Q: I have always enjoyed a hug, but 90 minutes sounds like a long time…why so long?
A: I discovered, to my own surprise, that once The Ecstatic Embrace experince begins, it is like a journey that gets richer with time. The experience often feels timeless and, in the end, most people feel like the time flew by…
Q: What if I feel claustrophobic along the way…can I stop?
A: Of course, though in my extensive experience that has never happened, though I’ve had clients enter the experience with that concern. Just in case, I have a code word: “cotton candy” which is a signal to release from the hug.
Q: How is this different than hugs I’ve had, or cuddling?
A: Most hugs, in social situations, are brief and the end of the hug is being negotiated at the beginning of the hug. Self-consciousness is often present. One of my own initial questions was, if I was allowed to stay beyond that and not worry about holding on too long, what would happen? Sustaining the hug allows for a very connected experience to occur. The experience builds on itself and deepens in a very surprising way. Cuddling is a bit closer in nature. With The Ecstatic Embrace however, there is a certain gentle discipline that inhibits sexual expression, extends the time frame, and removes normal distractions. That promotes a purity of experience that is quite unique.
Q: It really isn’t sexual?
A: Though sexual feelings may possibly occur, they are not frequent and not a dominant feature of the hugging experience. I would say that the heart and spirit are usually much more engaged than the sexual parts.
Q: What about hugging between romantic partners?
A: Obviously, cuddling between lovers is a wonderful part of physical intimacy. Sustained hugging in the fashion I practice is not as common as it might be between couples, at least to my knowledge. It is often pre-empted by more sexual play. Sustained hugging of at least 30 minutes can be a wonderful and welcome foreplay for intimate partners.
Q: What about hugging as therapy?
A: I strongly believe that this practice is therapeutic in numerous ways, but I don’t approach it with any therapeutic agenda, nor am I trained as a therapist. The issues that people carry inside often surface in a gentle and natural way, and the work that gets done around these issues can be quite powerful. I have worked with people who were dealing with relationship struggles, sexual addiction, illness, and grief and loss. Though a single session is powerful and enjoyable, I recommend a series of sessions to fully integrate the benefits.