Hi, I’m Nookie, And I’m A Hug-aholic (And I LOVE Science-y Shit).

I love hugs.

I’m a hugger from way back. To me, hugs are like mini-cuddle sessions, acceptable for the public. And I love cuddling, too.

The BEST hugs are long, include a lot of body contact, and done with little to no clothing with someone I’m deeply intimate with, but even the runners-up can make my day better damn near instantly.

A few weeks ago, I found this image on Facebook:

Hugs Information from FB

I reposted it, mentioning I was not sure about the numbers, but that it sounded good to me.

And really, I posted it because I wanted to remind myself to go out and look for the numbers. Because the science of hugs as a topic for a writing had a nice ring in my head.

After all, as I said, I am more than a tiny bit of hug junkie.

Hell, as I retold this weekend (for the umpteenth time), I really NOTICED Pet on the night we met when he hugged me goodbye. He just felt so damn…right.

Up until that point, he was a cute boy-next-door type (not my usual type at all) sweet man at a FemDom party paying me some attention.

With the hug, though, it was as if suddenly my hormones were jarred awake, “Was that an explosion? Sex? Magic?”

He likes to joke he put a spell on me, and I like to joke it worked. I’m never sure we’re really joking, but I digress.

Hugs.

So today, after a weekend sharing hugs with my Pet, other loved ones, friends, and even near-strangers (maybe friends, soon?), I am still feeling a bit high (and horny, but that’s another topic) from all the feel-goody stuff.

And so, science it is! After all, I love my imagination, and I do believe in the placebo effect (It’s awesome powerful, y’all!), I also wanted to see what science has been done around hugs, and what it can tell us.

And I’m gobsmacked.

I’m already a hug addict. I admit this. Now, I just may become a zealot. Get this:

Hugs make you feel gooooooood, man.

Hugging boosts oxytocin, which bonds you to others, connects you, and makes you feel loved (more on oxytocin). Oxytocin also has anti-inflammatory benefits (source). Inflammation in the body has been linked to certain types of depression (MDD especially, although science can’t fully explain it all, yet: source).

Hugging also gets dopamine and serotonin production going in the body.

Dopamine is a hormone which is part of the brain’s reward mechanism, and makes you feel pleasure, like you did a good thing. The more dopamine you have, the less potential for addiction. (About dopamine.)

Serotonin is responsible for helping balance mood. It helps to make us feel happy, relaxed and confident. It also acts as an appetite controller. Too little serotonin is linked to depression. Hugging is known to boost serotonin levels. (About serotonin.)

Hugs help boost your immune system.

Conflict weakens your immune system through stress, and hugs connect us to others and reduce the effects of conflict. Not only do people who receive more hugs get sick less often, but they don’t get as sick and recover more quickly.

“…those who receive more hugs are somewhat more protected from infection.” —Sheldon Cohen, Carnegie Mellon

Hugs lower blood pressure.

(Primarily in women studies show, this is being researched further.)

Hugging releases oxytocin in both men and women. In women, specifically, this seems to lower blood pressure during times of stress. (source 1, source 2)

Hugs reduce fears of death.

Being touched, even briefly, can reduce fears of death and other existential issues. Hugs are a penultimate of touch. (source)

Hugs help you heal.

Oxytocin actually aids healing, builds muscle mass and helps you maintain. (source)

But what about those numbers?

Indeed. After all, that’s what I wanted to be sure to research.

9.3 seconds for the “average” hug? That seems long. Ever counted off 9.3 seconds while hugging? It’s an abnormally long period of time, or so it seems right then.

And when researching “how long should a hug last?” I was bombarded with both the 20-second rule (which I’ll get to in a moment) and a 3-second rule for “public” hugs.

You read that right. People have decided that there is an actual number of seconds it’s appropriate to hug another person, and it’s three seconds.

Which is a far cry from 9.3. And “how long does the average hug last?” search got me similar results.

So, searching “average hug 9.3 seconds,” I get nada on that number. I think someone pulled it out of their butt.

The same thing happened when I tried to find information on how often people crave hugs per day. I’m not sure how scientific a number that might be, either.

