Reverence: That’s the Rub

Reverence is important to me.  A reverent Sacrament meeting can do wonders for my sabbath observance, and personal spirituality. So it came as no surprise when one of my Facebook friends asked me if I was going to write about a specific distraction that goes on in church meetings around the world.

Back scratching. I have never mentioned it on my blog.  Why? Because I’m guilty. Wracked with guilt.

OK, I’m not really “wracked with guilt. The guilt is more of a passing afterthought that I have learned to ignore. Completely. Occasionally, my lovely EC will gently scratch my back as I am fighting to stay awake  pondering what is being taught in church meetings. It is gentle, it is loving, and it is though a suit coat, so it loses 80% of the intended impact. I don’t think it is tooo distracting. (?)  Being a good husband, I will reciprocate, and I imagine it feels way better for her – again because of the suit coat. For over five years I sat on the stand and never had my back scratched. Nor did I ever muster the courage to ask one of my counselors. (Hand massages were definitely out.)

Unfortunately, if any of you have children, then you know that once the camel’s nose is in the tent, he will take a mile. (Or is that give ’em an inch and they’ll take a camel..?)

Sometimes I look over at my sons and see that they have moved far beyond a discreet scratch to full blown backrubs. Multiple boys. Scratching. It sounds like a corduroy convention. (‘Google’ corduroy if necessary.)

Now is the time for my hypocrisy to shine forth:  I give the boys a look, and shake them off. They know the shake off. They grew up with it. It has been perfected since my early days as a baseball catcher. It is almost imperceptible to the casual observer, but carries untold power toward those who know and understand. They stop scratching. But so does my wife. Drat!

Having to “practice what I preach” is rather annoying. However, so is sitting behind a family that is engaged in continual back scratching. This is my quandary: Do we stop? Or just pretend it has no impact on the people around us?

Luckily, my 4th grader has become addept at rubbing hands. He offers to rub my hand, in return for equal attention. It is nice, and not as visible as the back scratch. My EC is really good at this, too.

Obviously we are well past the washing of feet stage in the church, but am I the only one that is on the fence with back scratching? I know from some emails that there are those who are really distracted by it. (Elder Oaks refers to the “Principle of Non-Distraction” in sacrament meetings. Does it apply here?)

So, what is your take?  Is it OK to scratch away? Is it irreverent?

I created a survey up in the upper-right hand corner to see what you have to say about it.  I am curious, please vote. (Since closed)

I need to wrap this up. The more I type the itchier I’m getting.

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  1. I’m a little late to this party, but your post reminds me of a Sunday School class in a singles ward many years ago. I am sitting on the back row with several friends. One guy in our group had to sit in the row in front of us. During class, a girl sitting next to our friend reaches over and starts rubbing the back of our friend. Obviously distracting and it certainly got our attention since we were pretty sure that she and he had not had any previous acquaintance which would warrant any such familiarty. All our eyes were drawn in to the scene before us and none could look away. Eventually, the young lady who was caught up in the lesson material up to that moment, turned her head and looked over at the guy whose back she was rubbing, and suddenly realized that she did not know this fellow ward member. Her hand dropped immediately and a radiant blush appeared. Iknow, I know. We were behind her. How do we know she blushed like that. Seriously, it radiated. You could feel it. Our guy friend was disappointed that the back rub had stopped, but at the same time, quite relieved because, well, this girl who was unfamiliar to him was the back rubber. It was just awkward. Yet at the same time, absolutely hilarious. Needless to say, a major class disruption.

  2. I strongly disagree with backscratching during ANY church meeting. It is so distracting for anyone sitting near. The noise, the movement, I can’t focus on the speaker at all. My family jokes around about sacrament meeting backscratchers by saying, “Ooo. Look at that Sacramakeout session going on over there.”

  3. too many opinions – (and here’s mine! haha) sounds like the reason some don’t approve is because they haven’t been a lucky recipient – why on earth would that be distracting other than the occasional creepy rub-downs (those individuals should sit in the very back row btw ;). People can’t be reverent because they’re ‘distracted’ by back scratching? Please! If it’s loud or too sensual, fine, could be categorized as distracting – but for the most part, it is a time in a busy week to feel reconnected towards your kids or spouse =) I heart touch and perhaps it depends on your own level of intimacy whether you agree with what’s appropriate or not. how many times have we been distracted because of noisy kids (or what they’re eating or playing with) – you learn to focus on the spirit and content of the messages.

