Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Spoon and Swoon?

This past weekend, a girlfriend came through town with friends from work and over dinner the topic of spooning, cuddling, post-sex came up. Her friends, guys, were earnestly trying to convince us that they occasionally sought a simple cuddle session. That there are times that they would rather lay next to someone and simply hold each other to sleep. Hmmm...*scratch forehead* This concept was hard to buy, that guys would opt for a sex-free trade of affection. But, what really bothers me is the fact that I found this hard to believe. I’m not a misanthropist, I’m a realist…right?

So, then the question is this, if it is agreed that sex is the most intimate physical act two people (or whatever your preferred party count is) then, why is it more nerve-racking to regress? As we get older or, as sex becomes more frequented on a casual basis, does the traditional chronology revert itself? Recall the "bases." Once upon a time, there was a succession people followed that led up to sex: kissing, a little more, a little more than a little more and eventually, if you round out the bases, sex. Has this order reversed?

I often hear tales of holding hands as a defining moment. Several dates take place before fingers interlock, it has replaced sex as the sign of closeness. When did this regressive transition take place? Was it sometime between high-school sweethearts and drunken fraternity keg parties? Was it between the lapse of a serious relationship to casual dates? Was it between a break-up and make-up with others? Moreover, why has this happened?

I suppose it’s because sex is discrete (for most of us) thus, there is no public display whereas, holding hands indicates to the world that they are taken, off the market, unavailable, wed, hooked, hitched, et al, and that’s something many are not ready for. Rather, most are inclined to gather their clothes, exchange the obligatory kiss and, do they dare, the evasive phone number, and let themselves out.

I feel blue. I can’t think about this stuff. I thought it would be a nice break from writing term papers but I think I would rather write on the origins of symbolic expression in the hyper-reality of heteropic virtual media.