Finding friendly groups

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Submitted by Marnia on
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Here's a good thread on finding new acquaintances:

http://www.reuniting.info/node/2446

Cuddle Parties

I happened to stumble upon this thing called cuddle parties. It seems that it started in the US and is catching on all over the world. There seems to be facilitators in every major city in Germany including 4 in Munich. There are even a couple on the East coast of Australia. Unfortunately I am on the West coast.

The web site line is http://cuddleparty.com/ and it would seem an excellent way for singles to experience physical intimacy in a structured space in which boundaries are set and enforced.

I am just curious if anyone has had experienced a cuddle party in their area.

Cuddle parties

Hi,

I participated in something similar to this in Vancouver BC quite a few years ago. Eventually I left because I felt frustrated and it didn't seem nourishing to me. I remember thinking "This is bottomless". Later I tried to initiate a cuddle group amongst meditators I knew in Kelowna BC and ran into huge problems with other people's fears and women who were already in couples with jealous mates. So for the time being, I've dumped the idea. I think it's key for energy to be flowing in a healing direction and I'm pretty sure that was missing in both these groups. The only ways I know of approaching healing physical intimacy at this point in time are Quantum Touch, Healing Touch and Reiki. Perhaps massage too. Quantum touch is the safest, easiest and most reliable. So I'm putting my energy into participating with people who are trained in these modalities and wait until I've got a community of people who are much more strongly interested in sexual health before tackling the cuddle buddy project again.

Cheers,

"Arnold"

Orgy of Oxytocin?

Swinging for Snugglers? I say that tounge firmly in cheek. Where's the line between platonic affection and romantic affection? I don't mean that in a derogatory way. Both kinds apparently release oxytocin, but affection with romantic partners feels different from other loved ones. Why is this?

Oxytocin

isn't a perfect measure of attachment by any means. It's quite high in stressed women, for example. So there's obviously more to bonding behaviors than mere oxytocin. It does seem to play a role in relaxing the amygdala (our inner guardian...the part of the brain that decides whether we feel attraction or aversion), however.

This is why it's so important to realize which *behaviors* work, rather than just learning some of the (fascinating) neurochemistry.

No argument that it is more

No argument that it is more than neurochemistry at play. Some behaviors may look the same, but aren't depending on the context and motivations and other factors. It makes me think about the footrub dialogue in Pulp Fiction. Jules and Vincent had two very different takes on a rumored act of affection.

That so just freaks me out.

[quote=Graham Mason]I happened to stumble upon this thing called cuddle parties. It seems that it started in the US and is catching on all over the world. There seems to be facilitators in every major city in Germany including 4 in Munich. There are even a couple on the East coast of Australia. Unfortunately I am on the West coast.

The web site line is http://cuddleparty.com/ and it would seem an excellent way for singles to experience physical intimacy in a structured space in which boundaries are set and enforced.

I am just curious if anyone has had experienced a cuddle party in their area.[/quote]

That so just freaks me out. Just those pics on the site. There is no way I could do that.

Thanks for posting. It could help someone. Not bashing the idea. It is just me.

Over Thinking . . .

If the idea of a cuddle party freaks you out, pay some attention as to why. It could help you uncover some automatic thoughts that are affecting your beliefs and behavior. As you visualize what a cuddle party would be like, pay attention to the details. What kind of people do you imagine being there? In your imagined version, what expectations are placed on the people at the party? What do the cuddles feel like?

Now, go back to the web site and read the rules and descriptions. Check them carefully against your visualization. Where are the differences? What do those differences tell you about where your mind automatically jumps to?

The reality is that nobody HAS to do anything at the cuddle party. It is ok just to go and watch. Even if you decide to participate, you only have to cuddle with the people you WANT to cuddle with, and ONLY in the way you WANT to be cuddled. It is completely non-threatening.

If I wanted to start cuddle parties in my area, I would look for someone to be the facilitator. They should have counseling and negotiation experience, but not necessarily be cuddle party certified. Then I would let the word out. I'm sure that as people heard about it, they would flock to it. There are lots of people everywhere who are not getting their minimum daily human contact amount.