  4. I grew up in Florida, so my first General Conference in the Conference Center was a big deal. But I happened to sit next to a woman who was scratching her husband’s back. (She was on the opposite side of him from me so her acrylic nails were inches from me and so loud.) very distracting. Not just the noise and the lovey covey intent, but I was so angry with her for not being able to make it through Conference without the PDA, that I could not feel the Spirit.

  5. I grew up in Florida, so my first General Conference in the Conference Center was a big deal. But I happened to sit next to a woman who was scratching her husband’s back. (She was on the opposite side of him from me so her acrylic nails were inches from me and so loud.) very distracting. Not just the noise and the lovey covey intent, but I was so angry with her for not being able to make it through Conference without the PDA, that I could not feel the Spirit.

  6. I’m a late to this conversation, but I think that a parent discretely and gently scratching a child’s back is not so annoying – in part because the height of the child puts it below the seat back. But, really the big difference between OK and not so OK is level. If it is a 1 or 2 minute swish-swish of a hand across a spouses back to say, “Hey, I love you and am thrilled to get to sit close enough to touch you this week during Sacrament,” then I think it’s fine. If it goes towards massaging at all or full armed back rubs, then it is obnoxious. Even with the parent/child scenario, it should be just a little finger wiggle style, “Just making sure you know I really do love you,” not a full armed back scratch. We often trace hands instead. I still get to touch my kids and let them FEEL my love, but it is down on our laps and not so in people’s faces. It is also even perhaps a little more sweet to me than a tiny finger wiggle back scritch because I get to know each of those little tiny hands so well that way and they get to know mine.

  7. I have seen it a lot among other couples and families throughout the years and just got used to it. I know back scratching has different meanings for different people, so I don’t want to judge. But for me personally I will not do it. It is a cultural and personal thing. Culturally speaking, husbands and wives do not show affection during times of worship. It is disrespectful to God. This is how I was raised. You go to a sacrament meeting in other parts of the world, and you will never see this. You may never even see a husband and wife sit next to each other (although that may be obvious if they have many young kids). Personally speaking, I have received one backscratch during a church meeting in my life. Was it enjoyable? Yes. Did I enjoy the meeting because of it? No. Was I distracted by receiving it? Extremely. I love affection and being able to express it whenever I can to those I love most. But there is a time and a place and a method by which people can and should show affection, and for me — Sundays during church meetings doing backrubs is not it.

  8. Not a fan but I’ll take back scratching over the time I sat behind someone who clipped their nails and watched them fly all over, ping..ping…


  9. Uh… don’t any of you see what’s going on here? None of you really LIKE sacrament meeting, evidenced by everyone’s desperate search for a non-distracting distraction.

    Just stay home and do what you’d rather be doing. 🙂

  10. I just came across your blog and ok, this post is hilarious!!! I was born in the Church but I am not American, I am Brazilian… I went to BYU and lived in Utah for 8 years and I had never heard or seen THE RUB or back stratching (sp?)… when I got married (to a Brazilian) we went to a BYU ward with newlyweds and my husband and I would look around during Sacrament Meeting or Sunday School and ALL the couples were scratching each other’s back!!! It was the weirdest thing, very distracting to us! LOL I don’t know if it’s common in the American culture but for sure among the mormons in Utah!!

    1. LOL! It is SO not an American culture thing, definitely a Utah thing. If you see it happening outside of the state chances are they came from Utah or picked it up while living there for school, etc.

      I don’t like it happening in church because when I tell my older kids to sit up and pay attention like a big kid they look at the guy slouched over like a slob getting his back rubbed and don’t understand why they have to behave but the grown ups don’t have to. Sacrament meeting for for worship and growing closer to our Savior NOT a bunch of PDA. Family members with their paws all over each other is gross, inappropriate, and WEIRD.

  11. I grew up having my back scratched by my mother, and to be honest, I scratch the backs of anyone who sits by me who I feel comfortable enough with to do so. I apologize to anyone who it discomforts, but to me, it was so special. It was just a little bit of love, and it was never really distracting for me (unless my little brother was doing it, and then it quickly spiraled downward into shenanigans and irreverence, and I regret those times).

    I agree that anything sensual is… weird, but I’ve never seen that. At all. Ever. I only see people who are giving quiet affection to the people around them in ways that mean something to them. Let me tell you, it meant so much to me.

    It’s affection, and togetherness, and I love the love that we feel when we offer to do things like that for each other.

