Why don’t men touch? I’m not, of course, talking about intimacy between male lovers, but the kind of physical expressions of affection between male friends once common in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
According to Richard Godbeer’s eye-opening book, The Overflowing of Friendship, it was not unusual for platonic male friends to write tender letters to each other and to hold hands, cuddle, and even sleep in the same bed. Instead of such behavior “causing talk,” it was accepted by their wives (or girlfriends), families, and the wider community as a healthy, even necessary, aspect of their bond.
- When Did Touch Between Male Friends Become Taboo?
It turns out that in the late 1800s a notable man was convicted of "indecent (homosexual) acts" and men in general began to fear being branded homosexuals. And so began the waning of platonic male intimacy.
Interesting comments to this on my Facebook page.