Go for it!

P.

OK you want the truth. I

OK you want the truth. I would love to do it. I am scared to death of my reaction to it though. Still working on that. I guess I am not worried as much about the other people as I am myself. So we loop right back to me :).

What if no one asked me ? yeah that would be just crushing. I ask and get rejected every time ? I am terrified of rejection. Part of why I guess I have never had a girl friend or been on a date. I am scared of how I would feel with that. I have managed to stick myself in a loop so that I can not get to the other side ever. I refuse to put myself in a spot to get rejected but that just keeps me stuck lonely and where I am at.

How is that ?

Thank you
Be Safe
James

Thought about it some more. it is more than what I said above. It is also this. What if they did say yes then did not like me touching them. what if I did not like touching them or anyone. Why do I fear touch ? It is in my mind. I am sure I like hugs :) now. It is just in my mind touch scares the hell out me as much as rejection.

Will take a lot more time to get through all of this.

and the oracle has this to say about it
What is holding me back or causing me pain?
NARROW MINDEDNESS

Is there something I need to be alert to in my situation?
QUESTIONABLE MOTIVES

What insight will help me at this time?
UNEXPECTED HELP IS ON THE WAY

If you think about it

If you're afraid of rejection, it's a pretty safe place to try exploring it. First of all, everyone is coming because they want to cuddle. A lot of them probably feel similar about it as you do, so they'd be relieved if you asked them. Second, even if you get rejected by one person, there are a lot more there who probably won't. Finally, even if nobody wants to cuddle with you that day, it's just a bunch of strangers you will probably never see again, and after a couple hours you just go home. So any rejection won't seriously impact your life in any way.

OK I am digging deeper. What

OK I am digging deeper. What if my reaction is to let it bother me. I think I would. I loop things all the time. I let things bother me that happened 20 years ago. thanks for the encouragement. It is just I would blow rejection way up in my mind. I am doing it now and it has not even happened. My mind is so messed up.

I am still looking deeper. there is more than just the rejection and touch. There is some other fear I am not sure about yet. I will continue to read the site and see if i can figure it out. I do not think rejection and touch is the big fear.

Be Safe
James

I got it. my embarrassment

I got it. my embarrassment loop again. I would be near to frozen in fear of embarrassment. I am really stuck in that one. I would fear getting angry about rejection then fear looking stupid for it then I would probably just have to leave cause I could not take those feelings.

That is the big one I think. I will not stop digging this till I find it all today. Now I want to know why I fear such things so much. I need to get through it some how. It hurts but @#%@ It has hurt for a long time a little more pain is not going to matter too much any more.

what abot this

[quote]After the welcome and the Hell-spawn Get-to-Know-You Games, the cuddling commenced. If there were other people there, I didn’t notice them. I myself shrank to the size of a daisy and bloomed in his direction.

I cuddled with the few people I knew—Brady, The Artist, the man who founded the Cuddle Party. And The Hottest Man. He was the only stranger I cuddled with. I chickened out a few times when I could have gotten even closer to him. I actually didn’t get to cuddle with him nearly as much as I wanted to. As I mentioned, he was hot. I was not the only woman in the room who noticed this. He was a sought-after cuddle commodity.[/quote]

this is one person account I know but still. She talks about this one guy. So I end up in a party with some guy all the women are going to be going after or want to.

Yeah that is going to make me feel good about myself. I get rejected and they are all staring at this one guy. I do not need that. I messed up enough. In a "safe" place like this party is supposed to be this type of reaction would just finish me off. It sounds like a great idea I suppose but people @##% things up and this is a big reason why the way this person describes her thoughts. I get ignored just fine as it is. I do not need it completely thrown in my face.

rejection

is a major trigger for us, but we need to confront it and become comfortable with it. We make ourselves crazy by trying to make the world safe and rejection-free. We will never be able to do that. As addicts, we are terrible at handling rejection. We need to get past that through "exposure therapy", however, we need to take baby steps. If a situation is going to send you into a downward spiral, then it should probably be avoided for now. Eventually our comfort zone and mental tools will allow us to deal with rejection safely. The world is not a gentle place, we have to be prepared internally to deal with it, it takes time. You will.

