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Intimate and sexual are two very different things, but we treat them as the same so often that we use one to mean the other. When someone is called an "intimate partner" or we hear the phrase "getting intimate" we understand that to mean sex.

Words become ideas, and ideas become reality - treating sex and intimacy the same leaves you with a whole lot of people who cannot be intimate without being sexual. Some of you reading this right now aren't really sure what non-sexual intimacy even looks like.


So let's talk about it.

One Reddit user asked:

What is the most intimate (non-sexual) experience you've ever had and will never leave you?

We made it about 4 responses in before we got all misty-eyed and we've been in our feels ever since. Some of these examples are beautiful, some are heartwrenching - some are a potent mix of both.

Grab some comfort carbs or a stuffie, we're going in.

Bears Cry Too

sad panda GIF Giphy

Four months after my mother died, I was out shopping for groceries. I helped a middle aged woman with getting something from a high shelf and thought nothing of it.

Later that day, I intervened and stopped the same woman from getting mugged.

She then looked at me and said the one thing my mother always told me when she was happy. "Thank ya baby, you're a life saver."

I promptly broke into a sobbing mess, letting out the pent up emotions that I had for the past four months. She just hugged me and let this giant ass teddy bear cry on her shoulder for an hour.

After that I never saw her again due to me moving across the country.

- BearWithABeer90

Shoulder Time

Back in 11th grade, this girl I used to sit on the bus with would occasionally hold my arm and rest her head on my shoulder.

When it first happened, I didn't understand. To this day, I still don't understand.

We weren't dating or anything. We've never talked or interacted that way otherwise. Honestly, the amount of distance she put between me felt pretty random at times.

Either way, she'd just... occasionally hog my arm on bus rides home.

I never said anything. I just accepted it and looked out of the window like usual. Gently let her know when the bus got to the stop.

It was a nice, warm feeling.

- rapidspinningturtle

A Cat And A Cry

When my mom died, I'd gone to visit her partner while we arranged the funeral.

I ended up getting locked out of their apartment. While waiting in the hall for her partner to get home, a stray cat wandering the building came up to me for scratches.

This was an old-ass cat, looking a bit scraggly, but affectionate all the same, AND VOCAL!

I just snuggled it close and had a good cry...like the cat knew I needed it in my life at that moment...and I did...

- 0xD153A53

6 Weeks Early

My daughter came into this world 6 weeks early. Small town USA hospital only had a hood for breathing and she needed 24 hour NICU.

Less than 8 hours after the C-section, they took her to a town 20 miles away while I had to stay for observation. For 4 days I was separated from her, getting updates via family and drs.

When I could finally get out, I walked into the NICU and she was crying while a lovely nurse held her. I spoke to her and she immediately looked toward my voice and stopped crying. I started crying.

This will never leave me.

- AllGood24

Runaways

Me and my sister ran away when we were 17.

On our second week on the road we stopped at this field where there was nothing but grass and trees as far as the eye can see. We got out of the car and sat on the ground in front of it.

For the first time since we had ran away I started to cry. I cried and screamed and trust me this was not pretty, this lasted for hours and the whole time my sister just held me.

I didn't cry out of regret or because I was homesick. I cried because it had to come to this - that this is what we had to resort to just so we could live a happy life.

When I finally stopped crying all she said to me was "Forever and always, we got each other." I'll take that moment with me to the grave.

- Dovakhin1906

Human Bodily Needs

Went on a major hike I was NOT prepared for. No jacket, no light, barely any food or water for 3000'+ altitude change and ~10 miles on a winter afternoon.

By the time we were near the top, it was dark. The peak was snowy and icy. We were exhausted, frigid, and had no idea how we'd survive the trip back down.

We had passed a group of students on our way up, and they thankfully decided to wait for us and rescue us. I was still walking, but so cold and tired I couldn't think or say much.

A girl came and put her extra jacket on me, pulling it on over my head, zipping it up to my chin, and putting the hood up. A boy passed me his extra gloves, and she slid my hands into them. She unwrapped food, closed my hand over it and guided it to my mouth. She held her water bottle to my lips.

It was the first time I'd had this full acknowledgement of all my bodily human needs if that makes sense. I felt extremely human, cared for and non-judged.

- hire-power

Did I Snore?

Sleep Reaction GIF Giphy

I was once on a connecting flight out of Chicago; I had come from Spain and was on my way home to California. I was on an MD80 (skinny, tight seats) and in a three-seat row between a very large Samoan woman and a very very large Chicago guy.

