With International Hugging Day, celebrated in many countries throughout the world, happening tomorrow, January 21st, I thought it was the perfect time to offer up some tips on how to Uplevel Your Hugging Game and become a Mindful Hugger.
What is Mindful Hugging?
It’s an approach to hugs, one that brings more consciousness, care, and intention. Sometimes relationships, whether platonic or romantic, function according to assumptions around physical interactions, including hugs. Bringing mindfulness into how you approach your hugging game allows all hug participants to do so according to their own capacity and desire, creating even more safety and space for pleasure. Consider these 7 Best Hug Practices below to Uplevel your Hug Game.
Why is it important?
Hugs are often used to communicate. We use them to say hello, to say goodbye, to say I love you, to provide comfort and support, and to create intimacy. Perhaps you’ve also heard that hugs can make you smarter, reduce stress, anxiety and fear, strengthen your immune system, and even calm your nervous system.
Hugs can also be challenging for people. Not everyone loves them. Hugs can be an exercise in trust, yet we often give or receive them with little conscious thought. They can also be an area where we are overriding not only our own body boundaries but also the body boundaries of others. So how do we become more mindful huggers?
7 Best Hug Practices
- Speed & Approach – Take a moment to slow down. While hug attacks can be fun there’s a pretty decent chance it’s not what you or the other party actually needs. Taking it slowly gives your body a chance to tell you what is a yes, and gives other parties involved a moment to see what their yes is too.
- Communication & Consent – Start with yourself! Ask yourself if you are open to a hug. What am I a yes to? Do I want body-to-body contact? Ask the other person if they’re open to a hug. “Would you like to share a hug?” Honor your own body to allow space, time and permission for others to honor their bodies as well.
- Duration & Proximity – Whether it’s friends, lovers, or family, allow the least comfortable person to set the closeness, time and duration of the hug. While you may have heard that 20-second hugs lead to amazing health benefits including a helpful oxytocin dump, not all bodies are open to long extended hugs. It’s always best to ask or follow another person’s lead if they let go before you do.
- Receiving & Giving – Check in with yourself. Are you open to both giving and receiving? Is one easier for you than the other? Do you want more of one or the other?
- Gratitude – After the hug ends take a moment and share an appreciation for the hug!
- Winsights and Being Your Own Erotic Detective – Check in! Ask yourself what would have made that even more pleasurable? If exploring with a partner, ask them what would have made that even more pleasurable for them!
- Blueprintify – Use Erotic Blueprint™ language to communicate what you want. “I’d like a _______ hug, are you available for that?” “What kind of hug would you like?” Do you want an Energetic, Sensual Sexual, Kinky, or Shapeshifter Hug? Make sure you get consent from yourself and your partner(s)!
BONUS! Blueprint Hug practices to explore with yourself, your lover(s), and all willing participants!
- Energetic Hug Solo – Start with your hands/arms away from your body as far as they can go, slowly (think slo-mo here) bring your arms closer towards your body pausing where it feels most pleasurable.
- Energetic Hug Partnered – Start 3-6 ft away from one another. Connect your gaze and then slowly walk toward each other until one of you stops. Then allow your arms to stay where they are or slowly start to close them around yourself or the other person (depending on how far away you are), pausing whenever one or the other of you says pause, and saying “right here” when you’ve gotten to the place that feels most pleasurable. *Please Note* This may be further away than you personally would like, and this practice is about honoring each other’s boundaries. If you feel you got too close you can always reverse direction to honor the need for more space.
- Sensual Hug Solo – Slowly, luxuriously wrap your arms around yourself. Include a shoulder or neck massage, tuning into the warmth and heat of your forearms and hands against your body. Perhaps even wrapping yourself in a cozy blanket or playing while in a warm scented bath.
- Sensual Hug Partnered – Slowly, luxuriously wrap your arms around each other’s bodies including a shoulder or neck and back massage as your hands eventually pull you into a full body-to-body embrace. Tune into the warmth and heat of your forearms and hands against each other’s skin. Perhaps wrap yourselves in a cozy blanket or play while in a warm scented bath.
- Sexual Hug Solo – Get naked! Wrap your arms around you in a big squeeze and release, perhaps one hand finds a nipple and the other finds its way to cupping your genitals or your ass!
- Sexual Hug Partnered – Facing each other, slide your hands firmly over each other’s asses and squeeze pressing your genitals close together.
- Kinky Hug Solo – Command your body, “Don’t move,” as you take your time to slowly drag your fingernails along your body, maybe even finding a pinch or slap along the way to a big or barely there squeeze, maybe you make yourself wait for it, maybe a hand slides into hair, tugging.
- Kinky Hug Partnered – One partner tells the other, “Don’t move,” and then proceeds to walk around, eventually coming up from behind and starting at the non-moving partner’s feet, lightly drag your nails up your partner’s body and then lean them back against you as you wrap your arms around them, touching or not.
- Shapeshifter Solo – Start with your hands off your body, and slowly allow them to make their way towards you. Allow one hand to continue hovering while the other slides into a massaging touch. Perhaps find your genitals or your ass to slap along the way. Move into your own touch as your hand or hands roam squeeze, touch, tug and tease.
- Shapeshifter Partnered – Group hug! Or start with your partner standing away from you. Make eye contact and slowly walk towards each other. As you get close enough even more slowly wrap your arms around each, allowing your hands to slide into massaging each other’s back, cupping each other’s asses, maybe even gripping beltloops, clothes or hair to pull close or restrain.
Jessica Thoroughly passionately creates accessible community spaces for those who wish to tap into their own heart’s embodied movement process, those who are exploring fully expressing themselves, those who are claiming their own unique erotic body, and those who are reclaiming pleasure as their birthright.
She is a Certified Erotic Blueprint Coach™, a Certified Accelerated Evolution™ Coach, and a former S Factor Teacher skilled in using transformational methods that illuminate the obstacles blocking goal achievement, dissolve inner conflict and bring peace and flow.