I don't think it's really a

I don't think it's really a big deal. Personally I wouldn't go because I believe cuddling or hugging for me is something personal and precious. It's something I would do with someone who has earned my respect and love, and it's a show of these feelings. I don't see the point in cuddling with someone I don't know, I would feel like a hypocrite doing it.

Cuddling Someone you dont Know

I suppose that I see the point of cuddling someone you don't know merely as a personal exercise to overcome personal patterns that may have developed around touching others. Can you hug someone who may be physically attractive to you and be totally content to stay within whatever boundaries have been set and respect the other person/s? And then to be able to get into bed with a partner and feel the total contentment with just your non-sexual physical touch even if they are naked.

Maybe its just like going to a nudist beach. It sounds hugely dangerous and so forth, but I actually find a woman in a slinky g-string bikini far more arousing than the same woman totally naked.

If you are in a monogamous, content relationship with a partner I cant see much point in attending regular cuddling parties. But if you are wanting to change old patterns and thinking maybe they are worth investigating.

Maybe I'm an Omni Cuddler

A few years ago, we started shaking each other's hands in church and saying "Peace" etc. I was one of the ones who said, isn't a polite nod when you meet someone sufficient? I had never hugged a stranger.

Now, for me, life is too short to miss the opportunity to hug. Yes, SL, hugs are precious. I don't hug a stranger the same way I hug my wife or my daughter. They're all different. But it's not just the effect on me. Sometimes the hug is what the other person needs and then there is a special pleasure in being the one to give it. I hugged an old woman after preparing her government forms in a clinic where I was volunteering. She just looked like she needed it. Her smile would have lit up a small city.

Go to the cuddle party with no expectations. Say to yourself, I'm just going to see if I like it. I will take a look and leave in half an hour unless something happens that makes me want to stay. Here's the secret: a lot of the women fear rejection too. They feel just as isolated as you. Sure, one person may be hot and that's OK. You're allowed to cuddle with more than one person, in fact, it's encouraged. People will recognize that we're all in the same boat. If you show that you're open to it by making eye contact (but not staring) and smiling, you will not be rejected. If you make the effort to introduce yourself, you will be rewarded with a cuddle, maybe not every time, but enough to make it worthwhile. If you would like a strategy, start with someone standing at the edge of the party, watching what's going on. Approach her and say, "I'm new here. I don't really know what to do." She will either explain it to you or say that she is new as well. Either way, you will have started the conversation and she will be much more open to accepting a cuddle invitation from you.

P.

Kuschel Parties in Germany

I am of to Munich in July to visit my Karezza partner. On the web there seems to be four groups of people who are holding them over there. So its my intention to test the water during my time.

I find that in my daily life when I deal with people, it feels good to touch without any agenda. Both men and women. It feels nurturing to feel someone touch me briefly as a way of making a deeper connection. And touch is commonly used by guys with women as a lead on to further things.

From the U.S. web site it seems that it there is a program for training and certifying facilitators. So I can imagine that it can take some skill to set the scene up so that the boundaries are respected.

Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts. Its could be a bit of a challenge for me to consider becoming a cuddle swinger. I kind of like the idea that it sets up a scene where people can really get a cuddle without it progressing to sex afterwards. And then there is the situation where it can just be used as a pick up scene with the idea of finding a sex partner.

Marnia thanks for the suggestion of becoming the West Coast cuddle guy. I am really curious about how it is all facilitated. You never know!

Well for the most part I shy

Well for the most part I shy away from touch. A guy trying to touch me in anyway would be even worse. I am not that crazy about shaking hands. I might like touch you never know. I just know right now I still have issues with it. I do hug female family members not even really touch male family members not even hand shakes. I have a lot of issues I know. Touch is just one of them. That is why the pictures of the cuddle party really get to me. I fear it. What if I do like touch ? Then I realize I have wasted so much time with that. Same as not having a relationship. I know it all loops back to that pain what can I say. No matter how you look at it I have wasted so much time and have had so little contact with other people. It hurts just thinking about it. It hurts to not touch it hurts to think about touching it hurts it hurts to actually touch (cause I realize it does make me feel better), It hurts no matter what now.