    And honestly, if I see someone scratching someone else’s back and it starts bugging me because it’s a little weird or whatever – it’s none of my dang business. If I’m more focusing on condemning others than listening to the talks, I think I’m attending Sacrament meeting wrong anyway.

  12. I grew up in the church and always thought I would graduate high school, get married, and have lots of babies. Not because it’s what the church told me to do, but because I knew it would make me happy. Now I’m 33 and still single, and don’t have a lot of close friends. When I see someone in church scratching the back of the person next to them, I think of how uncomfortable the seats are, how alone I am, and how much I wish someone (anyone) loved me enough to do the same for me. Then I don’t listen to the speaker anymore because I’m busy wishing. So it’s not as bad as people making out in public (that’s just gross) but it can be a distraction in ways you lucky loved ones probably never considered.

  13. I think a little scratching is fine, but I’ve also sat behind newlyweds who managed to make it more distracting (haven’t we all?). Your post was hilarious, I think I’ll start following your blog. At this point it would be *very* distracting if I scratched my husband’s back in sacrament meeting since he sits on the stand… Hehe 🙂

  14. Your blog is hilarious and I love your series on Reverence. I am a Mom of 4 (8, 6, 4, 2) and an EC of a WPH (worthy priesthood holder 😉 who LOVES back scratches. My kids have been raised so far to stay on the bench, booties down, facing forward, quietly…..and they do that….but with every known distraction known to man aside from toys that are too big to fit in the church bag or that make noise or video games! I am really tempted to try the no distractions techniques but am scared to death, especially since my WPH is a firefighter and not in sacrament with me all the time! I am wondering what your 5 did for 70 minutes every Sunday….make paper airplanes out of the program? Read the Hymn book? Kick the pew in front of them? Fall alseep? How do you prevent these things? As for the back scratches. We mostly reserve them for Gospel Doctrine (adults only, ha ha) but I think that people need to just remember where they are and be appropriate. The shirt off comments were hilarious. Love it.

  15. Interesting. Just a few weeks ago, I saw a husband getting his back scratched and it made me a bit embarrassed. It was a tiny bit too sensual for my tastes, and sitting with my husband I couldn’t help but think of how embarrassed I would feel if I were scratching his back, and someone mentioned how uncomfortable it made them feel. We’re not big on PDA at all- a hug or a peck, because we love each other, but nothing ever in the range of intimate or sexual in public. Period. I think a mom scratching a childs back to help them stay awake is one thing, but the intimacy of a husband and a wife is more than distracting for me- it’s embarrassing. Personal opinion- don’t judge. In fact, the culprits I’m referring to are my friends, who I love dearly- still awkward.

  16. A nonmember came to church with us once and after said it was so undignified to be stiiting in church rubbing your spouse’s back or children. It was so embarassing. And i agree, we do not rub backs in our family. Or chew gum, that drives me crazy at church.

  17. Okay, I don’t care as long as you’re not cuddling or full body contact. My sister-in-law and her husband are… well disgusting, they’re full cuddling, practicially making out (I actually appreciate the quick pecks that married couples give, but full on kissing is just wrong, especially when you’re trying to pay attention to the talks). But their scratches are not just scratches but full on massages, in the front row none the less. It was seriously uncomfortable and distracting. I’m also completely against young men and young women (who aren’t related) doing it.
    But the brief one handed scratch where you’re bodies are actually separated, have been seen in New York to California and all the places in between. It honestly doesn’t bug me.

  18. I SERIOUSLY hate to see anyone engaging in back rubs during sacrament meeting. LEAVE THE PDA at home with the snacks and toys!

  19. I know I am way late posting here . . . but I just read your current reverence blog and this was linked . . . and being both one who DOES scratch backs and one who LOVES to get her back scratched in church, I was curious as to what you would say about the matter.

    I am still not convinced that backscratching/backrubbing is a bad thing . . . I don’t remember which commenter said something about Sacrament meeting being the only time that your family members are sort of stuck and HAVE to stay put . . . There isn’t a lot of time of family back scratching at home, even during TV I would be folding laundry or working on a lesson (or visual aids for a lesson) for whatever organization I was currently serving in . . . and I had mostly boys (4 out of 5) so they weren’t real touchy feely most of the time. But in church, I could scratch their backs and write “I love you” with my finger and they never shrugged me off . . .

    I LOVED that . . . and did it from the time they were tiny til they were . . . well, heck . . . when they come to visit, I sometimes STILL do it . . .

