Thread: Cuddle Parties?
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:45 PM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,237
Default A total turn-off for me

Oy, don't get me started! I once went to a poly party held at the studio of a woman who also is involved in organizing Cuddle Parties in NYC and a few of the partygoers there were explaining why they like the Cuddle Parties... a perfect stranger, who hadn't even introduced himself to me yet, told me about his personal issues with touch and saying "no," even mentioning some issue with his mother, and how Cuddle Parties have helped him deal with intimacy with his partners, and it just felt so inappropriate and invasive for him to stand as close to me as he did and tell me such personal details. I knew that if he was that weird just talking to me at a cocktail party, I would not want to be in the situation of him approaching me for a cuddle at one of these things. You know, things like that can attract truly off-center folks just looking for connection or release, but I choose not to take part in that sort of environment.

I weighed in on the whole organized Cuddle Party thing in a few posts here. One was on a thread that River started about cuddling with friends, another was a response to seeing a Cuddle Party on the agenda for a poly event. Rather than repeat myself, I'll just quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
But am I the only one who finds that Cuddle Party guy incredibly annoying? All he has is an art degree, but now he's a sex educator? Eh, he's like everyone else who comes out of the Landmark/Forum/EST, with that smooth yet arrogant confidence and the ability to convince people he's an expert. I guess it's because I'm older and have participated in "puppy piles," cuddling in groups, mostly in "New Age" or other situations, but we never had to pay for that! In NYC, those parties cost $35 or more and some of the people who I know go, are not anyone I would pay to be in the same room with me, much less touch me. He has found a way to really profit from something that us children of the 60s and 70s have been doing for a long while. And now the word "cuddle" has a different flavor. Ick.
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I really dislike the whole idea of cuddle parties with strangers, 'cause I am sure at least some people are just pretending they want to keep it non-sexual and something inappropriate would happen. And that would piss me off. I don't think I could relax at all if I joined one.

Since learning about poly and discovering cuddle parties, I even find it a huge turn-off to hear (or read) grown-ups talking about cuddling. It's like the word is tainted for me now. I cannot explain it, but I get really irritated with the whole "cuddle movement," so to speak.

It's funny that the idea makes me uneasy because, back in the late 80s/early 90s, I did participate in what we called "puppy piles" with a close-knit group that I was connected with (we were all trained in an alternative healing modality) and it was wonderful. Basically, we all hugged each other in a pile together, but it was always within the context of certain gatherings we held within the community. But we all had a common language and a well-established basis of trust amongst the group. However, I wouldn't have gone and cuddled with any of those people on personal time outside of those workshops/celebrations, etc. We never called it cuddling.
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
...I think the fact that you have to pay for these commercially organized cuddle parties and it's a bunch of strangers from who-knows-where (in NYC they have Meetups for them - you just don't know who will show up. Did they bathe? Are they lecherous? You know, lots of potential for ickiness), whereas the puppy piles I took part in organically happened within an already defined and safe space or were loosely directed by people in the group that we all knew well and already trusted -- and these things never felt artificial.

It was never like, "Okay at 7:00 pm tonight, we're all gonna cuddle in a pile! So get ready and here are the rules." It was more like, all these practitioners of the type of bodywork I studied were there waiting for something (like a lesson or seminar) and someone suggested everyone all fall into a puppy pile. Or two people would be cradling each other on the carpeted floor and someone would join them, and then another, and another, and so on. And because it was in the spirit of the moment, and we were all friends, or most of us knew everyone, it felt good and was organic and respectful without anyone having to tell us to be respectful. No one would cop a feel (although we were all bodyworkers and very much into touching). And there was no time frame, so it broke up when it naturally happened. If the teacher came into the room, he or she would join in. If there were people there who didn't want to, they didn't. There would be laughter, groans, what-have-you, and it was always great.

It is something I remember very fondly. When I read/hear about these organized cuddle parties that ask for $40 I feel it is an aberration of something that was very special to me. I think an activity that us old hippies just organically and spontaneously did has been turned it into a big money maker and that bugs me. I also feel like the word "cuddle" has been made creepy, for some reason.
Let me just add that when I did throw myself into a puppy pile with friends, we were all fully dressed! I don't see the reason for wearing pajamas at these things.

Obviously, the whole idea of organized Cuddle Parties as therapy really irritates me.
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein

Last edited by nycindie; 06-05-2012 at 10:56 PM.
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