So there it is. I have an issue with the cuddle party because it hurts. It causes me pain to look at the pics. It causes me pain to think about touching. It causes me pain cause I want to feel what other people feel and I am too afraid to try.

I think that is all the digging I can do.

Cuddles

It could be great if someone could just be with you to get relaxed with hugging and cuddling. Reading your posts makes me realise that for some people there is a huge boundary to get over with physical contact.

I could suggest that if you don't already then you go and have a regular massage with a trained professional therapist. By professional I mean someone who will utterly respect the boundaries needed by a masseuse. It is money well spent and I can assure you that is money well spent rather than what you will have to spend on medical treatment in the future if you do not get regular touch. You could start with just a foot reflexology massage, then perhaps a shoulder massage and graduate to full body later. I enjoy giving people a Thai massage because nobody has to get there clothes off and when I get involved with the gift hat I am am giving to someone sex is not in my thoughts.

I think that in a lot of families there can be a resistance to healthy physical contact. And then physical contact with children with dysfunctional adults can get abused and all sorts of sexual abuse can happen. I see it as a challenge to be able to touch others with no agenda other than the sense of compassion that it can confer. When people can touch in ways that is pure non sexual affection it is immensely healing.

I did get hugs this past

I did get hugs this past weekend. I enjoyed them. I am not sure where the break down in my mind is.

I am not sure how to proceed. It has been recommended to get massage. I would really have to find some like you say. There is no way I could do full body or anything with clothes being removed right now. That would be so uncomfortable I just could not do it.

I will just say it. If it was a female. If I got an erection I would freak out. The embarrassment would be more than I could stand. Same with the cuddle party. I know in the cuddle part website they say well they are normal and it is fine. They say the same about massage. I do not think I could get through that reaction.

So here I am stuck needing touch/contact and fearful of it or more to the point my reaction to it. How @#%# up is that ?

I have posted this before. but it is me very much. Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. yes there is a lot of fear in me. I just loop the pain and keep it fresh. I guess I am as addicted to the pain or maybe more so than the p/m/o.

Thank you
Still working through it. All I can do is keep forcing myself to look at myself and see where the blocks are and try to take them down. I need to do something.

Be Safe
James

Start at the Two Ends

Hi James,

I admire you for your honesty and vulnerability in all this. And I would also urge you to get out into the world and not spend too much time sitting in from of a screen.

I could say that the opposite of fear is love. To wish to move through your personal fears and find the freedom beyond that is to step into the love of yourself. Do you want to live a life restrained by your conditioning from the past and society.

I don't see heroes as being brave men that attack machine guns and get medals to support more men doing the same in the next war. Heroes are men and women who will work through their personal fears so they can live a life unrestrained by the patterns they have inherited to find their true authentic selves. Your heart yearns for love and love only knows freedom for yourself and others. The path to love is through fear and anger and so forth is just an option which you can refrain from.

There is a good book by Susan Jeffers called "Feel the Fear and do it Anyway". I might be a good read for you.

My suggestion is to start at the head or feet and get a massage from someone. I wish you were in my little part of Australia so I could come over to your place and give you the gift of a foot or head massage. It would be my pleasure to serve you in that way. And if you got an erection on the way then we could just laugh at the way the silly little beast puts it head up every time there is the suggestion of a feed.

For heavens sake, don't be safe. You will be stuck in hell for ever.

Graham

Thank you. Working through

Thank you. Working through fear. I am doing at least one part of that with Toastmasters. I was up in front of the group tonight and I froze with the table topics question. My mind just would not work. One part was just stuck and the other was going so fast I just could not get the thoughts out. You know what though. I do not feel bad about it. It has just motivated me to try harder next time. I plan on doing a speech next meeting. So instead of it crushing me like I thought it would I want to get right back up there and try again.

