I am a bit mixed on hugging. I do like it but only with the right person. I know that there are lots of health benefits to hugging due to the release of Oxytocin and dopamine, but I would be choosy about who I wanted to hug really. If I knew you well then it would be ok but I don’t enjoy it when it seems forced upon me: the non-consensual hug is not for me and can sometimes make me feel a bit awkward.
From weak to strong
The type of hugs that I tend to get from friends are different to the type I get from HL if I am upset. This is also ok but I wouldn’t want to swap them around. The weak hug is a sort of touch for convention’s sake. It says, I like you so I feel its ok to come into your personal space to let you know I care, but this is just a fleeting thing. The strong hug that I would get from HL says, you are safe here with me because I love you so it is ok just to let go.
They are very different but each type has its own purpose and its own value. And when I say weak and strong I mean the force of the hug rather than the importance or the impact. Each type can make me feel emotions which are positive, and while I am not a huge hugger, I do think there is a time and a place where nothing else quite works like a good old hug does.
While I might not be the first to hug others I don’t know well, I have always been big on hugs with my kids. When children are little it is such an important part of communication and closeness and when I hugged mine I always felt that it allowed both of us to feel calm, and close, and loved. It was a shared thing and from the extended hug, a hug which lasted longer and sort of went into a snuggle in together to watch TV or something, the snug was born.
Once I had more than one child, the ‘snug space’ where they could be nestled up close to me became much in demand. We had to create a second snug space which was of lesser popularity but still felt like a nice place to be. I loved feeling physically close to my children like that when they were young and now that they are all way too big to fit into any space like that, even if they wanted to, we sometimes joke and reflect back on it.
The fug was something that arose from early times spent with HL. We were desperate to be together and often would crave contact with each other, just to feel the closeness of the person you really want to be with. We noticed quite quickly that, although innocent at first, often the hug would develop into something much more. We dubbed the hug into fuck to be the fug. It wasn’t like a usual fuck but more of a hug where we became so aware of each other that our needs took over, and before we knew it, penetration had occurred.
The future of hugs
I think that the current state of affairs with social distancing, isolation and now, lock down, has meant that so many of the hugs we relied on are no longer available. It has made me realise how much we do hug and touch others, just by way of letting them know that we are there. It felt odd to have to stop and it has really made me notice how I feel when something I take for granted is no longer part of life.
I was working in a school until the end of last week and so, not knowing when I would see her again, I hugged one of my colleagues by way of a goodbye at the end of the day. It felt almost illicit as much of the world was already keeping their distance from others. We had worked in such close contact that a hug between us was hardly a risk, and yet it felt poignant in that neither of us knew when it would be ok for us to do something like that again.
I believe that when all of this is over, the world will be a changed place. Many of the changes unfolding in front of us now are negative and in some ways, the loss of parts of our lives has changed things forever. I do think that positive changes will come out of it too though, and I imagine that our social conscience, our appreciation of the value of others, and our desire to express this by hugging more freely, just because we can, will be things that we will want to embrace.
So until then, stay safe and stay well. Sending you all virtual hugs!
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