More threads by zen



can this forum be used to ask questions?

I have this problem: for some reason, I like touching people. I'm male and not gay, yet I like touching people of my own gender... Too bad males normally don't like touching each other at all, so what's this disorder I have called and what can I do???


David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Hello, zen:

Yes, this forum is indeed for asking questions. However, it helps if you are a bit more specific in your questions:

I'm not certain I understand what you mean by "touching"... what sort of touching do you mean? And what sort of a reaction do you usually get when you try to do this?


I mean any touch, from giving hands to touching arms or legs when sitting in a cramped place.

I get no reaction, because they don't notice it.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I'm not sure that this is a disorder, although it could certainly cause embarrassment or trouble for you at some point, especially if you are talking about strangers.

You indicated in your original post that you are heterosexual but that this touching only involves other males. It may be related to some physical comfort issue from earlier in your childhood, or just a general need for physical contact. I don't believe in trying to diagnose from a distance but a counsellor/therapist would be able to be more specific after obtaining a more detailed history from you.

If it is a disorder per se, it might possible be a quasi-sexual behavior that isn't yet fully identified or emerged -- a mild form of what is known as frotteurism (also known as "frottage" and usually involves contacts with strangers on buses, trains, or in crowded public areas):

Diagnostic criteria for 302.89 Frotteurism
A. Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving touching and rubbing against a non-consenting person.

B. The person has acted on these urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.


Thanks to your reply and google, I found a site about men who feel affection toward other men but are not gay.

I think that exactly describes it... And according to the article many men have the same as me, and it has to do with the media image of society that makes straight men scared of being naturally affectionate towards each other while they still need it.

Any ideas of this is true and what I have to do now?

P.S. It has nothing to do with buses or strangers or sexual pleasure for me.

(Edited to delete link to other website - Admin)

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
zen: Please note that in accordance with forum policies, I've edited your post to remove the link to the web site you found, although I did have a look at it.

As the disclaimer for this forum says, this is a place for the exchange of ideas and opinions and some general advice but it is not intended as a substitute for face-to-face counselling. I would offer two comments, though:

1. It is difficult to grow up male in Western society because it means that we are expected to conform to a stereotype of masculinity that is based on myths - the myth that men don't feel "feminine emotions" like nervousness, worry, fear, tenderness, affection, self-consciousness. Sadly, because of this, we learn as very young boys to hide such feelings from other boys and men, and indeed from girls and women as well, and those who don't soon learn through being shamed or otherwise attacked to conform. For the majority of men, this does not of course signifiy that the guy is a sissy or a homosexual or bisexual - it just signifies that he is human.

There is an excellent book about this problem and how it develops and is enforced - I highly recommend it for all males and for all parents of boys:

Pollack, William
Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood. Random House, 1998

Also see these articles:
Raising Sons - Growing Up Male
Growing Up Male - Raising Sons

2. My second comment or piece of advice is, right or wrong, good or bad, we all have to find a way to live in a culture/society/world which is very imperfect. Sometimes that means finding a balance between our natural feelings or instincts and what we allow others to see, what we display to others. That does not man denying who you are or hiding who you are from everyone else you know - it just means that you may need to keep some of your feelings private. I think it would be helpful to you to discuss this issue with a counsellor who is experienced and well-trained, someone who will, without pigeonholing or labeling you prematurely, will help you you to explore what your feelings are and to discover how and where and when to allow yourself to express them.
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