by REiD Mihalko, the David Hasselhoff of Flannel
One of the most frequently asked questions we get about Cuddle Party is “It’s really a cover for an orgy, right?” In today’s day and age, somewhere, somehow, we became convinced that sustained affection must lead to sex. Therefore, a group of adults touching each other affectionately over a three-hour period MUST turn into an orgy. The two concepts of Touch and Sex got stuck together and squished. All of a sudden, touching became having sex, or on the way to having sex. Therefore, cuddling must lead to sex, right?
The answer is NO. No, cuddling doesn’t HAVE to lead to sex. It doesn’t have to be that way, and at Cuddle Parties, adults are shown how to practice welcomed touch and affection play and have it, wonder of wonders, NOT LEAD TO SEX!
Although we certainly believe that consenting adults have the right to do whatever they want as long as they’re not harming anyone, Cuddle Parties are not an event one attends looking to cruise or pick someone up. You may find that you meet someone that you’re attracted to, and during the course of cuddling you may discover that your tastes and dislikes and beliefs are very like-minded, and maybe you’ll go on a date… BUT: If you’re coming to a Cuddle Party to get laid, you’re coming to the wrong party.
Once again, Cuddle Parties are affectionate play events where adults can explore welcomed touch and affectionate play and not sexualize them. In fact, many men and women have shared with us the amazing relief they’ve discovered by being able to be “touchy-feely” with one another and not have to feel like they’ve got to “take it to some other level”. The freedom of NOT having to “seal the deal”, or get a phone number, or feel like you’re “just as equally attracted back” or “just as interested in them or you’ll hurt their feelings” is something many of us are just not used to experiencing in social settings.
What’s not “normal” is that belief that we have to dry hump everything in sight because someone’s aroused or that touch and affection can only exist within or on the road towards sex and lovemaking. Who says that first base HAS TO lead to second base, cuddling HAS TO lead to sex?
Sure, a group of people gathering together in their pajamas to cuddle isn’t an everyday occurrence, but maybe, juuuuuuust maybe, that’s the problem. Whether you’re single or in relationship, we all have an innate need for contact and most folks just aren’t gettin’ enough. Somewhere along the road to Grownupville, our need for touch, which was so nurturing and instrumental in our development as healthy human beings as infants and children became wrong. As we sped down the rocky road of adolescence and sexuality society turned on the blinking hazard signs, and it was DO NOT TOUCH!, blink, DO NOT TOUCH!. for the next sixty years, er, sixty miles. The “Danger! Slippery when Wet!” signs and the “touch equals sex” billboards are everywhere, and by the time we reach Grownupville, we’re touched deprived, affection awkward, scared, and waaaay confused.
Whether it’s your spouse, your friend, your trainer, the person who washes your hair at the salon, or your dog or your cat, we all need touch. And by the time we reach adulthood, many of us are sorely in need of it.
It is our belief as Cuddle Monsters that EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE HELD, and we’ve made it our job to create the context for this. We want to create the opportunity for adults to disengage “touch” from “sex” enough that there is some healthy room where touching and physical contact can be something other than sexual, i.e. cuddling!
It may be unusual, it may be crazy, but we’re sure it’s normal.
Teaching people how to regain their ability to be affectionate without sexualizing such expression isn’t as hard as many people think. It’s just that we’ve forgotten how. Watch kids on a playground: they’re all over one another and it’s completely innocent. The dis-ease, mixed messages and sex-negativism that surround human sexuality and expression in our culture has forced most of us into a constant state of denial regarding healthy, consensual touch, what we like to call Welcomed Touch.
It’s been so long since many of us have cuddled that we’ve plum forgotten how, and all we need is a little reminder to jog our memories of how natural it was when we were younger to be lying on top of our friends when watching TV or playing with Lego. Our Cuddle-Sense comes back real quick. All we need is some safe space, a few blankets, and a little floor room to practice.
You’re way more in control of your sexual energy than you think. Man, woman… We all are. We just grew up being taught that control was hopeless, that there was no way to control it once (insert evil theme music) “it” was awakened, and rather than being taught to practice and gain some sort of real coordination with arousal and sexual tension, most of us were simply told to “Just Say No” and save it.
The drawback here was that many of us, for fear of starting something that we wouldn’t be able to stop, stopped touching people altogether. Add to that liberal doses of raging adolescent hormones for a few years, then dump many of us into 40-hours-per-week-plus jobs where touching your coworkers is REALLY discouraged and violá, it’s no wonder we’re having a hard time seeing the possibility of cuddling being just cuddling.