HUGBUDDIES

"Hugbuddies" People talk about “fuckbuddies”, but would “hugbuddies” or “afternoon flings” be an affront to the romantic images of the relationships between couples in our modern society?

“Hugbuddies” People talk about “fuckbuddies”, but would “hugbuddies” or “afternoon flings” be an affront to the romantic images of the relationships between couples in our modern society? Can it really be that the greatest sense of loss arises over too few hugs, or from sleeping with someone? Who is allowed to hug whom, and with whom can you sleep? In one of my lectures, I threw out the idea of afternoon flings and hugbuddies, and the result was that some people in the audience strongly condemned the idea, while a small number considered that it would be a great help during the years of loneliness after a relationship has broken up.Touching another person is one of the most effective ways to lower the amount of level of cortisol in our body, and thus reduce stress hormones. Indeed, cortisol is called the stress hormone, since spiritual, mental and physical exertion increases the production of cortisol in our body. If the level of the stress hormone continues to be high, this makes us tired and fatter, and it has a negative impact on our moods and our memory. When you touch someone in a way that feels good, this releases the “pleasure hormone”, oxytocin, in our body. Oxytocin has a number of positive effects that improve our health. Touching and massaging releases oxytocin; in this way, touch stimulates the nervous system in our body. When we touch someone’s skin, this activates the part of that person’s brain that radiates signals of pleasure elsewhere. The effect of touch and the increase in the cortisol level in the bloodstream lessen stress and any feelings of pain, lowers the blood pressure and strengthens the body’s ability to withstand infection. They speed up the healing of wounds and increase our interest in learning new things, improve our memory and our ability to learn things. In addition, they improve our digestion and, for children, improve their healthy development. In many ways, oxytocin improves our quality of life and our health.Now we know how much touching and hugging mean to us. Even so, we still don’t sufficiently understand that we should touch and hug those who are close to us, and in the right way. Especially if you are a man, it is easier to pay for sexual services than it is to hug a stranger or even someone you know only slightly, to say nothing about being able to express your own feelings, or to cry. It has even been asked if it is OK for men to fall in love in the romantic sense.Well, then, what kind of feeling of insecurity and longing does our sexual behaviour show? Could it simply be a search for external approval? Present-day society offers a distorted self-image, which impels us to seek approval in different ways. Could the constant pursuit of intercourse show a need for that external approval, a longing to feel that you are accepted just the way you are? Does someone desire me? Am I someone who is desirable?According to the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO), sexuality is not the same as sexual intercourse, or the ability to achieve orgasms. Sexuality is an essential part of the human personality, a way to feel and to touch someone else.Acceptance of your own body just the way it is here and now is a major step towards a better and more harmonious sexual life. By accepting your own body, you can even travel towards full-body pleasurable orgasms that last longer than just a few fleeting seconds. But what do we need to do so that we can truly accept ourselves the way that we really are?For me, Tantric exercises and the right type of encounters have been a key to being more present in the here and now, not seeking a performance-based and pleasure-oriented sexual life. Tantra has offered me the keys to everyday life, how to encounter people and how to love both myself and other people.  I have learned to love without expectations, and to give love without trade-offs. I have learned to accept myself and all of my body, and I have learned to love everything and everyone with a whole heart. I have learned to set myself limits and to express my own desires.And I suggest that you look at children, how they enjoy playing, being with friends, butterflies, and tenderness. There we can find a model for us adults who have become so distant from pleasure and joy. We have become so distant that we think that finding pleasure in life is in some way a sin; we hide our body in shame and we ration out our love.