Cuddle Parties

Is the new craze of having cuddle parties creepy or comforting?

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Cuddle Parties

Is this new craze creepy or comforting?

-Carrie Seim

individuals cuddlingBetween the depressing “downturn” of the economy, the sad loss of our Golden Girl feminist forerunner Bea Arthur and spooky spread of swine flu, we could all use a hug this week.

Cuddle party, anyone?

This tactile trend has been snuggling its way across the country the last few years. Cuddle parties feature consenting adults gathering in their PJs for an evening of cozy (nonsexual) snuggling. No drinking, no unwelcome cuddling (you’ve got to ask before you touch) and no guilt if you only feel like hugging the “hotties.”

Before you presume this is another creepy commune filled with free-loving hippies … OK, they do promise trappings like a “Cuddle Lifeguard” and a “Welcome Circle.” But they definitely discourage all sexual behavior.

In fact the Web site has an entire entry in their FAQ devoted to handling things that may “pop up” unexpectedly:

When men get aroused, they sometimes get erections. Arousal is an inherent part of being human. But somehow, somewhere, many of us began to believe that we must act on this arousal whenever it showed up, as if we may never have another chance to be horny again and we must strike while the iron is hot, so to speak.

Well, this attitude has caused all sorts of weirdness in our society and massive miscommunications between the sexes.

Since Cuddle Parties are safe spaces for adults to explore and practice affectionate touch without sexualizing it, and since the state of arousal is natural for us human beings, it’s no surprise that erections sometimes do occur. Our goal is not to teach men how not to get erections. Instead, we want to make normal functions and needs of human beings seem, well, “normal.”

We strive not only to free people of the awkwardness surrounding arousal, but to allow them to develop some real coordination around it. At a Cuddle Party, erections become Mother Nature’s way of giving us the thumbs-up sign. Nothing’s wrong. Nothing’s dirty. Nothing’s suspect. And as long as you’re not dry humping anyone (Rule #7), it’s completely okay. Really.

The founders of Cuddle Party, Reid Mihalko and Marcia Baczynski, emphasize that the events encourage communication and affection in a culture that devalues human touch.
“Cuddlemonials” taut the benefits of cuddle parties.

Rich from New York City raves about his first cuddle party, “I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed it until I left and embraced how spectacular I felt. The party brightened my world. I definitely feel more comfortable and less inhibited.”

And a woman from Amsterdam named Donna, says the parties make her “feel safe enough to ask for a cuddle when I needed one. I’m catching up on years of cuddle-deprivation now.”

But one guy I spoke with, Andy, isn’t as enthused: “”Straight-up creepy. I prefer my group encounters in the dark and with a happy ending. I’m old-school … that way.”

If you’re up for a little game of cuddle monster, check out this calendar to find a cuddle party near you. ( ) Just one suggestion – you might want to hold off on that cuddle party until the whole swine flu thing is passé. But after that, go on and get down with your bad, cuddly self.

Check out Current’s video from inside a cuddle party here.

What do you think — are cuddle parties creepy or comforting?

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18 thoughts on “Cuddle Parties

  1. Just goes to show, there really are a lot of loney hearts starving for human contact, and this is just a new way of finding it, too weird for me, but understandable for others.

  2. That’s so great that the idea is spreading! I have cuddle parties with my friends sporadically, and they always make me feel comforted, like I’m embracing my hippie-self. I don’t think they’re creepy because so many of us are lonely, isolated beings with long faces, and this gives us the chance to connect with someone – other than just the animal-like “getting it on”. It’s also mutually beneficial, as sex sometimes isn’t.

  3. wHERE’S THE SUNSHINE? Let it ring! Cuddle parties, the new wave of getting together with a theme. Whatever happened to getting together, PERIOD!

  4. This is hilariuos. Reminds me of the KEY Parties they had in the 70s where everyone put their keys in a bowl and one would pull out someone’s keys and go off with the other’s boyfriend or husband for a cuddle!

  5. I like to cuddle with friends and the idea of a pajama party where people can hang out as friends is, on the surface, a nice one. Where it gets creepy is in all the extra stuff on the website. Like a calendar for finding cuddle parties – cuddling with close friends: nice; cuddling with random strangers: creepy.

    For me the real kicker was when I looked around the website and realized they were asking for donations and encouraging people to be Cuddle Facilitators. Go to THAT website and you’ll find out it’s gonna cost you $995 to train to run cuddle parties and $195/year to keep up your certification. If you don’t like the expense of facilitation training you can “donate” $25 to a “scholarship fund” and everyone who does so is entered into a drawing for free tuition.

    Excuse me?

  6. AWESOME! LOVE IT! This is the FIRST story I clicked on because I’ve heard of these parties before and thought it sounded interesting! In our HANDS OFF, TEXTING, COMPUTERIZED world…it’s nice to know that nothing beats the HUMAN TOUCH… Great story!

  7. I don’t think it is creepy. People need affection .. men and women. If men can learn to do so without only thinking about “sex”, what is wrong with that.
    It is not so easy to find a real relationship and if this is a way to receive attention and affection, what is the problem?

  8. um i think humans can’t keep it in their pants (men and women alike) and it could potentially turn into an orgy. i wouldn’t go to one … perid.

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