Originally Posted by redpepper
That is so interesting! What's behind all that do you think? I see cuddle parties and puppy piles as the same thing. How are they different for you?
Well... the activity is similar, but 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.