As for the 20-second rule, it’s so everywhere online, it’s difficult to find the originating information. A study done in 2003 suggested that couples who held hands for 10 minutes while watching a romantic video, then hugged their partners for 20 seconds had better blood pressure readings than the control group.

Which is definitely something. However, it’s doesn’t determine how long a hug must be to activate benefits. And at least two articles suggest that 6 seconds and 10 seconds will do nicely, as well. (source, source)

Unfortunately, neither of those link to scientific studies, either.

So, in light of all this, I’m going to make a few suggestions regarding hugging, and perhaps you can find out what works best for you, with your own self-study.

Hug Often. Hug Long. Hug The RIGHT People.

I’ll start with that last bit.

Regardless of any other information, all of the articles I read, if they mentioned WHO you should hug at all, mentioned that the benefits of hugs come from people you want to hug and who want to hug you.

So, consent is a key.

It seems kind of obvious that being hugged against your will or by someone you don’t like will do more harm than good, but I think it’s worth saying, in case someone misses that idea.

Also, it was mentioned that because hugs can release these bonding hormones, choose who you hug carefully, in case you want to maybe not feel so close to someone who is not right or good for you, which is an interesting take.

Of course, because you are an amazing person who surrounds yourself with amazing people you enjoy, hugging the right people more often is going to benefit you through multiple chances for really good natural drugs/hormones, produced by your body and brain.

And as far as hug long goes… well, hug those you love as long as feels comfortable—and cuddling counts! Cuddles are just really long hugs, so take advantage of some health benefits while Netflix and chilling, or whatevs.

And those 3-second hugs? No need to turn up your nose or poo-poo them.

After all, even a 1-second hug done with warmth and sincerity can boost mood and happiness, and increase feelings of inclusion.

And for those whose love language is touch, even the quickest touch can make a BIG difference.

What are your experiences?

What are your experiences with hugs? Have you found that you crave them when you don’t get enough? Do you feel noticeably good or better when you get more hugs than usual or from specific people?

Have you done any of your own research into hugs? Anything I missed?

Jacksonville, FL Locals: I’m Teaching for A.L.E In April!

Alternative Lifestyle Enthusiasts (A.L.E.) Logo

Super-thrilled to be teaching a double header for A.L.E. in Jacksonville on April 13th!

https://fetlife.com/events/731158

http://www.alekink.com/

Over three hours, we’ll be covering both finding your feminine leadership style for FemDoms and how to yield your strength for alpha submissives (of any/every gender).

I’m geeked. I’ve never put these two classes together, but they are perfectly complementary, and touch on how we give and receive power from both sides of the slash.

For FemDom, we’ll talk about achetypes and common tropes, and how to grow beyond the limitations we often see presented to us.

For submissives, we’ll discuss the common issues of holding your strength and boundaries (because life is a thing), while also wanting nothing more than to give everything you have to the RIGHT dominant.

These two classes will combine in amazing ways, because the submissives attending will see the pressures and concerns dominants have, while the dominants attending will get insight into how submissives are often cast in one-dimensional roles as well, and can be so much more in service when accepted for the multi-faceted amazing humans they are.

I’m looking forward to meeting new kinksters in Jacksonville, since I’ve not really been before, and having this amazing opportunity to share some of my own thoughts on this wonderful lifestyle we live.

*smiles*

Kink In 15: Catch

Kink In 15: Catch

The word of the week is “catch”. To participate, create a 15-word story with catch, catches, caught, catching. I can’t wait to see your creativity! smiles

Kink Fantasy Vs. Kink Reality

Kink Fantasy Vs. Kink Reality

A common conversation:

They say:

Something, something, kink, something, blah blah blah, [insert porn ideology here].

I reply:

“That’s all fantasy. Reality is a different world.”

They return:

Well, reality is overrated.

This is where they always lose me.

Reality is my homey. You dis reality, you dis me.

I’m all about the real.

