Monday, May 28, 2007

Holding hands

In India, one sometimes sees two guys holding hands walking along the street who are just good friends. But in Western countries, two guys holding hands in public definitely implies a gay relationship. I've always liked holding hands with my boyfriends, although I think I'm a bit keener on it than any of them are, because they're worried about being openly gay.

A little bit of intimacy :-)Boyfriend number 1 isn't usually very keen at all. But when we're in well known gay areas like Soho in London or the Castro in San Francisco, he'll be OK with it for a short while. Elsewhere when we're walking along the pavement together, I'll sometimes find a way of playfully slipping his hand into mine, but he'll usually pull his hand away and look at me in a disapproving way.

I think boyfriend number 2 likes the idea of holding hands with me in public, although in practice he doesn't always seem to be comfortable with it. These days, when we're on the back seat of taxis together we'll usually hold hands, although he sometimes wants to put our hands under a bag or something to make it less obvious. And walking along the street he seems to have a similar attitude to boyfriend number 1, although with a bit less aversion.

Whenever I'm walking along holding hands with a boyfriend, I always think back to a comment I heard when I was at university. We'd managed to get an MP to come and give a light-hearted talk to some of the graduates, and afterwards, the MP's wife was talking about some of the students who'd been at the talk.

"Honestly, I don't know what's the matter with them," she starts, "all those [straight] couples seated along the back".

"How do you mean?" I ask.

"Well some of them were holding each other's hands throughout my husband's speech," she continues, "I mean, they're not teenagers any more! Are they really that insecure that have to hold hands wherever they go?"

Out and proud :-)At the time I was still hadn't come out to myself properly, and without a girlfriend or a boyfriend, I thought that having someone who'd be happy to hold my hand was a very nice idea. But she seemed to think it signified deep insecurity in their personalities.

Although she does have a point, there is another reason for gay guys to hold hands, and that is to make gay people more visible in everyday society. But to be honest, that's not why I like holding hands. Apart from enjoying the intimacy, I'm usually feeling happy whenever I'm with a boyfriend, and holding hands is just one little way of letting the world know that I'm glad we're together :-).

10 comments:

Monty said...

I'm with you GB, for me holding hands is just a way of saying to him that I like him. It is a very intimate expression and one that really does it for me!

Trevor said...

I guess I'm a little uncomfortable with holding hands in public - from a long standing fear of homophobic reprisal. I do enjoy it though - but often even in very gay friendly areas I don't really feel for it. I think you can show you love someone without it - but it is a nice way to show a connection without having to say anything. And it feels nice to hold that warm hand and for it to hold you back. I see a lot of older gay couples who never show any public affection or intimacy and it kind of makes me sad. It sad that we so often have to edit our feelings and expressions for the public... or for our public perceptions...

The Freelance Cynic said...

I tend to change my mind on the whole 'holding hand' thing day by day. It must get really annoying for my boyfriend.

Humming Bird in Hyde said...

I think life is too short to not hold hands. If we only get to live to around 75 - for heavens sake - do hold his hand cause he won't be here forever. I absolutly love holding hands :-)

cuteCTguy said...

I think its a generational thing.. younger guys tend to be cool about holding hands... but those who are older (like LTB) find it difficult. That said he loves the occasional pat on the arse (well so long its not on some main street) or a hug (fine in the middle of a main street) or an arm around the shoulder (for 5 seconds also allowed in the middle of the main street).. haha.. one of life's little complexes.

Sir Wobin said...

Holding hands is special. The husband used to pull back from me in public and that would really upset me. It's just plain dishonest to love me at home and pretend I'm just a good friend on the street.

He's much better now and we love holding hands just about everywhere. Not easy around a gang of chavvy kids or when some git is cat calling. *shrug* Lovely blog entry. :-)

close encounters said...

I have found that in Arab countries [especially Yemen] loads of guys hold hands ... it feels slightly weird, especially considering how much homosexuality is outlawed ...

Tapak said...

you are right. In India if you hold your hands with your partner ,it is not an issue. People there thinks that homosexuality exist only in the west. And you can even sleep with your friends. My last trip to India I hadnt any problem holding hands with my partner. Even I took an elephant ride with my partner holding him. But you cannot do more than that.

But in U.S other than in the south , we dont have an issue kissing . I kiss my partner in the drive way every weekend to say good bye. For me it is about showing affection. So if it is a comfortable space without any trouble I like to say a goodbye with a kiss.

By the way you have a nice blog there. Adding you to my blog roll.

indian bear cub

S.Seventeen.Sèxual. said...

Tapak is right, GB. In India friends of the same sex holding hands is extremely common. I often think it's nicer that way, just to reach out and touch someone to show them that you love them. I had a teacher a few years back from India who said that when he first moved here with a group of his friends, they would often walk down the street holding hands. It wasn't until he found out what it meant over here that he stopped doing it!

XoX
S

ttonn said...

It’s like a dream come true for me to have someone comfortable to holding hands to everywhere, it hard to make it happen in my country but hope the day come soon (to me and to everyone).