Hugs Are Essential In My Relationship
Hugs are a way to connect with other people. They soothe emotions, they express comfort, care and love. These days, they are more scarce. With social distancing, not being able to meet with those you feel close to and many people isolated alone in their homes, hugs are not something that most will experience in a longer while. That is in an incredibly sad reality, because more than ever, we need that physical connection, the space of safety and care, that hugs can provide.
Different Kinds of Hugs
I don’t particularly like being physically close to people. I often flinch when someone touches me unexpectedly and I have even pushed away people who tried to show me tenderness through physical touch without any prior consent. Yes, I am one of those people who you need to ask “Is it okay if I offer you a hug?” But I also feel that is common courtesy, because not everyone is fine being physically close to others. And it doesn’t even have to be someone like me with trauma in the past, a lot of people on the autistic spectrum do not enjoy physical touch without consent. (although, I may need to add here, that hugging and embracing someone who is on the spectrum when they are overwhelmed is a known technique to soothe them)
But I do like hugs, if they are with people I know, that I trust and that I want to share love and care with. Where I am from, hugging is a way to say hello and goodbye to a friend. If you go to a party with your friends, you will first need to hug everyone hello. It is a way to connect, to show that you love each other, that you feel close to them. And even here in Canada, I am on a hug-basis with people. Hug-basis, is that a thing? I suppose it is. You hug those that you trust enough, and that you’d define as someone you feel okay being physically close to. I am definitely not on a hug-basis with a lot of people in my life, a nod of the head seems way more appropriate with most humans I encounter.
There are also a lot of different ways to hug. You can put your hands around the shoulders of someone who needs emotional support. Or just when you are in the mood for some closer connection in the moment. There are the quick hello and goodbye hugs that you do with friends. And then there are the full-on body hugs with those that you are romantically involved with. Those are the kinds of hugs that I really wouldn’t be able to be without anymore.
In my Relationship Hugs are Essential
In my relationship with my Master, hugs are essential. We hug all the time. Being physically close is generally very important to us, but hugs are a different story. They are the only thing I feel okay asking for (as a submissive I rather like being told to do things than to ask for them), and they are often the only thing he can offer when I am struggling. He can’t save me, he can’t cure me. But when he hugs me, I feel safe. I feel not alone. I feel like it is going to be okay.
The kind of dynamic that we have is a built a lot around the caretaker-theme. I need someone to take care of me because of the plethora of my health issues, and he likes taking care of someone who shows gratitude and needs him. It is a perfect fit, really. While many might assume that this has a lot to do with practicalities, it is not that way at all. I take showers on my own, I dress myself. I cook, I clean. And I help out when and if I can with chores, with grocery shopping, with planning.
Our relationship evolves around emotional caretaking. With him, I can be little and scared. He can make feel safe in an instant. And all that is needed is a hug. I can be very anxious, or even having a flashback, but when he sits down next to me, and embraces me, I calm down. Sometimes it is almost like a weighted blanket, he lies on top of me and embraces me, and I feel protected, and safe. I only allow him to do that because I trust him, and because I know that him being able to give me hugs, is helpful for him too. Because when he feels helpless seeing me struggle and suffer, he can still do something: he can embrace me.
It is not only the physical soothing, hugs are also a way for us to show our love for each other, and they can definitely quickly turn into something sexual too. I love when we sit down together, watch a movie, my head is on his chest, and he embraces my shoulders. I love when I come to bed to sleep, and he turns around and we fall asleep, spooning. Or when I cook, he stands behind me and hugs me.
Hugs are definitely the language of love and care in our relationship. I know that quick kisses on the mouth can become routine and quite meaningless in relationships, but I don’t think this happens with hugs as quickly. They require more effort, they are about trust, comfort, about a willingness to continue to connect and to feel the close link between two people. And that doesn’t only apply to romantic relationships, they can have a similar meaning with friends, with family, or even with pets.
I know it is really hard for a lot of people right now, not having any physical contact with others. Being isolated and not being able to physically soothe those we love, or getting the hug that we need, only adds to the despair, confusion and loneliness that many of us are experiencing. I know it is not the same as a physical embrace, but to all of you who are okay with it and who need a hug right now, here is one from me: