“Huggables”, “furry lovers” and “weapons of mass destruction” - Entanglements of older, British singletons with (non-sexual) touch
Sammanfattning: In a cultural web of myth, sexualisation and prejudice, how do older, British singletons gain access to health-giving, non-sexual touch? This study takes interview material from five single women and three single men (all cisgender, white, heterosexual, British, between 37-76 years) and interlaces it with autoethnographic commentary, poems and artworks to explore negotiations around touch. Drawing on Haraway and Barad’s theoretical concept of “entanglements” (2008; 2007), cross-disciplinary connections are woven across feminist new materialism and social sciences, the body and discourse, the conscious and subconscious. Findings, which are partial, provisional, messy and complex (Haraway 1988), include powerful narratives of shame, denial and cauterisation of touch-needs. These co-exist with corporeal tales of the richness and variety of touch-opportunities, the tactile importance of cats and a “turn” by the oldest, female participants away from a romantic, heterosexual partner towards bonding with the landscape.
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