In my years of studying people in and out of relationships, there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING that stands out as more important than picking the right person to relationship with.
When we mesh with others in the most fundamental ways, we thrive.
When we are constantly having to battle to get our needs met, to be heard, to assert ourselves, we psychically waste away.
But sometimes, I think this idea is misunderstood, much like much of the sage advice given out about relationships and love.
People think the right person is THE ONE, or some sort of magical creature that will just “get us,” without any effort on our part. That they are a potential singularity amount the billions of people on earth, and finding that needle in a needle stack is a daunting challenge.
And, in some ways, it’s right. That’s what’s so insidious about the idea.
It’s not that they are the only one possible, but it feels like it once we do get it right, and many of us stop looking then. It DOES feel like magic, especially in the early stages, when a word connects us so simply and eagerly, augmented by hormones and lust and such. And each of us is totally unique. There will never be another JUST LIKE THIS ONE.
But also, not the whole truth.
The Right Partner will sometimes be The Wrong Partner.
Like last night, when my Pet of nearly 6 years realized that I’m not a huge fan of wasabi.
Good thing I had my boobs on display and could jiggle them a bit to remind him of the most important things in life.
On a more serious note, though, humans are complex creatures. We have layers and depths created from our many years of living, and SOMETHING is gonna come out (maybe after years, even decades of relationshipping) that is a potential deal breaker.
Or could develop.
Anger issues related to housework
Sex and intimacy issues
Perhaps we get silent and fume in response to feeling humiliated
Or have major insecurity issues related to _____
And these may never actually come up, until a relationship is long term, when the pressure is greater, and the investment of time and energy is higher.
And, let’s be real.
The shoe is often on the other foot.
Sometimes WE are The Wrong Partner.
For our very own special blend of reasons. And of course, it’s perfectly reasonable when it’s us. Except it’s no more reasonable than when it’s them. We just justify ourselves better (in general).
But even when we are wrong, our Right Partners might just stick around long enough for us to right ourselves, just as we might for them.
Through thick and thin, indeed. As long as thick is not abuse, and thin is not neglect, right?
It’s as simple as “Pick the right partner…”
…And as complex as actually doing that.
It’s looking for the right reactions to share in common, rather than the right movies.
It’s not ignoring red flags because we’re lonely.
It’s not being someone else or less than we are because we “don’t want to scare them off.”
It’s not doing what’s expected, because family.
It is being the right person, too (which is both authentic AND difficult mental work, all at the same time).
Back in June of 2018, I wrote a piece about “time served in the lifestyle,” and how it is not necessarily an indicator of quality, experience, goodness, etc.
@StandandTwirl commented on FetLife:
Save plenty of time and reject a Dom. He will reveal his true nature once he feels rejected. How he handles rejection or disappointment is very telling. Truth be told a Dom doesn’t identify himself, his submissive does.
In my view, the same thing about rejection could be said about anyone, on either side of the slash or anywhere in the world, really.
In fact, rejection is often an amazing tool that exposes the truth of the real person behind the masks, and I make use of it early in conversations with new people.
That doesn’t mean I tell them “no” just to see what happens.
That’s disingenuous and puts me in an ethically shaky position, myself, which is no bueno.
So, what do I do?
I disagree with something (that I actually disagree with), clearly and with conviction.
I don’t move my schedule around, and I make it clear that I am busy, and we will have to find the RIGHT time for both of us.
I tell them when a boundary might be an issue. As soon as I think it.
And this often (not always) results in a mask dropping and an ugly truth emerging.
To be honest, when this happens, I’m often pleased. After all, I now know that I don’t have to waste my time with a thin-skinned, easily offended, insecure twatwaffle.
And that’s a good thing.
Not that kind of good thing.
Well, maybe, now that Martha is hanging with Snoop Dogg…
And those who don’t react in ugly ways to disagreement also make me happy, of course. Because we’ll be able to enjoy all different types of discussion and idea exchanges.
Saturday evening in my Alpha Submissive Class for The Academy in Georgetown, SC, I brought up the Hierarchy of Needs as an illustrative point on the foundation of trust within a power exchange relationship.
I’ve received several follow-up messages about the idea from that class, which I began responding to this morning.
Looking at my writing calendar, I also found a link to this piece:
Compare and contrast these two belief systems and reactions…
In a message on FetLife, to me:
why men are strong because first thing men don’t cry, not stereotyping ladies but I think what ladies need to learn is to hold tears very well. your tears and your beliefs are your energy.
And this conversation on the men’s dominance forums I participate in:
S’s pleasures shifted also to deep emotional feelings as I fucked her in a caressing way, face to face, eye to eye, it was very powerful and deeply bonding, S capitulated into tears as I turned her on her side to face me. Me telling S to keep crying, to keep orgasming from her eyes, to let it all out, to feel herself being cleansed as the tears flowed.
I then kissed S’s tears saying I was making it all better now, that she was safe, that I was looking after her, to continue to keep orgasming from her eyes, it was very powerful and moving as I moved S to a relaxed state, with S’s pussy continuing to throb, me telling S to stop orgasming, all the way, all the way down, slowly stopping, all the way down, stopped. S’s orgasms and throbbing stopping right on cue, as I said it.
THEN L SAID:
It breaks a huge taboo.
All our lives, as women we are shamed for being emotional. We are told our emotions prove we’re weak. We are especially taught that it is unacceptable to cry in front of another person.
To take pleasure from crying? Fucking huge taboo!
Talk about forcing her to reveal her deepest darkest self! Talk about making her feel accepted on a level that seems beyond the humanly possible. Talk about insane intimacy.
What are your thoughts?
Which of these is more empowering to you? Do either strike you as wrong or right, or just different perspectives? How do you value your own tears?
If you’re willing to share your gender with your views, please do.
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:
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.
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.
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?