If you’ve spent a lot of time alone in the last few years for, you know, obvious reasons, you might benefit from a “cuddle party.” And no, it’s not a sex thing — it’s literally a group of people cuddling together.
This Saturday, Jan. 28, local facilitator Sarah Belzile will host a cuddle party at Clifton Unitarian Universalist Church (2231 Payne St.) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants are encouraged to wear pajamas and bring blankets and pillows. Tickets are $45 at this link.
The workshop will begin with an hourlong “Welcome Circle” in which participants will introduce themselves, learn the rules of the event and practice them with a few games.
Then the group will transition into “‘free-style’ cuddling” where guests will “have plenty of time to relax, chat, share a back rub or other welcome touch, cuddle, have a snack or just hang out,” according to the event description.
After the party, the participants will go to lunch at a nearby restaurant.
The event website has an FAQ with answers to questions like “What if I get aroused?” (“We’re all human. Arousal happens. It is not the focus of this event, so we simply change gears or adjust activities if arousal happens. Or, you may choose to continue to cuddle even while aroused, while also honoring the boundaries and agreements of the community.”) and “What if I get turned down to cuddle?” (“Getting turned down is built into the curriculum of the experience, in a playful, supportive way. You will be turned down. We will all be turned down. Hearing ‘No’ can be just as important as saying ‘No’. Learning to deal with your feelings around this is an important piece of self-work. We are here to support you in this.”)
As Belzile wrote on the website: “We humans need touch and affection. It’s no longer a question. Nurturing, welcome consensual touch is good for you! Good for your body, heart and spirit!”
“Infants who are deprived of touch fail to thrive,” she added. “We never outgrow the need!”