In fact, I don’t even “fantasize” in the normal ways, because when I have fantasies, I generally pursue them and realize them, and know that fantasy cannot (for me) ever beat the feel of flesh on flesh, the scent of another body, then sounds of grunts and words, the tastes of sweat and saliva, the sights, even of blackness when blindfolded.

To me, fantasy is the bit that’s overrated.

I mean, it’s fun. I don’t knock it. I read fantasy and fiction. It’s entertaining. It’s inspiring. I credit books with shaping my life in many ways.

As Jimmy so wisely said:

“Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks,
And I learned much from both of their styles.”

Sharing fantasies with Pet has allowed me to get to know his deeper self much more effectively (I believe) than trying to dig out and discover things as I went, or as they came up in conversation.

Even online porn and memes, which often represent the most extreme edges of la-la land and unrealistic ideations of what a specific kink might represent has it’s uses when made into a tool for talking about concepts that we may not yet have had our own words for.

But for us, while the fantasy is useful and hot, nothing beats actually doing things together. Even when they are not as extreme, perhaps, they still have US. Our connection. Our real senses of touch and taste and hearing. And they fit into our real lives as well.

And I’ve seen fantasy become a jail for many. An addiction.

Those who fall willingly down the rabbit hole of extreme ideas and fetishes, who never even experienced the first level in real life, so they are constantly chasing the utmost in kinky/fetish play, when they have yet to find a partner who will even start at the basics with them.

And so, they thirst.

And thirst.

And become (and behave) THIRSTY.

And people turn away, because those who look for these things in reality know the unrealistic fantasy when they see it. And know the addiction.

In my view, fantasy can be an amazing tool for communication and inspiration in a relationship.

If it’s never backed up by or partnered with reality, though, for me, it loses it’s appeal and fast.

What do you think?

What is amazing about fantasy? What is good? How has it helped you in your exploration of kink or your relationships?

What is not so healthy about fantasy? Have you seen it in a negative light before?

And reality. What do you LOVE about reality? What frustrates you about it, or when does reality feel like a let-down?

The Difference Between Posting Your Junk And Sending “Dick Pics”

The Difference Between Posting Your Junk And Sending "Dick Pics"

Yesterday, I wrote about showing off what you have, and several people on FetLife mentioned the ‘dick pic’ thing, which is a valid consideration and rife with potential for hypocrisy.

Here’s my view:

1. Posting a photo of your junk (whatever your gender) on FetLife (or another adult social site) in your photos…

Is one thing. Your profile, your consent. If you post publicly, anyone can CHOOSE to see the detail (from the thumbnail in their feed or slightly larger version, should it go K&P on FetLife) and comment as they desire.

2. Posting a photo of your junk as your avatar…

Is another level, as that not only shows in personal feeds, but also shows up next to every message you send, comment you post, and so on. It’s still very much consensual, in that this IS a kink site and it’s expected.

On the other hand, it’s a bit more invasive, pushing your junk to everyone.

People do complain about this. And that’s understandable. After all, it can be a bit disconcerting having a conversation with genitalia.

3. Sending unsolicited non-consensual dick pics via messenger, kik, text, etc…

This is the main cause of complain of these three. It’s not necessarily in an environment where random genitalia is/are expected (or considerate), and without consent/solicitation, it’s no bueno.

Because in many of these cases, there is NO CHOICE to see or not.

And it’s not just the dick.

After all, we’ve probably all seen dick. I’ve seen A LOT of dick. So much that when I used ot post on Craigslist, I would tell people not to send dick pics, because I’d already received THE WORST, and they could not compete. Highlights of that joy included:

  • Unsolicited.
  • Video.
  • Appalling music. Really terrible.
  • The cum shot is a let down. It was more of a dribble than a shoot. AND it happened at 15 seconds in, with another 1min 45 left in the video.
  • Unflattering. The model seemed to have a nice body, but that position did nothing for their physique.
  • Grotesque psychedelic overlay. Who wants to look at a moldy-colored cock?

Many are quite lovely compared to that.

But the mindset of forcing your naughties on my eyes is as unattractive as the dick pics themselves. More, even.

I explained more here on why: Your Cock Vs. My Cock.

