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Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Into Something Good": Holding Hands

"Oh yeah I'll tell you something
I think you'll understand
When I say that something
I wanna hold your hand"

From "I Want To Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles

This was the first Beatles song to catch on in America. In 1963, the Beatles became stars in England, but couldn't break through in the U.S. By February 1964, America finally took notice of The Beatles and bought this single in droves, giving them their first US hit. It sold better in first 10 days of release in the US than any other British single, and remains the best-selling Beatles single in the United States, moving over 12 million copies.

"I just wish we could go back to holding hands and spending time together."

Today a song with lyrics about a simple romantic gesture like holding hands would likely flop and be considered downright silly. A better candidate for a hit song title these days would more likely be something like "I Want To Hold Your Glands." Where has tender romance gone?

Although holding hands has become almost extinct, it is a timeless display of affection -- an outward expression of love, protection and commitment. Holding hands used to have a wide appeal, and couples from puppy love to their senior years held hands as a message to onlookers that they were in love. From a social perspective, it may also have been a sign for others to back off when you’re “taken” and no longer on the market. Holding hands can still be very symbolic.

Face it. Holding hands as an expression of sensuality is "G" rated. It is not offensive in public, and onlookers agree that a couple's behavior is proper while holding hands. Holding hands will not put participants in jail for lewd behavior. Grasping hands is gentile.

Holding hands can be much more. It can be very exciting as a tactile stimulus. Still, many women think men don't like hand-holding, cuddling, and other non-sexual forms of closeness. This generalization is generally unfounded. Researchers discovered men enjoy this activity as much as females, yet they are often conditioned to hide these deep desires to avoid the appearance of weakness -- "non-maleness" -- in front of other men and even women.

 "This year's fancies are passing fancies. But sighing sighs, 
holding hands: these my heart understands."

--Beegie Adair

But, don't underestimate the balm of hand on hand. Researchers believe when a woman displays love in public for her man by grabbing his hand, planting a brief but passionate kiss, or touching his thigh with her hand, she demonstrates confidence in her sexuality, which most males find irresistible. Since holding hands is typically considered the least invasive touching maneuver, it opens endless romantic possibilities.

Incidentally, men, being sensual with a partner isn't all about taking her clothes off -- to hold her hand and to caress it lets her know how special she is. Some say the way to a woman's heart passes through the nerves on her hands. Holding hands strengthens a simple relationship and acts to bond two people together. Yes, guys, this manual dexterity can be meaningful sexual foreplay; however, it can also be pleasurable exercise that deepens loving relationships.

In fact, holding hands with your partner, caressing each other's fingers, and feeling the weight of another's hand in yours can be some of the most sensual experiences imaginable. Romantics would be advised to take the time to hold hands more, whether while taking a moonlit walk, sitting at dinner, or watching television.  

“His hand glides down my arm, folds over my hand. His fingers lace with mine, palms kissing. I can feel the fast thud of his heart through this single touch.” 
--Sophie Jordan, Firelight

Human nature is strong. The basic need to touch other humans is genetically ingrained. Touch is essential for good physical and mental health. The lack of demonstrative touch-related love has been found to be related to failure to thrive or mature psychologically in babies. This holds true for romance and adults as well.

Some sociologists claim handholding is often seen as a more serious sign of connection than a kiss or a hug. Kisses are often given away freely and meaninglessly in drunken nights out in bars and clubs, but handholding has connotations of a more serious, committed connection. That Beatles' song I listened to decades ago makes more and more sense as I understand the power inherent in the hands:

"And when I touch you I feel happy inside
It's such a feeling that my love
I can't hide, I can't hide, I can't hide"

The Sensual Hand

In 1998 neurologist Frank R. Wilson published a book titled The Hand: How Its Use Shapes the Brain, Language, and Human Culture. The premise of Wilson's book is that the hand is as much at the core of human life as the brain itself.

The human hand appears to be a miracle of biomechanics, one of the most remarkable adaptions in the history of evolution. Wilson describes how the hands communicate and perform elaborate enterprises: "The hands of a concert pianist can elicit glorious sound and stir emotion; those of a surgeon can perform the most delicate operations; those of a rock climber allow him to scale a vertical mountain wall."

Wilson makes the striking claim that it is because of the unique structure of the hand and its evolution in cooperation with the brain that Homo sapiens became the most intelligent, preeminent animal on the earth. Wilson dedicates a full chapter to what he calls the "The Twenty Four Karate Thumb" and how the thumb played a major role in the evolution of human kind.

It is interesting that the brain gives a disproportionate amount of attention to the fingers, and to the hands, as compared to the rest of the body. This could be in part because our first touch is with our hands and we seek the hands of our parents for safety, or it could be because the human hand can hold a weapon. For whatever the reason, we tend to focus on the hands and are mesmerized by them. Why not employ them for love, not for war?

Who knows, maybe someone wants to even study hand reflexology and meridian points. A good knowledge of hand massaging -- rubbing, squeezing, pulling, and pressing -- may be the key to your baby's heart ... or stomach ... or liver ... well, you get the point ... or, you can get the "points' ... oh, hell, hold someone's hand, will you?

“Sensual pleasures are like soap bubbles, sparkling, effervescent. 
The pleasures of intellect are calm, beautiful, sublime, 
ever enduring and climbing upward
to the borders of the unseen world.”

~ John H. Aughey


Enjoy these Youtube videos by clicking each address:

* Video "How To Hold Her Hand" by The Wing Girls

* Video "Old Fashioned Romance" - Original Song by Emma Rowley

"I walked her home and she held my hand
I knew it couldn't be just a one-night stand
So I asked to see her next week and she told me I could
Somethin' tells me I'm into something good"

"Something Tells Me I'm Into Something Good" by Herman's Hermits 
(Gerry Goffin / Carole King) 

The need to touch other members of your species is ingrained into us genetically. When observing the young of mammals of all species, snuggling behaviours are common to all. Studies have shown that touch is essential for good physical and mental health. Lack of demonstrative touch-related love has been found to be related to failure to thrive or mature psychologically in babies. - See more at:
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