#23 – CUDDLE PARTY
The Adventure – Going to a Cuddle Party
I did everything I could to get out of it…but not even buses would hit me. My body was not happy and went into fear response (unwanted bowel response movements) the day before.
I knew I would do my best to get out of it right after I agreed to go, so I asked a cuddle ‘beard’ to join me. My friend Mark was thrilled to go and even cancelled a date to go. That meant I really couldn’t back out.
I spent more time in the washroom than I did anywhere else for two straight days.
After 45 minutes of instruction on what was acceptable and unacceptable during the evening, I dashed to the washroom barely making it on time.
My jaw dropped to the ground a few minutes later as I walked into the room.
There they all were…human bodies laying there in different positions much like a puppy pile. And there was my security blanket, my cuddle beard, my friend Mark in the dead centre of the pile. Not knowing what to do, I sat there dumbly at the edge of the pile, wondering if lightening could just strike me down now.
Being touched by random strangers…
Hello. My name is Patricia and cuddling with complete strangers makes me feel extremely incredibly uncomfortable.
It’s not you…it’s me.
I just don’t like being touched by random strangers – and honestly, it doesn’t matter if you’re incredibly hot.
Get out of my personal space, please.
Oh…unless you’re a cat or dog. Or someone I just spent hours and hours with – enjoying pleasurable conversation. But everyone else…do please take a few appropriate steps back…I’m not entirely convinced I even want to get a whiff of you.
I grew up in a family where we weren’t physically demonstrative all that much. It didn’t mean I wasn’t loved, it was shown in other ways…like gifts of service, for example.
So imagine someone like me going to a cuddle party.
Is it any wonder my body went into fear response two days in advance?
What is a cuddle party?
It is described as an ‘unconventional’ form of group therapy for adults learning the art of NON-sexual consensual touch facilitated by a Cuddle Party Facilitator in a safe environment.
Pretty much, it’s a big ‘ole puppy pile filled to the brim with adults who wear comfy clothing.
Cuddle party etiquette includes:
- Keep your clothes on.
- No drugs or alcohol.
- You need to ask permission to touch someone BEFORE touching them.
- You don’t have to cuddle anyone you don’t want to cuddle.
- The cuddle party facilitator is present if there are any issues that need addressing.
- Respecting everyone’s privacy when discussing the cuddle party after-the-fact.
So why should you consider going to one?
- It is considered to be good for those who don’t have affection or touch in their lives. We all need touch and affection.
- It is about compassion, nurturing, and comforting touch.
- It is physiologically good for your nervous system (unless you’re me) and your emotional health.
- It provides a sense of safety, comfort and belonging.
- It helps you to explore conscious touch in a non-sexual atmosphere.
© Patricia Taylor, November 2009, Monthly Adventure