I've been intrigued since I first found out about it, but haven't been comfortable enough or confident enough to actually attend one.
I finally gave in, figuring if it was too weird or too whatever, there was nothing to stop me from just leaving. I'll be attending one up near Baltimore at the beginning of December.
Some of the stuff on their site (www.cuddleparty.com) makes sense on how today as a society has morphed/warped what acceptable touch is.
This is what the website has to say:
What a Cuddle Party Is: A structured, safe workshop on boundaries, communication, intimacy and affection. A drug and alcohol-free way to meet fascinating people in a relaxing environment. A laboratory where you can experiment with what makes you feel safe and feel good.
This playful, fun workshop has been a place for people to rediscover non-sexual touch and affection, a space to reframe assumptions about men and women, and a great networking event to meet new friends, roommates, business partners and significant others.
Can Cuddle Party restore your faith in humanity? It just might. But at the very least, you'll have a great time, and leave feeling relaxed and inspired.
In today's world, many of us aren't getting our Recommended Daily Allowance of Welcomed Touch. Cuddle Parties seek to change that and change it in a way that's conscious, healthy and nutritious. Many of us grew up taught that a pull-out couch full of puppy-piled kids all camped-out in front of the TV was okay, but somewhere between ages 11 and 31 things changed. Now it's only okay for kids to do that. The only places for grown-up puppy-piles are in football and the occasional game of drunken Twister. Touch in groups only occurs in packed elevators, rush-hour subway cars or crowded movie theaters, but that kind of touch is usually accidental and not necessarily welcomed. For some of us, permitted touch only occurs when we pay for a massage or when we give the okay to get patted down by an airport security guard.
Our society has gotten weird about groups of people touching one another and it's taking its toll on us. Sure it's okay to touch the one you're dating or married to (that is, if you're still touching each other), but what about the single people? If you're single and touching too many other single people, you're a slut, and even then, how healthy and nutritious is all that touching when most of us have to get drunk to give ourselves permission to do it? Drunken, sexualized touch borders on desensitized groping. Most of us don't pick up somebody at the bar for a one-night cuddle.
We are so touch-and-snuggle deprived. Our need for touch has gotten so packed down and warped and pressurized that we fear its release. These years of "cuddle oppression" have become explosive. The more pressurized the situation, the more the need to suppress it, and the cycle feeds on itself. The symptoms of this "dis-ease" can be seen in the current social and corporate rules, regulations, and stigmas surrounding touch. With today's culture of mixed signals and double standards, the intricate sexual harassment maze, and the echoes of our Puritan foundations still audible, today is a very scary and unsafe place to voice our sensual needs. And one of our primary needs as humans is to touch and be touched!
I think its about time our society rebounds from the desensitised, sexual association of touch (or at least feel it's time to). Granted this isn't giving permission to anyone to go out there and claim bad/wrong touching as healthy/good touch.
In any case, it should be an interesting experience.