My ordinary understanding of term “petting” has always been associated with love making process where two loved ones please each other. Petting in itself could imply, for the uninformed in the world of sexuality, a childlike play which is necessary tool for training kids. For them still, it is allurement to recreate or draw attention of the other for a purposeful act.

Not until I went into the world of love and relationships that I discovered that petting is a lexicon suited for two intimate lovers. Conceptually, Petting is the activity of kissing and touching somebody especially in a sexual way. It also connote an expression of endangerment without any sexual suggestion especially those that happen within the family circle of parents, children and business circle of employers and employee.

This could be seen in form of pat on the back, shoulder or head for a job well done; and words of support, encouragement, appreciation and commendation. These various nuance of petting have led us to pose these question ; What actually should be involved in petting? Who pet and has the right to be petted?  What is the risk and implication of being allured to petting? How far then may be too far in this love affair among the youth?

IN DISGUISE OF LOVE

If the term petting refers only to the situation aforementioned without involving sex, there would be no problem. But the difficulty arises when convention has accepted that whenever the verb petting is mentioned in relation to human beings, it means touching somebody in a sexual way.

Often times, young girls who are ignorant of the various sides of petting yearn to be petted without knowing its implication. They tends to term guys who do not fall prey to this demand, ‘strict moralist’.“ I detest these male folk who do not have feeling for the opposite sex “, they will retort.

Hence, petting involves stimulate your partner’s body for onward sexual excitement. Both persons enjoy this activity because there is mutual consumption. Dr David Delvin, GP a family planning specialist together with Christine Webber, a psychotherapist but stressed this point when they referred to petting as ‘ bringing one off’, ‘fetching one off’ and tossing one off’. Thus, for them, petting is the old- fashion parlance we know ‘foreplay’ which gets two persons ready for intercourse.

Our puzzle becomes: can one actually go into petting without desiring intercourse? This question addresses a pertinent concern among the youth who are lured into this form of relationship with the presumption that their virginity would not be tampered with by such acts.

Moreover, who pets and has the right to be petted ? If petting is preparatory process that prepares two lovers for the real business, is it not wise that this act should be restricted to the group that has the right to complete and consummate this act? This particular group of persons is the married couples.

Both the husband and wife have the right to pet and be petted by the virtue of their vows they exchanged that promises companionship to each other. It is a kind of teleological mutual self giving for the good of the spouses. Therefore one who is outside the marriage and is involved in it is both indecent and undisciplined and not only sin against the society but also God the creator of all things who ordered sexual act towards procreation in the family circle.

We recognize that many youth engage in petting for various and varied reasons. The desire to belong, lure some into petting because it proves to them that they are somebody and attractive. To accept to be petted is for some teens what will make his/her partner to love him/he.

The maxim, ‘everybody is doing it’, seems to support the belief that there is nothing wrong with it. Infatuation, which is always mistaken for love, is not left out in this game. For some engaging proves their love. Curiosity above all makes some desire for it. For majority, petting, satisfy the desire to feel, ‘I am grown up’. Then for many others, petting thrives in order to establish their sexual identity (Am not Homosexual). But in spite of these reasons, is petting not going too far for the youth?

HOW FAR MAY BE TOO FAR FOR THE YOUTHS?

Man remains an affectionate being: We desire to love and be loved. We seek attention, care, warmth, and all other forms of affection.  At times, it is difficult for us to express such love and affection for the other without any physical contact. Thus, we experience the mother giving a stroke to the child without anyone raising eye brow. But such caresses from the mother are far from being sexually motivated while petting on the other hand has sexual motivation.

That is why petting constitutes a problem. Hence the danger of petting lies in the fact that it is not an end to itself. It is preparatory. It is teleological. It stimulates the body and prepares it for the actual business. Thus we ask: Is it good to strike the match when we do not need the fire? Why then do we add fuel to the embers of passion by getting into petting when we do not need sex? No wonder many young boys and girls have reported that only few who started with petting ended with petting. It is always difficult for young men and women to engage sexual touching without desiring more. Such touches can lead, especially young girls, into sexual relationships they are not prepared for.

CONCLUSION

One of the ingredients that spice up spousal relationship is petting. It is an avenue for reaching out to the natural feelings of the other. Petting also exists among favorite for the sake of pleasure. Can we, then, say that the care between parents and children, Brother and sister, grand- daughter and Grand- mother, grand- son and grand- father, bride and groom, husband and wife and then the administrator and his/her subjects be less romantic as to be petting?

Come what may, we can let such playing activity be compulsion to something meaningful. A limit can be set in a real activity of petting whereby kissing can stop at pecking, touching end at hugging and then other romantic move could be converted to learning or meaningful discussion.

Above all, we can say that petting and ‘love making’ are like smoke and fire, and we all acknowledged the truism that there is no smoke without fire. Petting is more of a prelude to love making and as such a part of it. Petting is only allowed for validly married couples who employ as a part of place of sex.

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