    I also scratch my husband’s back in church. There was about a ten year period where he was totally inactive, and now that he is (usually) back in church with me, I like to make that as inviting and appealing an experience as I can . . .

    Honestly, it never even crossed my mind that someone would object or be distracted by what I was doing . . . I almost cannot fathom that. When I see other people scratching/rubbing backs, I don’t mind at all. Even when it is newlyweds who obviously cannot keep their hands off each other and are trying VERY hard to not move on to other things, I still think that is SWEET . . . I, too, was once a newlywed . . .

    Is a backscratch/backrub sensual? Yeah . . . I mean, what does that really MEAN other than ‘feels great’ . . . and it DOES feel great . . . not as great as out-and-out sex, but still, it DOES feel good . . . and when my husband rubs my back in church, it makes me feel loved . . . I love that he likes to touch me, even after all these years . . . and I especially love that he will rub my back even when he is not hoping to get lucky in the next fifteen minutes or so . . .

    So . . . sorry, if people in our congregation find us distracting or icky or want to hiss “get a ROOM, perverts” at us . . . I don’t think we are likely to discontinue the practice anytime soon unless one of us dies . . . AND I figure it is my problem to take responsibility for concentrating on the speakers’ messages and to listen and feel the spirit . . . EVEN when people around me have noisy children . . . or snore . . . or inexplicably choose sacrament meeting to clear their sinuses . . . or play games on their smart phones . . . etc, etc, etc . . .

    Perhaps, though, I will begin sitting farther back in the chapel so as to minimize the number of people grossed out or distracted by our backrubs . . . and perhaps, as Tom above stated, I will begin leaving my shirt on . . .

    LOL . . . =oP

  20. Nah, you can leave it. It’s WAY funnier this way. But if Satan comes after me… I’m just sayin’.


  21. MMM,

    Yes, I’m pretty sure nobody read that private message. 🙂 It does seem that most of your commenters/followers would be people I’d love to know. Don’t forget, though, you do have Satan himself following your blog. 😉 (see also http://middle-agedmormonman.blogspot.com/2011/10/opposition-bring-it.html)

    Maybe I’ll get brave some day. We’ll see. Besides, I’m bound to forget to post as “anonymous” one day by accident. You’ll probably hear my Homer Simpson “d’oh!” all the way out there in the Everlasting Hills.


  22. I never really thought of back scratching as a bad thing. But then again, I’ve never noticed anyone giving a “get a room” type back scratch. I put “absolutely not” because of that.

    I still don’t think back scratching is a bad thing. Just everyone needs self control and responsibility to know where the line of appropriate and not appropriate is.

  23. I am sorry the link did not work.

    That is one of the things I envy about all the people who live so close to BYU (Closer than me, anyways)is the opportunity to go see them, live. ahhh, someday….

  24. The back scratching doesn’t bug me at all. I don’t even notice.

    What i DID notice was a prego woman eating a pb and j sandwich. Not cool. I wanted one and then had to repent for coveting said sandwich. Why am I ALWAYS so hungry in church?

  25. (Anon/M)rsj’s link doesn’t work, but if you google “BYU Divine Comedy Church Massage Parlor” you’ll get several ways to get it. He is right it’s really spot on (and wet-your bloomers funny). I specially liked the gal pulling hot stones from her purse.

  26. Yet another reason to sit in the front row — to avoid seeing all those back scratchers. (Or to sit in the back row: to enjoy back scratching without distracting others…)

    1. A must watch! That was hilarious! The married wards at byui were ridiculous when it came to backrubbing. It was like a competition. The better the backrub, the more you loved your spouse. My husband and I like to keep our PDA to a tasteful minimum and I wouldnt be surprised if the more affectionate couples around us were betting on how long we’d make it. 10 years and 5 kids later, the lack of SM backrubs havent done us in yet!

  27. Your Vote box was displayed in the right column of another post I was reading so I instinctively clicked “Absolutely” before reading the article. Now that I’ve read everything, including the comments, I’m debating if I should change it. However, the post I was reading was “The Long-Toe’d Saints Revisited” so I’ve decided to let my vote stand and hope that most members are more focused on their own relationship to Christ than the how other people are distracting them during sacrament meeting. Seeing back rubs in church has never bothered me – I think it’s sweet and is a sign of a close knit family, which last I checked was something the church encourages. If your toes are too long for it, consider the other side of the coin – – having spouses or siblings so distant and cold they can’t stand to sit next to each other. I’ve witnessed and experienced that myself and trust me, a little back scratching is far more desirable.

