Frequently Asked Questions
Learn How it Works
What is a Cuddle Party?
Cuddle Party is a new kind of workshop/social event, that creates a safe place to give and receive touch in a fun and affectionate setting.
Cuddle Party lets you:
* Learn clear and easy communication skills
* Set limits simply and straightforwardly
* Give and receive enjoyable touch in a safe setting, where your boundaries are respected.
You can come to a Cuddle Party to meet new people, to enjoy amazing conversations, to touch, to be touched, to have fun, to practice asking for what you want, to practice saying “no” to what you don’t want — all in a setting structured to be a safe place for exploration and enjoyment.
Shucks, you can even come to a Cuddle Party just to cuddle!
Cuddle Party is a platonic event! It’s not a hook-up or dating scene. It’s common to make new friends, and occasionally people have met dating partners, but mostly it’s about friendship and learning nurturing touch.
Many Cuddle Parties have an approximate balance of genders. Sometimes we host parties for particular groups, like women only, or seniors, or singles. We ask for a donation or charge a modest fee to cover expenses. Adults only (18 and up).
The ability to negotiate conscious consent is a fundamental value at Cuddle Party. We ask that you refrain from alcohol and all other mind-altering substances before attending a Cuddle Party. You don’t have to come to our party – we can come to yours! We can run a private Cuddle Party for your birthday, fund-raiser, or social group.
What happens at a Cuddle Party?
First, everyone arrives on time and changes into pajamas or other comfy clothes.
Next, a trained facilitator gently leads you and the other guests through a Welcome Circle and orientation, where you’ll learn to make easy, respectful requests and communicate clear boundaries, and where we’ll go over the simple rules.
Everyone agrees to the Cuddle Party Rules, which include:
* Pajamas stay on the whole time.
* Ask for what you want and get a verbal “yes” before proceeding.
* You don’t have to cuddle anyone you don’t want to, or anyone at all, ever.
* You are free to leave at any time.
Then, you’ll have a couple of hours for free-style cuddle time – to relax, chat, cuddle, have a snack, or just hang out.
Typically, people enjoy foot-rubs, back rubs, spooning, nuzzling, and just generally snuggling up together. Some people like to settle in for a period of time, others like to try shorter times with a variety of people. Usually 3 or 4 or more will end up in something of a ‘puppy pile’.
At the end, we close with a short closing circle.
WHO FACILITATES CUDDLE PARTIES?
Cuddle Parties are facilitated by local people who have gone through our training and certification process.
Of course, anyone can invite their friends over to cuddle (we wish more people did), and our Certified Facilitators are trained to teach the participants to make respectful invitations and communicate clear boundaries.
Simply put, our Certified Facilitators help a room full of grown-ups in pajamas feel safe and comfortable while learning new skills and enjoying themselves!
Who comes to Cuddle Parties?
Singles – We often have more singles than couples. Singles really appreciate the opportunity to enjoy some simple physical contact without, as one participant said, “getting into a situation”.
Couples – Couples often find that the short boundary and communication workshop we start each event with actually helps them at home, too.
All Genders – We have people of all genders attending! Any gender can enjoy connecting with, learning with, and experimenting with people of any other gender.
Women – Women are sometimes afraid they will be expected to be close to someone they don’t want to be. But they always discover that we really mean it when we lead the guests through practice in stating our choices and boundaries (including saying no). Very often, women find the nurturing (with both men and women) to be just what they wanted, but didn’t know was possible, until now.
If you’re feeling skeptical about cuddling with men you don’t know, please check out this article – Women Skeptics
Men – There is a social idea that men only want sex. It’s not true. Men are just as appreciative of opportunities for platonic cuddling as anyone else. Men are sometimes afraid no one will want to cuddle them. But it hasn’t happened yet! You might like this article – Real Men Do Cuddle.
Young and Old – We have a wonderful age range at our events, often 20’s to 70’s, and we always hear people appreciating each other.
Beginners – Sometimes people are afraid they won’t know ‘how’ to cuddle, or will feel awkward. That’s why we help you get started and guide you through some ideas and examples. And by the end of the evening, you’d never know anyone felt awkward a couple of short hours ago!
Varsity Cuddlers – These folks dive right to the middle of the puppy pile, are comfortable and relaxed from the start. Their comfort is usually contagious.
What are the rules?
Why do I have to be on time?
The Welcome Circle orientation establishes our communication and boundary skills for the evening. This creates clarity and safety that lets everyone relax and know they are on the same page.
If you arrive after we begin, sorry, we will not be able to let you in.
What should I wear?
Bring comfy pajamas to change into (of course, you are welcome to wear your pajamas on the way over, if you don’t mind funny
looks on the bus). Sweats are fine, but no short shorts or tank tops, please. Think less lace, more flannel. No lingerie.
Please avoid perfumes and scented products like hairsprays, if possible. This makes it easier to cuddle you!
You’re welcome to bring a pillow or teddy bear, too, if you like.
Why would I want to cuddle with a bunch of strangers?
Some people are already comfortable with touch and can’t wait to be in a place where that’s OK. Others aren’t even sure they want any touch at all, but come to explore some communication skills. Many are somewhere in between. Others are just curious about what it might be like.
Many of our First Time Cuddlers don’t want to cuddle with strangers at all, but during the Welcome Circle find out that others have shown up for similar reasons. Once we’ve taken the first step in getting to know one another, it’s surprisingly easy to want to reach out and rub someone’s shoulders, or ask for a hug.
