Many factors influence the way we related to one another. If you remind me of a beloved uncle, I am likely to be open to you. If you remind of a mean-girl who bullied me at school, I am likely to be cautious.
One unconscious influence that informs the way we relate to one another is gender.
“All babies are considered okay to smooch and squeeze and hold close, female or male,” Steve Bearman says. “But when they get old enough, boys stop being held and cuddled and stroked. If they reach out to adults for intimacy, we refuse them in the name of ‘self-sufficiency’. Though this promotes independence, it does so at the cost of intimacy.”
Is it possible that our culture influences the way we relate to boys and men?
Human beings are created for intemacy. Touch, soothing words, kindness more than just make us feel good. They keep us healthy.
If Steve Bearman is correct, that we tend to withold expressions of tenderness to boys and men in order to keep them “tough”, then we — meaning our culture — may be creating an intimacy deficit that makes men vulerable to sexual addiction.