So, when discussing “dick pic shaming” versus nasty comments on personal profile photos, perhaps these are the nuances you’re looking for.

What do you think?

Of course, I’m open to your ideas and thoughts on the differences (if any) as YOU see them.

Let’s Talk About “Showing It Off”

Show Off!

A conversation I had about people who “show it off” online and how some people think about it.

“But heres what i dont get ( and im not talking about you ) why would a woman post pics of her tits and ass and more on a sexual fetishes site and then complain about a guy writing her to chat about similar sexual interests, or for sex? It just doesnt make much sense does it?”

Yes, it actually does.

I might enjoy people looking at my body and STILL not want that to be the only thing they can focus on, or even the primary thing.

It’s a perfectly sensible thing.

Here’s an idea, ALWAYS approach people as HUMAN first. If you connect, you’ll get to all the rest: objectification, degradation, power exchange, sex…

If you don’t connect, it won’t matter anyway.

“Im not the type to flaunt money but if i posted pics of my watch and cars id expect a certain type of woman to write me , and id expect to scare of the better quality woman because those were the photos i shared first.”

That’s victim blaming and it’s disgusting.

Why not blame the people who are not being considerate and polite, simply because of some photos online?

Does anyone have to be a jerk to me just because you’ve seen my breast?

(HINT) The answer is:

No.

Never.

“Well what do they expect, if they show it off like that?”

Why would anyone think that it’s OK for anyone to be rude to another human being or focus only on their sexuality or money or ugliness or fatness or whatever, just because THEY think they show it off too much?

Do you see how gross that is?

What do these people expect? They expect that other people will treat them like people—as a bare minimum.

I require that and more.

What do you think?

  • Do you think it’s OK to judge people negatively by their photos and treat them poorly as a result?
  • What reason is there, if any, to not just stay silent when you see something that you don’t like?
  • In your experience, have you gotten good results from treating strangers as less-than-human?
  • Is treating people with consideration and respect so much more difficult that any excuse is worth using to avoid it?
  • How do you feel about posting photos “showing off” what you have?

Image by 2196557 on Pixabay

SC Locals: I’m Teaching At The Academy In April!

The Academy Dungeon

So thrilled to have been invited by ChristianV to teach at The Academy in Georgetown, SC on April 6th!

And not only do I get to present at an amazing venue to a new group of people (one of my FAVORITE things), I also get to present one of the classes near and dear to my heart:

The Alpha Submissive—How to Yield Your Strength

You know you are submissive. And yet, you are a strong, take-charge kind of guy or girl, which makes some dominants complain of topping-from-the bottom, or claim that you’re not submissive at all. How do you find your submission and yield, when the time is truly right?

I started teaching this class five years ago, after one thousand too many submissives told me that they were confused about their submission, because they had been told that if they {fill in the blank with any bullet point below}, they were not REALLY submissive.

  • Had healthy boundaries—hell, have ANY boundaries at all.
  • Set limits.
  • Wanted to get to know a dominant before submitting.
  • Had opinions and—heaven forbid—shared them.
  • Took charge in daily life—especially at work.
  • Preferred to take their time giving over power.
  • Discussed what they are looking for and what turns them on (versus focusing ONLY on the dominant partner).
  • Had standards
  • Held themselves and others accountable.
  • Looked “dominant” (what does that even mean?).

I admit, I wrote the first thumbnail for this class as a defense for masculine-identified submissives who were constantly being told that if they did not act “beta,” dress in women’s clothing, accept pegging, or grovel and lick any woman’s boots that they were not “true” submissives.

Faugh!

However, even as I was writing it, examples were coming to mind of submissives of all genders being told they weren’t “subby enough,” and worse, wondering if it were true, because the more people pushed them that way, the less they felt like opening up to ANYONE.

So, this class was created.

And I’m thrilled to be presenting it for ChristianV and everyone at The Academy.

The FetLife Event link: https://fetlife.com/events/753092

The Academy Website: http://www.academydungeon.com

I hope if you’re in the area, you’ll be able to join me. smiles