Edge of Everywhere

Cuddle Party

Posted on: August 8, 2009

I recently found out about the phenomenon of the Cuddle Party, “a playful social event designed for adults to explore communication, boundaries and affection.” A bunch of strangers pay to go to a trained facilitator’s house, put on pajamas, go through exercises dealing with the aforementioned topics, and spend a couple of hours sharing non-sexual physical intimacy and affection. Participants must ask each other and receive a verbal “yes” before hugging, cuddling, giving massages, or engaging in any number of other types of physical contact.

I totally agree with their belief in the value of affectionate touch, but just as hooking up sexually with a stranger just for pleasure makes no sense to me, cuddling with a stranger just to enjoy the sensation doesn’t make sense to me either. I can only understand physical contact in the context of a close relationship, whether it’s with family, friends, or a partner. I mean, isn’t affection about liking and caring about someone? I just don’t get how people can take a shortcut to intimacy without actually knowing and liking each other.

The other thing that struck me about the Cuddle Parties is that their site spends a lot of time convincing people that cuddling can, in fact, be non-sexual. It also acknowledges the inevitable presence of sexual energy and arousal (including erections), and talks about how those are dealt with during the parties. Interestingly, a major rule of the parties is “no dry humping.” It was fascinating for me to read about non-sexual touch from a sexual perspective, because I generally forget that things like cuddling could ever be construed as sexual or seen as necessarily leading up to sexual contact.

I’m curious to hear everyone’s opinions on the Cuddle Party phenomenon. Great idea, or just kind of creepy? Have you ever gone to one? Would you?

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12 Responses to "Cuddle Party"

The website is interesting, like how they respond to people asking, “Okay, okay… But how does all this cuddliness not turn into a hump-fest?” I don’t get why nonsexual cuddling is inconceivable either. Don’t people cuddle nonsexually with children and pets all the time? Even though I’ve felt deprived of touch at times, I don’t think I’d go to a cuddle party. If a total stranger was aroused while cuddling with me, that would make me so uncomfortable that I’m not sure how I could enjoy myself. Maybe if I had an equal chance of getting turned on by it, it would be less awkward, but I don’t.

That said, I think we need to bring back slumber parties for adults. Staying up late, eating Bagel Bites and watching movies that are too mature for our age level…good times.

Haha yes! I am totally with you on bringing back slumber parties, although I could do without all the bad horror movies this time around. I’ve definitely thought about hosting one, but I don’t have enough close girl friends to invite. Someday!

I’d also love to bring back slumber parties – although me and my friends do often stay up late just watching movies, playing videogames and eating pizza, so that practically counts. I like the idea of a cuddle party but I’d also be really freaked out by someone getting turned on by cuddling me – I’d rather just cuddle one of my friends.

The cuddle-party seems to me to be about as close to cuddling as brothels are to sex. Yes, it may satisfy some needs for some people, but few would want to only have them, because, for most people, a proper cuddle needs some emotional background.

And, at the age of 18, I have far more slumber parties than I did at the age of 10. 😀

Multiple people have recommended that I go to cuddle parties, and the idea has never made sense to me. There’s something to that emphasis that it’s not sex. It seems like these parties are built around the idea that sex matters and so cuddling doesn’t have to. It can just be nice, meaningless physical fun because the REAL meaning is assigned to sex. That doesn’t work for me if cuddling is the way that I feel most physically intimate with people.

I can see how it’s good if you want to explore cuddling on a physical level-get a sense of what feels good to you and what doesn’t- but I don’t see it how it helps with the trickier questions about how cuddling fits into our lives and relationships.

I’d consider going to one if they offered them anywhere near where I live (which they don’t ;_; ). It sounds like a fun, unique way to meet interesting people.

David– I completely understand if you don’t want to go to a cuddle party, but I didn’t get the vibe of sex being more important than cuddling. On the website, it was stated over and over that adults don’t have enough opportunities for nonsexual touch. It seemed to express some disappointment that sex is seen as all-important at the expense of cuddling. They definitely seem to see cuddling as being much more important and profound than I see it.

there are many types of hugs or cuddling some are very sexual others romantic and others friendly or even “I have to hug you lets get this over with”
I enjoy my hugs and if i feel comfortable I’m happy to hug almost anyone but to be comfortable we would have to know each other at least as friends.

Well… the point is really simples. There isn’t to much to worry about.

The society really needs to review a lot of things. And Sexual “touches” is one of the most important them.

But this “party” isn’t the right way of doing it (at all).

[…] it, I don’t even like slow-dancing with some people I do know.  The author of the blog post Cuddle Party from the blog, Edge of Everywhere, has a similar take on […]

I think the perspectives of most of the responses here are a bit off and a just a little superior. Many people do not choose between a Cuddle Party and actual long term emotional intimacy. They choose between a Cuddle Party and having nothing at all. It is not a matter of “satisfaction” any more than the thousands of magazines with beautiful women on them are better than a real woman. It is better than doing without completely. A large number of people are simply bad at getting relationships started and keeping them, they grow weary of rejection, they long for human contact, often they can be great people who are only bad at getting someone from the opposite sex interested in them initially. In our world, this person is forced to live their life with little or no actual physical contact with other people and this can be quite painful. If you need proof of this, you only need to see the massive quantity of prostitution, pornography, magazines, sexuality being used to sell everything, and for the purpose of this discussion, the success of an idea like the “Cuddle Party”. Unlike the article and most of the responses, I see it as a chance for a decent person to choose between touching another human being and having nothing at all, and choosing to touch another human being. I see np problem with that at all.

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