I Wrote My Number On His Hand - A Song About The Powerful Intimacy of Small Touches (And The Awesomeness of the Girl Making the First Move)
"What song did you listen to today that made your day?" someone asked me on Quora recently.
I'm going to be honest: it's my own Eva Via original song, I Wrote My Number on His Hand.
Here are three reasons why:
1. Thinking about the guy this song is about.
Everything in this song really happened. As I wrote in I Love This Coffee Mug - A Song About Love in the Dunes (And Why It's SUPPOSED To Be Exciting to Fall In Love) (And Why It's Important to Daydream):
I met a guy. Actually, I dragged a guy up on stage with me because someone told me he was a legendary guitar player and I wanted him to throw down a couple of solos while I played my original, The Worse Part Is Knowing You Exist, which I wrote for the solos.
We'd never met before, but there was this INSTANT, AMAZING connection between us. His solos were legit, and he stayed on stage with me for the rest of my set. Every time I looked at him, there was this beautiful twinkle in his eyes, and I was like, "He GETS it!"
After the show, we spent an hour talking and laughing in the moonlight.
I wanted to see him again, so I wrote my number on his hand. Just that small touch was electrifying. SO electrifying that I went home and instantly wrote a song about it.
The guy and I ended up playing this song together a few times. The first time I played it for him, I was SO embarrassed, because — well. I wrote all these amazing things about myself and was basically like, “Here is how you felt about me that night.”
It just seemed so presumptuous!
So I started playing and he kept giggling. Finally, I stopped and asked, “WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING?!” And he said, “Because you’re so spot-on. I really did feel that way.
“I really did feel like I couldn’t function around you —”
“You totally could! You were amazing!”
“Ugh, but I felt like I kept messing up every time I looked at you. But I also felt like we meshed really perfectly on stage together.”
“And I really did want to stand in the moonlight and laugh with you forever.”
It’s just such a positive memory -- immortalized by song!
2. Thinking about the guy I recorded the song with.
The song is about falling in love at open mic. I didn’t have time to record with the guy I wrote the song about — but a few weeks later, I met up with my friend Patrick B. Ray, an amazing producer and country artist based out of Houston.
While I was visiting, I asked him if he wanted to collaborate on something — and he said yes!
It was thrilling to work with someone who is so much more talented and musical than I am. I learned so much from just a few hours of working with him, and we ended up with a duet that sounded amazing!
Hilariously, the song is about falling in love at open mic — which is how Patrick and I originally met, back at the famous Freewheel Brewing Company in California.
Not that we’re in love. Patrick is very happily married to an incredible fellow tall woman who is a professional country two-stepper and entrepreneur.
I just thought it was funny that he and I also connected over open mic, then recorded a song together years later.
3. Knowing I created something I am proud of.
The men who were involved with the writing and recording of this song are very special to me.
But at the end of the day, this song is something I created — and there is so much pride and joy in creation.
Especially considering how many people are absolutely terrible at self-expression. As I have been writing a lot on Quora lately, most people think "self-expression" is something you buy or wear, rather than something you do.
Which is why so many people, especially young people, are self-obsessed and miserable.
The more you think about what people might maybe think when they look at you, and the less you think about what ideas and emotions you want to convey to the world through your actions and creations, the more neurotic and depressed you will be.
It is known.
It brings me joy and satisfaction to think that even one person might listen to my song and be influenced to, say, be the girl who makes the first move by writing her number on a guys hand (or otherwise expressing her interest).
It brings me joy and satisfaction to think that even one person might listen to my song and re-examine their understanding of "intimacy" and "connection" -- perhaps they will realize how empty fucking and sucking a random person is, and how electrifying and amazing truly connecting with another person, then writing your number on his hand, can be.
I've also covered this topic, which I read about in Man, Interrupted: Why Young Men are Struggling & What We Can Do About It, by Dr. Zimbardo and Nikita Coulombe
Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape, by Peggy Orenstein
and Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity, by Peggy Orenstein
in several other songs, including Eroticism is Dead, which is about how so many young women don't know the difference between looking and sounding sexy... and realizing their own sexuality. It's about how so many young people think fucking and sucking is intimacy -- despite knowing they go about fucking and sucking in a totally degrading and dehumanizing way.
In Part B, I sing about what eroticism and intimacy could be, if they could allow themselves to embrace one another's humanity and become less desensitized:
In an effort to take a lighter approach to this, I also wrote Feels Like a Lot -- because when you truly connect with someone and they touch you a little, it feels like a lot.
I consider myself so, incredibly lucky to have connected so deeply with so many people, both platonically and romantically.
I am so, so happy that I know how explosively magical it can feel when the right person holds my hand or bumps my elbow on the armrest.
Part of this has to do, I think, with my Christian upbringing. I've known since kindergarten that physical touch is incredibly powerful and is supposed to feel pleasurable. Some churches still preach that you should save sex for marriage, but others recognize that the world has changed since the Bible was written. My church back in California taught that sex before marriage is okay... but that, spiritually and neurochemically, there is no such thing as "no strings attached" sex, so you should be careful who you share it with.
Part of it has to do, too, with being born before streaming porn was available to every child with an internet connection. Decades of psychology research show how deeply damaging porn is -- not only to the psyche, but also to men's and women's sexual experiences, as well as men's sexual health. Never before have so many men in their teens and early 20s suffered from such high erectile dysfunction rates, and the issue is directly related to porn.
(Peggy Orenstein suggests that parents talk to their children about not just pregnancy prevention, but also porn and intimacy. I discuss this briefly in We Tell Girls to "Look Out For Each Other" At Parties. Boys Should Be Looking Out For Each Other, Too, but Orenstein provides a more comprehensive guide in Boys & Sex, reminding readers that, yes, it's uncomfortable -- but the hundreds of boys she interviewed for the book mostly indicated that they wish their parents would talk to them about this stuff.)
Moreover, smart phones have stunted children's social development, leading to the bizarre and unexpected outcome that today's young women feel less bodily autonomy than their grandmothers did. Many report that they would rather unwantedly give a guy a blow job to get out of having sex with him than to just say, "Hey, I don't want to have sex with you. Can we just cuddle for now?"
God, can you imagine?
I have no idea if my music has inspired deep thought or behavior change about intimacy. I do know that one night, I played Eroticism is Dead in front of a group of early 20-somethings. I expected them to either not listen, since the song is wordy and heavy, or get defensive, since I'm kind of attacking a pretty major thing about their generation...
Instead, they listened thoughtfully, and two of them even came up to me after to ask about the "sexy is not sexuality" line.
Did it improve their lives? I don't know. I hope so.
But either way, I enjoyed expressing some of my views and experiences in a creative way.
If you like my music, don't forget to follow Eva Via Music on Instagram and Youtube -- I should be releasing a new single soon!
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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