Hugs 101

Don’t always want a hug?  Me neither.  A hug needs to be a choice every time.  If you are always up for one, I would encourage you to start checking with yourself first.  Pause long enough to ask yourself, “Do I really want a hug right now?” and  “Do I really want to hug this person?” 

You don’t have to tell them that it really is personal – that you specifically don’t want to hug them – but there are so many reasons that might be true, some of which may actually have something to do with them, but some of which do not…and often it’s hard for us tell which is which.  You also don’t need to lie and say it’s not personal – when maybe it is – you can just say that you don’t want a hug right now.  Or give the universal “Namaste over there” bow.

“Namaste over there.”

Guys, especially: Never “take” a hug from a woman – offer one.  Open your arms and plant your feet and let her come to you.  If she doesn’t, hold out your hand for a handshake – or up for a high-five.  Then don’t take it personal – and go get another hug. 

offering a hug
Don’t “take” a hug – offer one.

We will have structured practice of hugging at some Thursday night meetings (6:30-8 downtown – click this link) – and free-form during the informal visiting times before and after each Gathering.

Kinds of hugs

There is obviously no one formula for a hug.  Every hug is different.  You can have:

  • frontal hugs2 women
  • sideways hugs
  • hugs around the back
  • hugs around the neck
  • pat-the-back hugs
  • A-frame hugs – shoulders only touch

    A-frame hug
    “A-frame” hug.  Naughty bits stay safely far apart.
  • half-way hugs – half-way between A-frame and pelvic connection.  Your basic standard hug.
  • pelvis to pelvis or thigh to thigh hugs
  • super-fast hugs – when you need to be somewhere, but still want a moment of connectionbro hug
  • kind of fast hugs – not quite as fast as super-fast hugs, but you are not at liberty to really settle in
  • settle-in hugs – really be with each other, relax, let down, come home
  • long enough to notice it hugs.  Harvey Jackson (founder of Reevaluation Counseling) used to encourage people to hug for three minutes – long enough to get past the anxiety, mental chatter and self-consciousness – and to really notice that it is happening.
  • sensual hugs – really feel your human body and your connection to another human body

    hugs 1
    We all owe it to ourselves to get real versed in the difference between “sensual” and “sexual” – even as they may sometime flow back and forth into each other.
  • sexual hugs
    • curiosity – wow, what’s that feeling?  Is it ok to feel it?  What if I were to let go of the judgments and just notice what is happening?
    • kundalini hugs – hold the sexual charge, enjoy it, breathe into it, let it make you come totally alive.  Let it simmer or let it build if it naturally wants to.  Don’t try to do or feel anything or to make anything happen. (This is where it could get creepy.) Just breathe and enjoy.kundalini2
    • whatever hugs – following whatever happens wherever it goes.


How to hug

What follows is not a prescription – it’s an outline for an experiment.  It’s a cheat-sheet to get you past the anxiety, self-consciousness and old trauma that come up when we approach or settle into a hug:

  1. Check with yourself first – do I really want to hug (today?  with this person?)
    1. never give a hug you really don’t want to give – it hurts you physically and emotionally.
    2. that being said, it’s OK to step out of your comfort zone.
  2. Get an agreement with your hug partner.
    1. “Would you like a hug?”
    2. “Would a hug be helpful to you right now?”
    3. “Is it alright if I hug you?”offer a hug 2
  3. Make eye contact – the longer the better.
    This is the next level of agreement – getting it on a non-verbal level that we both want this.
    If you get so into the eye contact that you never get around to actually hugging, that could be awesome.

    1. see the person inside the body
    2. silently greet each other
    3. be grateful that you get to be this close to this wonderful person
    4. smile at them
  4. Move in slow
    1. don’t “take” or “grab” a hug.
    2. you are entering each other’s space – respect that, don’t take it lightly.
    3. slowly discover where your bodies want to connect with each other
      1. notice if this is going to be an A-frame hug.
        1. If so, don’t try to make it be anything else.  You don’t need to stay long – and you can go on to another, better hug.
        2. If this person is going to be in your life, you may decide that this is not really something they want – or maybe that you don’t want it.
        3. Or, if you get any sense at all that they kinda actually do want this, you could say to yourself, “Maybe they’re just scared or shy or self-conscious.”  You might decide to give it a chance – to try it at least one more time.  If it’s not actually physically or emotionally painful or traumatic for either of you, then it’s probably not a waste of time.  It might be healing on some levels you aren’t aware of.  And it might shift over time.
  5. Settle in
    1. breathe
    2. feel your hands on their back and their hands on your back
    3. experiment with different positioning of your hands, from up around the shoulders to down around the hips (usually more satisfying, but also more potentially threatening – pay attention to whether your partner tightens up or stops breathing).
    4. adjust your bodies to better fit or connect with each other
      1. does it work to align your bodies so that pelvises and/or thighs connect?
        1. is this threatening to one or both of you?
        2. as with the positions of the hands, observe if one or both of you
          1. tightens up or
          2. stops breathing
        3. you may need to go back a step
          1. or just stay in that spot until the trauma,’shyness, etc. melts and your bodies are OK with each other again.
    5. if you start to have a sexual response: if a man’s dick gets hard or a woman’s pussy gets wet
      1. ask yourself, “Is this OK with me?” and be prepared to live with the answer – which could be
        1. “I want it to be OK with me, but it’s not.” Don’t attempt to try to power your way through the resistance – it will make everything get warped.  Back off and – if you want – make a commitment to yourself that you will do some inner or outer (maybe with a more familiar, safer partner) to ascertain where this resistance is coming from, and how you might melt it.
        2. “I don’t approve of this, but it is making me hot.” The body doesn’t lie.  The truth is that I am actually hot.  Now is it possible for me to let go of my judgments, to get curious – kind of soft and receptive – and learn about the “hot” response:
          1. where in my body to I feel it?
            1. is it all over or localized?
            2. is it overwhelming or am I simply curious about it?
        3. I surrender to the orgasmic experience of it all.
    6. After the hug – eye contact
      1. Maybe my biggest hug gripe is when a person who you just hugged – even if it was a totally chaste, non-sensual hug – doesn’t look at you after!
        1. “Uh-oh!  What did we just do?  Maybe it was something bad.”
      2. Feast your eyes on each other!  You just shared some intimacy with each other!  Say “Thank you” with your eyes!  Let the person know that your connection is not gone away because the hug is over.  Even if you never hug again, when you see each other you can remember this moment.  Maybe you will wink at each other – or smile and give a little inner wink.  “We were connected in that moment – and we are still connected.”

Published by Majo

These days all of my identities are converging: whether I am offering a blessing in the grocery store checkout line, offering a prayer in a poem or experiencing the kinship with all life while walking my or a client's dog - it's all the same. It's all Life.

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