The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly

Prepping for my first-ever Cuddle Party (in New Jersey!)

Like chocolate truffles after a full course meal, nothing beats cuddling after some good ol’ fashioned fudge-packing. But with sex being a no-no for me for the next 65 days, I’m gonna have to start paying more attention to the dessert menu. The only problem is, while nearly every sexual position imaginable – from the trusty missionary to more pretzel-like bodily contortions – has been documented in, say, the Kama Sutra, it’s mostly slim pickings for cuddling connoiseurs. Case in point: Between two girls and one cup, spooning was ironically the farthest thing from their, er, buffet.

Stuck in the limbo of post-coital pleasures for the longest time– down there with having a smoke and playing video games – cuddling is finally getting some well-earned props. Sometime next week, I will be joining an army of devout cuddlers in New Jersey for a cuddle party. A cuddle party is described as “an event designed with the intention of allowing people to experience non-sexual group physical intimacy through cuddling. It’s a social event that gives adults an opportunity to “give and receive welcomed affectionate touch in a no-expectation, friendly setting, according to your needs, desires, interests, and boundaries.” Is that code for “hugging orgy where you keep your PJ’s on”? I can’t wait to find out. I’m a bit worried, though: It’s a slippery slope having warm bodies rub up against you; one strange arm wrapping around the wrong body part and it can all go downhill from there (no pun intended). If it actually goes well, it just might send me into throes of tantric ecstasy. 

Cuddling is definitely an art and the cuddle party in Jersey my experiment to nail down the perfect cuddle position. Questions pop in my head: Where do I stick my other arm while spooning? What makes a good cuddling position better than a bad one – is it larger amount of skin contact, or ability to hold the position for a very long time? How do I keep a cuddling session from devolving into simply “feeling each other up”? I’ll have more than a week to think about these things. Meanwhile, here are the cuddle party rules:

WHAT TO WEAR: Pajamas – nothing too risqué. Think more comfy than sexy. (More drawstrings, less lace. No shorts.)

WHAT TO BRING: A pillow or stuffed animal if you like. Juice or sparkling cider is always welcome. Sorry, no liquor folks. Otherwise, just bring your smiling self.

STICK TO THE RULES:

Rule # 1 – Pajamas stay on the whole time.

Rule # 2 – You don’t have to cuddle anyone at a Cuddle Party, ever.

Rule # 3 – You must ask permission and receive a verbal YES before you touch anyone. (Be as specific in your request as you can.)

Rule # 4 – If you’re a Yes to a request, say YES. If you’re a No, say NO.

Rule # 5 – If you’re a Maybe, say NO.

Rule # 6 – You are encouraged to change your mind.

Rule # 7 – Respect your relationship boundaries and communicate with your partner.

Rule # 8 – Come get the Cuddle Caddy or ME if there’s a concern, problem, or should you feel unsafe or need assistance with anything today.

Rule # 9 – Tears and laughter are both welcome.

Rule # 10 – Respect people’s privacy when sharing about Cuddle Parties and do not gossip.

Rule #11 – Keep the Cuddle Space Tidy

Rule #12 – Thank you for arriving on time.

But what if something comes “up”?

Here’s what they said:

Erections. Erections. ERECTIONS. There, we said it.

Since Cuddle Parties are safe spaces for adults to explore and practice affectionate touch without sexualizing it, and since the state of arousal is natural for us human beings, it’s no surprise that erections sometimes do occur. Our goal is not to teach men how not to get erections. Instead, we want to make normal functions and needs of human beings seem, well, “normal.”

We strive not only to free people of the awkwardness surrounding arousal, but to allow them to develop some real coordination around it. At a Cuddle Party, erections become Mother Nature’s way of giving us the thumbs-up sign. Nothing’s wrong. Nothing’s dirty. Nothing’s suspect. And as long as you’re not dry humping anyone (Rule #7), it’s completely okay. Really.

Wow, guilt-free boners. If I don’t watch it, I might just end up becoming a cuddle whore. I’ll start by rehearsing these six spooning positions (the Post Modern being my favorite). 

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2 Responses to “The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly”

  1. This sounds wonderful! I love cuddling. My best friend is also my cuddle buddy. No sex. Just cuddling. It’s wonderful to have a relationship in which you don’t have to worry about the sometimes awkwardness of sex. Have fun!

  2. In answer to the age-old question of what to do with the other arm while spooning, I recommend this: http://xkcd.com/335/ (totally safe for work illustrations included.)

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