  28. Private message to JWW. (nobody else can read this, right?)

    Dear JWW: I understand your concern that some of my readers might find your blog through mine and stalk you. But, it defense of my readers, I need to let you know that (for the most part) they are an incredibly kind bunch of people. They are all extremely articulate, clever, and above all, attractive.

    Sure, there are a few that I worry about, but I think as long as they are holed up in their houses, commenting on blogs, they won’t be outside causing any problems for the rest of society. I’m trying to do my part to help the cause.

    So, feel free to follow my lead and let people know exactly who you are!


  29. My answer isn’t as black and white as the ones in your survey, so I’m making a quick comment.

    I am cool with the whole back scratching and massage thing, as long as it doesn’t go over the top. I think we’ve all been behind a newlywed couple where the husband or wife seems to have forgotten they are at church.


    Other than that, I’m good.


    PS. Loved your post at Jocelyn’s today.

  30. Hilarious post, as usual. I get annoyed with many of the distractions that happen during the meeting, but I’ve never paid that much attention to back-scratching. It seems nice and kinda sweet. I voted “neither hot nor cold,” because I think “who cares?!”

    I’m pretty sure it’s “Teach a man to fish, and he’ll be a camel.” I’d have to look it up, though.

    (I’m “JWW” and I posted your blog on my blog right around the “flowers in priesthood session” time. You commented on my blog, and I’ve wanted to comment on yours, but I’m one of those paranoids about people finding my blog through yours and stalking me. I listen to friends too much. At any rate, I will be brave enough to post anonymously because I do love your blog. I laughed out loud the other day at the “almost dead” age group.)


  31. Honestly, I could not possibly care less what is happening in the other pews around me. I am too busy wrestling 6 kids into submission and praying for no blood shed. Someone could be making out on on the front row and I wouldn’t know or care. I am just happy to get everyone to church.

  32. (Anon/M) You surely hit on my Pew Pet Peeve there! Rubbing the back of a restless baby is necessary. Holding hands and putting an arm around shoulders is warm and appropriate for spouses and serious couples. And tapping someone’s knee lightly to wake him up is OK. However, long and elaborate scratching belongs in the same category of languorously amorous touching as kissing, ear nibbling and neck biting. Not appropriate in Sacrament Meeting. If you have waited 43 years for that nice back scratching, you’ve waited as long for a lot of other things. Call yourself blessed and enjoy them all in private. We go to church to enjoy the spirit. That’s not easy when you are giving massages in the next pew. It’s gross, inappropriate and distracting. I vote a loud ABSOLUTELY NOT!! (And I am a certified warm latin type, not a cold fish).

  33. While I don’t participate in much back scratching during church these days (except occasionally to short scratch for one of my boys) I grew up in a back scratching family. My sisters and I would all scratch each other’s backs or rub one another’s hands.

    I have to agree with another reader though that young dating/engaged couples that are back scratching are distracting…

  34. I enjoy your humor and found your blog through jocelyn’s blog. I’m disturbed by the couple back rubbing that goes on at church meetings and feel it’s appropriate for home only…but a quick touch to wake up a spouse is fine but continually rubbing neck and back is distracting to say the least…lol!

  35. It may not be irreverent but it is just gross for the watchers, exactly like the picture you posted. Quit picking at yourself and others people!

  36. I feel the the same as John Barney. (Sappy Part: The only difference is I am still waiting) for the day my husband comes to church to take part of the blessings of a S.M. back scratch. Polite, quiet and short in duration of course. Oh and between spouses or parent and child only.

  37. This hits home today. I’m really easily distracted by the antics of all the cute little kids in the ward, so our family usually sits on the first row at church. Today it was a “sacrament meeting where a speaker is a missionary entering the MTC soon” and we had to sit on the third row. Goodness, the back rubbing ahead of us was annoying and out of place. Maybe I should follow my EC’s example and just take a nap so I’m not distracted.

    I approve of hand massages and the game where we try to catch the other’s finger.

    I think it’s hilarious to watch BYU devotionals or firesides when they show the crowd. So much back scratching going on.

  38. I didn’t realize this bothered so many people so from now on I will keep my shirt on the next time I get a back scratch at church.

    I’m actually against it. I love getting my back scratched but I’m not a fan of seeing people scratching and rubbing each other during sacrament meeting.

