Hi, my name is Laney and I am a hug slut. I admit it, I love a good hug. As such, imagine how hard it was for me, entering the world of BDSM where a hug in greeting is not always possible. At my dungeon, like all dungeons, we have a set of rules that everyone is expected to follow. One of those rules is: do not touch what does not belong to you-even people. And, this rule even extends to a simple hug, a greeting "hello" or heartfelt "goodbye, until we meet again." And those gestures seem harmless. Hands and arms embracing another person, so what is wrong with a hug? Well, to be honest, a few things...

You would never pick up someone's toys and use them without their permission.

There is a great deal of investment in those toys, be it money or time or both. Someone's toy bag is like their treasure chest full of mean, wicked and delightful implements. They spent a lot of time on the items in that treasure chest-and guess what their most prized treasure is??? Their submissive. Their submissive is their everything-so important that they put a collar around the submissive's neck. Asking permission to hug is a simple courtesy.

A single person sometimes feels that they are left to their own devices when it comes to looking out for themselves.

They may be getting more confident in their ability to say "no" and honestly, saying "no" to a hug is pretty easy compared to saying "no" to someone who wants a scene. Asking permission to hug may allow someone the practice they need to become stronger and more self-assured in vocalizing a rejection.

The person you want to hug may have marks left over from play.

Whether they played that evening, the night before or the week before-marks can hurt! If you pull someone into a bear hug, you may inadvertently cause bad pain in the marks where good pain once lived. Asking permission to hug is a form of preventing pain.

Those marks may involve blood.

I like artistic cuttings. I get them upon occasion at events. I bleed well so there are lots of times that I get cut and get out. I know that the coverings will not keep forever and for both my protection and that of the club members, I go home to minimize exposure. If you come up and hug me you could shift my coverings, squeeze more blood out and get blood on you. And while I know that I do not have anything, you don't know that. AND, I don't know that YOU don't have anything. Asking permission to hug is a potential form of self-preservation.

Some people have triggers.

A "trigger" is something that brings about a response. Triggers can be good but they can also be bad. You do not want your well-intended hug to bring to the surface a bad memory. The person you want to hug may be ok every time you hug them but something earlier could have started the triggering that your hug could is the final catalyst for. Asking permission to hug allows someone else to work through private moments in their own way.

You may make someone ill-at-ease.

There I said it. Someone may not want to hug you for a million reasons. And that is their right. Just like it is your right to not want to be hugged by someone. Time may remedy this. Familiarity may remedy this. And if it does not, it is ok. Some people just don't like to be hugged. Or they do not like to be hugged by people of the opposite sex. Or the same sex. Or any number of things. But, asking permission to hug keeps everyone safely in their space until they are ready to allow someone into it.

Chances are, if you are a hug slut like me, you will find at least one time that you forget to ask. I forget to ask; there have been plenty of times that I opened my arms for a hug and was told "I do not have permission." And I did not get my feelings hurt. I apologized and got permission or I simply apologized.

One last thought, because this will come up at some time or another. You may see that Brenda Bottom hugs Suzy Sub all the time without asking permission but it does not mean that everyone gets to. Brenda & Suzy obviously have a relationship that enables them to hug without either of them asking permission from each other or from Suzy's dominant. The best rule of thumb is this-if you are not sure if you are allowed to hug someone without asking permission, ask permission.