So, what if you received an email or postcard inviting you to a Cuddle Party? Would you go or even know what it was?
Perhaps, you would think it was some kinky perverted X-rated advertisement that you received by mistake and quickly deposited it in the trash. Not so fast.
The website cuddleparty.com exclaims that Cuddle Party is a Movement! “It’s about compassion, affection and touch. It’s about touch that is not about sex.” Yea, sure!
The website goes on to state that, “One problem with finding comforting touch is that if you believe that touch is about sex, then either you are afraid it might lead to sex or you are afraid that it might not lead to sex.” Hmmm.
Dictionary.com defines cuddling as the act of hugging, embracing or to hold close in an affectionate manner. Sex isn’t mentioned.
Proponents of cuddling claim that humans need touch and affection. That it’s good for your heart, spirit, blood pressure, nervous system and your emotional health.
Interested but not a group kind of person? Next time you’re in Portland, Oregon call Samantha Hess … she’s a professional cuddler and it’s not what you think.
According to a Business News online post at NBC News.com, Hess charges $35 a half hour and $60 an hour to spoon, hug or snuggle and for $300 she’ll spend the night. She claims business is booming and plans to add six more professional huggers to her business in 2014.
Customers have to sign a waiver explaining the ground rules: “The cuddle sessions are NOT to be interpreted as sexual; both parties will remain fully clothed; and cleanliness and adequate hygiene are required by both parties.”
So what if the person being cuddled gets a little too stimulated? “Natural reactions will occur,” says Hess. “We just move positions so that it does not become the focus of the session.”
What’s in it for Hess other than the obvious financial gain? She claims she wants more than just a successful business … she wants to change people’s perspective about touch.
“I do this because I truly believe I can be the person who helps shift the understanding of platonic touch between adults in our culture to a positive one,” she said. “I believe so much in what I’m doing that I will put every ounce of energy I have to ensure I help as many people as possible.”
Perhaps Hess is on to something? Psychology Today states that touch is the first sense we acquire and is the secret weapon in many successful relationships.
In a recent DePauw University research study, skeptical volunteers attempted to communicate eight distinct emotions – anger, fear, disgust, love, gratitude, sympathy, happiness and sadness – to a blindfolded stranger solely through touch. The researchers were surprised to find accuracy rates as high as 78 percent.
A Shape Magazine article says that cuddling releases the feel-good hormone oxytocin, which reduces blood pressure and stress and increases a sense of “overall happiness.”
Check it out yourself. Do a little cuddling tonight.
Cord Prettyman is a certified Master Personal Trainer and owner of Absolute Workout Fitness and Post-Re-hab Studio in Woodland Park. He can be reached at 687-7437 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.