I was walking to meet a group of friends the other night for trivia when I saw a couple holding hands. Something I often smile to myself about. Hand holding is such a simple gesture and a simple way to say “hey, I really dig you being in my space right now”.
Think about it. That feeling you are projecting onto the person you choose to hold hands with is what? Can you put that feeling into words? Is it that you enjoy their company? You appreciate their companionship? That you adore them?
Once I began mentally exploring what it is that hand holding means to me I remembered reading a post, or probably “lightly skimmed”, (see this one) about how in other cultures/countries hand holding is a common behavior between friends. At the time I simply read over it like ‘huh. interesting’. End of story. But for some reason with the warm, but chilly fall air, the dark falling around the glowing lights of the city and outdoor patio lights – it hit me.
Why can’t I naturally hold my friend’s hands without providing an explanation about why I’m doing it and why (yes) it’s completely acceptable? Is love not love?
When and who decided that it was necessary (or even made sense) to sexualize love? There is just love.
Define love. Go ahead – in your head, right now, come up with a list of what love is to you.
Here was mine: the look of laughter on the face of someone I care about – the eyes of your child in a sweet moment of innocence – the feeling you have when you hug someone you adore – having someone to rely on – knowing someone can rely on you – honesty – loyalty – action, etc.
The list is honestly (literally) endless for me. I love love.
You know what didn’t come up on my list?
Anything having to do with sex. Heck, anything to do with physical attraction.
So why do we sexualize love?
This is a struggle I have right now.
I can come up with a laundry list of reasons this concept perpetuates the problematic and misogynistic culture we are dealing with. But for now, I’m just going to leave you with the simplicity of holding hands as a sign of platonic affection and appreciation.
Who do you hold hands with?