The two of them talked about food the entire flight, with the Chicago guy talking about bratwurst cooked in beer ("Ya come fer da brots, but ya stays fer da onions, ya know?") and her talking about Pisupo ("It's easy! Corned beef, eggs and rice—maybe little soy sauce.").

I tried to be polite and smile and be alert but my head was pounding, I was still a little drunk from the free wine on Iberia Airlines, I hadn't slept in days and I just nodded off. Woke up around an hour or so into the flight and found I had been fast asleep on this Samoan lady's very ample bosom.


I lifted my head and started to apologize but she pulled my arm under her and pulled my head back down into her neck and shoulder and said "Nonsense. C'mon sleep. I got you." Total darkness, all warmth and I could hear her breathe. It was like being in my mom's arms as a toddler.

She held me while I slept until we reached LAX. I'm just glad I didn't drool on her.

When I woke I asked "Did I snore?" She said "Did you snore?!?! Oh my god did he snore?!?!"

And everyone within three rows started cracking up. Everyone was so understanding of this weary traveler and she was so sweet, I'll never forget her.

- Shah357

Helping Mom Let Go 

Hugging my mom as she died in my arms.

It's been 5 years and she was in the hospital for a stroke, so it was not entirely unexpected. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

The last thing she heard was my voice telling her how much she was loved, the last thing she felt was me hugging her. I'd be a liar if I said I'm the same person I was before that.

No way in hell was it not going to happen as long as I could help it. It still hits out of nowhere sometimes, but it passes.

- tedlyb

I Knew I Mattered

Preface: Girl and I no longer with one another. Was in a very depressed low point of my life. I'm ok now. 👍

Was seeing a girl, a very kind and special one to my heart. I've been kind of deprived of affection before her.

One day after work, I came home and told her I quit smoking. That I didn't want to tell anyone because it has to be a personal battle I needed to win, but I told her anyway.

Her eyes got big, she smiled wildly, rushed over and planted a kiss on my lips. The kind that tells you it really means something. That it's real.

Her arms wrapped around me and she laughed at me because I had began to tear up I was so happy my self.

That feeling and that memory will never leave me until the day I die. That's when I knew I mattered to people.

- SuperVegetable

It Made Her Hate Me More

Getting into a sleeping bag with a very hypothermic girl who I didn't like very much (and the feeling was mutual) to try and bring her body temp up. Then having her cling to me like her life depended on it.

We were in a group of people out for a hike and we got caught in some bad weather. And no, it didn't make us like each other any better. If anything, I think it being me who was saving her life made her hate me more.

I haven't seen or spoken to her since a few months after this happened and it was over 20 years ago. So I'm going to say our friendship never really blossomed.

- ChemicalEmergency75



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Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Now that college has become a standard requirement for so many jobs and careers, there is a massive push by high schools to get their graduating students accepted and enrolled at an undergraduate college.

On the whole, that's undoubtedly a great thing. A more educated workforce will be prepared to solve the most complex issues facing human beings in the next several decades.

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Image by Gianni Crestani from Pixabay

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.

For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.

The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.

But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.

It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.

Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.

WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"

For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.

There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.

Almost Clinical 

"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."

"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."

"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."

"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."

"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."

-- iunoyou

Planned Out 

"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."

"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."

-- mozgw4

Before It Set In 

"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."

"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."

"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."

-- tasha7712

Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.

These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.

No More of That 

"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."

"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."

"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."

"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."

"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."

-- bitchyhouseplant

Knowing the Address

"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."

"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."

-- OntaiSenpuu

When it Happened 

"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."

"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."

"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."

"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."

-- dangitjon

Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.

These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.

A Holiday Tragedy 

"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."

"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."

-- Blueflowerbluehair

What is it About Christmas?

"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."

"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."

"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."

"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."

-- 2FunBoofer

Close to Home 

"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."

"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."

"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."

-- HIRSH2243

A Horrible Clock 

"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same."

"That date is always going to be a black day for him."

-- mozgw4


If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.

But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.

Image by Nguyen Dinh Lich from Pixabay

When I was moving on from middle school to high school my parents had me tested for the "gifted" program. By some miracle I passed and was accepted. And then I turned it down. Everyone was irritated. "This will pave the way for any college you want! You'll learn so much!" his path will set you up for life!" Every adult tried valiantly to sell me this merchandise but in my gut I just wasn't buying it. So I "settled" a level below, merely advanced classes. And upon reflection... it was the best choice I ever made.

Redditor u/dauntlessdaisy was wondering how far some in life got by asking... For those of you who were considered "gifted" in school, what are you doing with your life now?
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Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

There's a million things that can happen to you while out on on the road.

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