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Cuddle Parties: When Touchy Feely Goes Goofy

Hat Tip to @megfowler via Twitter for this one. She writes:

i find the concept of cuddle parties really unsettling. i mean, i get it, but i don’t… get it.

The premise is that everyone needs to be more comfortable with touch, so adults get together in their PJs, spend an hour learning the rules, and then spend time cuddling – but only after everyone asks for permission.

The video segment is creepy to watch, but the cuddle party website is even worse:

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.

There is even a lengthy list of rules for the cuddle party.

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.

The Cuddle Party site doesn’t mention the mooing (that’s right, you’re required to pretend your a cow as part of the cuddle fiesta – watch the video). Nor does it mention what a complete and total loser you’re going to feel like.

Honestly, this has all the look and feel of something that would be featured on HBO’s Real Sex, if only it weren’t so darned G-rated. Imagine what Real Sex would be like if the Political Correctness police got their hands on it… Now you’re probably getting close to the same neighborhood as a cuddle party.

Written by Michael Turk