    PS-I am fine with an emergency scratch when you have an itch you just can’t reach that is driving you crazy, but that’s different than a 45 minute back scratch session.

  39. I voted in the “yes with remorse” category, but really I would describe it “yes, within REASON” if you can HEAR the scratching/rubbing – too much… if it is sensual or sexual in nature – HELLO!!! NO NO NO!!! if it is gentle, loving, calming, subtle contact – i think it is just fine.

  40. I have no problem with a back scratch between spouses or parent and child but if it’s full on back massage, creepy. Or if it’s brother to brother, weird-especially teenaged and beyond. I’ll take a back tickle/scratch whenever I can get it, man!

    Our bishopric does a full on massage train on the stand. It helps them bond and be of one mind.

  41. I chortled at the image of your counselor scratching your back when you were Bishop. Yes… chortled. Not something I do often, so well done.

    When I first saw this post on your Facebook page, it took me aback that anyone would have an issue with a little back scratching in church. But after reading the comments that have already been posted on the subject, I see I obviously haven’t been exposed to the level of back scratching of which would admittedly cause distraction (not to mention the compelling urge to dry heave). Certainly, there should never be a time when the phrase, “geez, get a room” comes to mind in church.

    That said, I’m firmly in the “it’s fine but use a little common sense and discretion” camp. Especially when it comes to parents and children. I know in my home, my kids are buzzing around so much that sometimes the only chance I have to put my arm around them and convey a little physical affection beyond a goodnight hug is when they have no hope of escaping for at least 70 minutes. To me, holding hands and tickling a back feels like a meaningful bonding experience. After this post, however, I’ll definitely keep in mind that not everyone views it the same as I do and try to keep it reverently inconspicuous.

    I guess that means no more cordless, long-handled, super-vibrating, battery-powered back scratch for me. 🙁

  42. I cannot believe I am the only person who voted “absolutely not”! I feel like I can see flake of skin flying through the air when I witness a family back rub session starting!

  43. Warning, sappy comment: I spent 43 years not having anyone to scratch upon my back, and feeling the lack thereof acutely at times. Since I got married 2 years ago, the back scratching thing is a welcome reward for a long wait. I dig your point though.

  44. I admit it. I scratched my children’s backs when they were little. It calmed them down. An important point during Sacrament meeting. Other than that, I only scratch my Husby’s back when requested. (He has one very itchy spot just . . . there! No, there! No . . . you get the point.) We may have started out a back-scratching family but, many years ago, I watched a young woman and her (then) unknown same-sex partner scratch each other during the entire service. It was rather . . . yes, I guess I’ll go with distracting. Now, when I glimpse someone scratching someone else, that is all I can think about. Definitely distracting.

  45. See my husband doesn’t like getting his back scratched, which stinks for me because he has little patience for scratching mine because he doesn’t get why I enjoy it so much. I wish I could be a distraction in this way!

  46. Once some extended family of a couple in our Ward came to visit. The whole family of course sat together and the rubbing and scratching was beyond distracting. it was down right creepy. I mean waaaaay too much touching. It totally creeped me out.

    There is definitely a difference between an occasional restrained back scratch and a looking through someone’s hair, and ears and touching, and rubbing… Now I’m creeped out thinking about it. (shudder)

  47. My gorgeous spousal unit would probably die of lack of affection if I never scratched his back in Church (or public or whatever) ever again, but I’m with GWB –it’s only distracting when it’s over-the-top sensual –or really loud; your sons’ scratching symphony in point.

    My sons now enjoy the occasional Church back scratch, too. But here’s my question: Why is it okay for us to scratch men’s backs during church, but it’s not really appropriate for men to scratch women’s backs? Hmmm? Okay, well, I know the answer (bra straps –yes, I said bra straps) are probably the main reason, but it still smacks of hypocrisy.

    I shall think on that double standard more…. Hmm….

  48. You are my hero! It’s just really hard for me to sit behind folks who participate in this. And it’s probably my lack of concentration…if I could focus on the speaker as hard as i do on-going backscratches, I’d be in better shape. Thanks for taking on the topic!

  49. I reserve my “yes, absolutely” vote for the parent/child and inner-spouse back-rub only. I object when it is the young dating couple who are engaged after 3 dates because you know if they don’t get married soon they will be excommunicated. Their back scratching takes on a whole new level of sensuality and is indeed distracting.

Add your 2¢. (Be nice.)