As I said about myself. I go in kicking and screaming and refusing to listen or I seem to not listen. I listen to all suggestions. I still put myself through most of it though.

Even if I do not become a good speaker I am very glad I started Toastmasters. It has allowed me to grow a good bit. I have a long drive. I have to interact with people. I may even make friends well they are sort of friends now but maybe real friends before it is over.

That is one aspect that I am getting control of. I should be ready for school when it starts in a couple months because of Toastmasters.

Now to work on contact and touch with people. I will figure something out. maybe the foot or head to start with will work. Now I will need to find a place to try that.

Still working on myself and ai guess I have a ways to go yet

Thanks
Be Safe
James

Well done

Well done. I salute you for your will to overcome. You are a hero and freedom is around the corner closer than you may think.

Toastmasters is AWESOME

Great idea, starting at Toastmasters. They helped me sooooooooooooooooo much. They are so supportive and kind. It's like everyone is at the front, helping you. They helped me organize and present my thoughts. In fact, I was able to take my second TM speech, reformat it and sell it to a magazine as an article.

P.

Funny thing yesterday I went

Funny thing yesterday I went to visit a couple I know and the husband greeted me with a manly hug, You know a hug with a pat on the back sort of thing and we're not really that well acquainted, but it wasn't awkward at all. It seemed like a natural movement since I could tell it was genuine.

The Cuddle Machine

Dr. Oliver Sax, the neurosurgeon, has documented an autistic woman who hated being hugged by people, but created a hugging machine that would wrap around her in a way that felt comforting.

In the fictional film, Lars and the Real Girl, Lars hates to be touched. It takes a truly empathic doctor/therapist to get him past it.

The aversion to cuddling is real. Only you can decide whether it's a problem or whether it's just something you accept as being part of you. For me, long ago, I never missed them and felt awkward doing them. Now they're a part of my relationships with people and I would definitely miss them. My son balked at hugging when he became a teenager, so I used to make a joke of it and pounce on him from behind. It took a while, but he came over to liking them and it softened the friction that sometimes rears up between us.

P.

Personally,

I think Seeker could write the book on "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!" He never fails to amaze me with his courage.

I was thinking of the "Lars and the Real Girl" movie, too. It's not too enlightening, but at least you could see that your reaction isn't unique. Like most changes, plan to do it gradually.

And, in massage schools they teach the therapists that erections are normal when men relax. They rise and fall naturally, so don't give it a thought. Wink It's only a problem if you ask for extra "services" and you're with a therapeutic therapist. You may get a whack on the butt for that! Smile but in any case, you can start with a chair massage with clothing on.

Funny I was just talking

Funny I was just talking with a friend about Doctor prescribed Loving. This here prescription is good for 4 one hour sessions of human contact with your husband or a certified cuddle coach if he is too busy. Hmm could be useful in my battles for affection. Doctor says you have to cuddle with me or we have to pay the cuddle coach 100 bucks, and oh man you should see the 6'5" cuddle coach in training down at the cuddle cafe : ) I have considered stranger things really.

Osho groups

I found Osho groups to be really good. They are quite cathartic, which is not exactly what people over here are doing, but they are also VERY hug friendly. They have this practice which is called the AUM meditation, which includes around 10 phases. In each phase you focus and concentrate on an emotion. Alternating yin ones, (anger, sadness), with yang ones (love, affection). It is considered to be a "social" meditation. And it feels like a washing machine for the heart.

Because of the type of meditation it really make sense only when enough people (at least 15, I would say, but the more the merrier), come together. Which means that some cities only can afford one of those meditation a month.

But people who have done the AUM together, often bond in real life. And meet ... just for a hug.
Which usually takes some minutes.

And you don't need to be a Sannyasin (osho follower) or even someone that does Osho practices to join them. Although if you really would not do nothing nothing nothing, they might take longer to open up to you.

Thanks

I've had other friends say how wonderful those meditations are too. Glad they're working for you.

Smart work finding some good hugging! Smile