

There have been women in my life who didn’t understand hugging, or why it’s good. I am a hugger. One long-ago girlfriend called me “the best” hugger. When I run into someone who appreciates this trait in me – most recently, Jamie – we fall into each other’s arms and soak it up.

Touching a woman's hands is, in my view, among the simplest, most intimate ways we can communicate. In this image by Mac Crosby, Abby and I hold hands.
Touching a woman’s hands is, in my view, among the simplest, most intimate ways we can communicate. In this image by Mac Crosby, Abby and I hold hands.

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