Good Cuddles Are Greater Than A Hot Make-Out Session

15 May

Hugs are the superior act of affection.

Most would not agree with me, but as a self-identified hugger, I’d take a great, soul-warming hug over a toe-tingling kiss any day.

You can tell so much about a person based on their hugging style — are they a back-patter or a back-rubber? Do they squeeze you around your neck or around your waist? Are they hug-sluts? Or are hugs reserved for just a select-few?

I present to you, dear reader, the reasons why hugs are superior to any type of kiss.

A Good Hug Lets Your Walls Down

Recently, a very good friend of mine lost her Grandmother.  At the wake, I sought her out, and without saying a single word, just snatched her up, and squeezed real tight.  When I started to feel her body start to shake slightly, I just squeezed tighter.  I let go when it became increasingly obvious that other people wanted to hug her as well. Later she said to me “I was doing so well, and then you hugged me and I started crying.”

In high school, in a panic, I ran to my best friends house after my mother had left and my father had been taken a way in a police car after a drunken argument that had gotten out of hand.  If I had been thinking logically, I would have ran to the closest adult to help me handle the situation. But, logic only happens after a good cathartic, heartbreaking cry.  In her bedroom, I wailed and let loose, my head throbbing, my lips chapped, my head on her lap as she let me push it all out.  After I gathered myself, I called a family member to come with me to the police station.

It’s the comfort in a loving hug that lowers your inhibitions and lets you be honest to yourself and in the moment.

A Good Hug Makes You Feel Safe and Happy

The best memories that I have of my family always involves cuddling (forced or otherwise). When I was younger, my father worked late nights, and my mother at that point was not in the picture, so I was left in the care of my aunt.  After my bath, I’d get under the covers in the twin bed that was wedged in-between the Solo-Flex machine and the wall. I had watched too many Tales From The Crypt and Unsolved Mysteries on Lifetime, and ergo was terrified of  anything that could involve monsters and ghost(ie. the dark) and could not fall asleep without someone in bed with me. Each night, I would beg my aunt to stay with me until I fell asleep. She’d say “ok, but only for a little bit,” and I would perch myself right up against her, my nose and mouth breathing against her neck, and she’d twirl the curls at the nape of my neck around her finger. My uncle would get home late from closing down the restaurant, wake my sleepy aunt, and at around 2 or 3 in the morning, I would be left alone in my bed. But it didn’t matter, because by that point, anything that could hurt me had been warded off by the hugs.

Look at that big squeeze from my aunt!

My favorite method of torturing my mother (besides sarcastic quips, obvis), involves dog-piling and force-cuddling. On Saturday mornings, I will run into my parents room and throw myself on top of my mother — getting as close to suffocating her as I possibly can without actually cutting off her air supply.  Sometimes, my father and I will both partake in this activity — and Carlos isn’t a small guy!  She will usually cry out for help and demand that we get off of her.  Sure, this sounds violent.  I assure you it’s not.  In fact, if a Saturday morning at my parent’s house starts out sans dog-piling, it can only go downhill from there.  Dog-Piles are how every morning should start.

I grew up always a bit unsure about the environment at home.  I never knew when a fight would start, when my parents would be happy or angry, whether a snide comment about my weight would come up during a meal, whether I’d have to listen to my mother’s drunken ramblings and pretend to be sympathetic.  But, for as dysfunctional as my home life was, hugs are what reassured me that yes, even though we were all completely fucked up, we fucking loved each other even more than that.  If hugs managed to keep things (sort-of) sane in the Villarroel-Espinoza household, then a big bear hug is all that we  need to solve all the problems with Congress.  Just hug it out bro.

A Good Hug Stays With You Way Beyond A Great Kiss

I’m in the silent minority on this.  Others who feel this way often are too afraid to express their true feelings, fearful of being shunned by others.  But I — I will wear the title of “Crazy” like a bright red “C” stitched on the chest of all my clothing.

Now, absolutely nothing that can beat the feeling you get right before a first kiss.  When he places his hand on your back, suddenly it’s hotter and you can just start to feel how your cheeks are getting redder, and you start hoping that your deodorant is kicking in.  When he takes that hand and begins to pull you closer, you start hoping that your lipgloss has worn off enough that your lips still look awesome, but are decidedly less sticky.  You ever so slightly start to pull your head back, not enough for him to notice, but enough so that it gives you that extra millisecond of time to acknowledge that a kiss is going to fucking happen. There’s that little hint of a smirk right before it happens. His lips are softer and more pillowy than you expected them to be, and you’re slightly wobbling — partly from the kiss and partly from the consumption of alcohol. And then boom — it’s over.  The first-kiss feeling is gone.  You can’t recreate it ever again with that person.

But a hug — a hug is the gift that keeps on giving. You can recreate a hug with that same person, and each time will be better than the last. A few months back, I went on a first date with a dashing tall brunette. Towards the end of the evening, I had one of those kisses that you only get once. But what really sticks with me about that evening is how he put his hands around me.  After we shared our first kiss, we sat closer to each other on the patio, his hands stayed around my waist, underneath my shirt and jacket, keeping the exposed skin on the small of my back warm from the cool February night. The night ended with the two of us in the back seat of my car, embracing each other during a disco nap after some extensive necking.  Every subsequent date thereafter ended in a similar fashion, in a slightly sleepy daze, one nuzzled against the other.

It culminated recently in a feeling that I had never experienced up to this point in my very young life.  At first, we were just lying down, his head resting on my chest, and when he propped himself up to look at me and rest his hand on my stomach — it came.  An overwhelming sensation that made me bite down on my lips, my whole body became tense, and I had to cover my face, unsure of what was going on.  My chest tightened and I could feel my eyes watering and my breathing was getting rapid.  Just as quickly as it started, it stopped.

Was it a panic attack? Possibly, maybe.

A good hug is a fucking scary thing.  An earnest hug tells you absolutely everything you need to know about the person giving it to you, and if that hug lets you relax, makes you smile or cry, gives you butterflies, or even a panic attack. Dammit, that’s a hug. A good hug makes you feel and feelings are terrifying.

Yet, more cuddles please.



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