When’s the last time you were hugged? Kissed? Held hands? For many of us it may be longer than we even realize. My latest project Lovers or Friends? sheds light on one of our most basic human needs - touch. More Americans are living alone and staying single longer and it is becoming even more important for us all to be reminded of one simple fact: we fail to thrive without physical contact.
So what happens to people who don’t have a partner or children? How do they fulfill their needs for touch and satiate their skin hunger? I am a firm believer that the intimacy between friends is just as important and powerful as the intimacy and love shared between partners or lovers. As a queer Black woman, I have found that the LGBTQ+ community has consistently been a model for intimacy that extends beyond what our society has deemed as “normal.” Love is love - and we choose to love and support each other in spaces where others may be unable to love us as we are. We all need a reminder that our needs for touch and intimate connections are normal.
When it comes down to it, at the heart of intimacy is: compassion, understanding, and empathy. Three simple ingredients that have been missing as of late. When people don’t care about one another we all suffer. My goal for this project is to start the conversation, open the door, and help each one of us begin to do the work of loving those around us.