Whatever your reasons, a Cuddle Party is a great playground for discovering more about yourself, for exploring new ways of connecting with others, or simply enjoying a relaxing, cozy evening with other cuddly souls.
Why would anyone need to learn how to cuddle?
We have found, at the hundreds of parties we have facilitated, that it is not the cuddling that most people come to learn. It is the boundaries and communication skills that are most appreciated by our guests. Once boundaries, choice and communication become easier, the cuddling happens quite naturally.
It is always a joy to see a group of relative strangers, some of whom feel a little awkward at the beginning, relax and enjoy themselves together, and by the end of the evening feel quite cozy and satisfied.
What if no one wants to cuddle with me?
Everyone, including you, has a choice about who and how to share touch. That means that there may be people who say ‘No’ to your invitation. At Cuddle Party we celebrate no by recognizing the person is taking care of themselves.
If you have this concern you are not alone (that’s why it is in the FAQ). We encourage you to ask your certified Facilitator for some help and support.
How can I be assured that everyone will respect my choices?
Our Certified Cuddle Party Facilitators are trained to use the Welcome Circle orientation to establish the boundary agreements and teach communication skills for the evening. We go through the Rules of Cuddling and a few exercises for practicing the skills of asking, communicating and respecting other’s choices.
Even so, it is possible that someone at the event may goof. We are all humans! This is where you get to use the communications tools you have just learned.
And of course, please ask the Facilitator for help with anything, at any time.
Are the events gender-balanced?
Each of our Certified Facilitators arranges their own events and makes their own choices about gender balancing. Some do and some don’t, and individual events can vary as well. Please see the details for each event and contact that facilitator if you have questions.
Cuddle Parties are not about sex and not about coupling up, and therefore gender is of very little consequence. Many people who think they need a balance, are quite surprised at how little difference it makes.
However, we realize that it’s a question that comes up. It’s understandable and deserves some thought.
And what if I get turned on?
It happens sometimes. It’s perfectly normal when we are close to people, especially if we don’t have much chance to enjoy touch that is not about sex.
Our agreement is to not act on it. It goes away, really it does.
What about sex? Isn’t cuddling about sex?
Our society is a little confused (or a lot!) about the nature of touch and sex.
All touch, and all cuddling, is not about sex. Sadly, in a society in which they get lumped together, most people have very little opportunity for touch or cuddling that isn’t part of sex. We believe this is a great loss.
Human beings of all ages need touch and affection. We never outgrow it. As we re-discover non-sexual touch and affection, find a spacious and generous opportunity to enjoy and explore kindness and human affection with others. And we have more fun.
Cuddle Party is specifically designed to leave the sexual kinds of touch off the menu, so that the more inclusive, non-sexual kinds of touch have a chance to be found and enjoyed.
Many people find this quite natural. For others, it’s a new experience or even challenging. Many people are surprised to find such a rich, comforting, playful and fun experience.
Is this a singles event?
Do I have to Cuddle with everyone? What if I just want to cuddle with certain people?
You absolutely do not have to cuddle with anyone you don’t want to, ever. And it’s fine to choose and invite only those people that interest you or you feel safe with.
It is helpful though, to remember that it’s not a dating scene. Most people are surprised at how comfortable they are with most everybody, once the Welcome Circle has clarified the Rules and set the tone.
Why should I have to pay for cuddling?
You don’t! No one could possibly charge for cuddling. You are welcome to invite friends and family to cuddle any time at all!
What is unique about a Cuddle Party is that because it is a facilitated experience, most people feel safe enough to attend with people they don’t know. And they are right. Our Certified Facilitators create safety by leading the Welcome Circle, which teaches communication and boundary skills and helps everyone get comfortable, and by remaining available for any concerns that may arise. Without an event they can trust, most people are not likely to go to a stranger’s house for a cuddle.
It can help to recall that when you visit a nightclub, you don’t pay to dance. You pay for the space, atmosphere, band and janitor, and in case you need it, the bouncer. The dancing is up to you.
Besides the cost of training and certification, the responsibilities of facilitating Cuddle Parties includes the creation and maintaining of websites, newsletters and other forms of promotion, and answering questions via phone and email.
The facilitator/host prepares the space, buys and prepares snacks, leads the guests through the mini-workshop, meets any concerns or problems that arise, and cleans up after the event. All in all, the work of hosting an average Cuddle Party takes about as long as the party itself.
Because of all this, we believe it is fair for our Certified Facilitators to be paid for their time and responsibilities.
So, how much does it cost?
How can I attend one?
First, read the rules.
Next, see the listing of Cuddle Parties here on the site and contact the Facilitator however the listing says.
Arrive a little early. The Welcome Circle orientation is where we establish our communication and boundary skills for the evening.
If you arrive after we begin, sorry, we will not be able to let you in.
Why can’t I bring my kids?
Cuddle Parties are for adults to relax. 18 and up, for legal and safety reasons.
We do, however, have a few Certified Facilitators who are pioneering Family CP’s, where a limited number of children are allowed with their parents. Not all Facilitators have the option to try this. If this interests you, contact us at Cuddle Party HQ.
How can I host a Cuddle Party at my home?
How can I become a Certified Cuddle Party Facilitator?
First you must complete an online course called Foundations of Facilitation. This is for people wanting facilitation skills for any small group event.
Then those wishing to certify for Cuddle Parties enter Certification Training, which includes:
- Participation in at least 8 group video calls
- A detailed bullet point analysis of the welcome circle
- Read through the entire Welcome Circle with a trainer or other person
- Training in CPR and basic first aid
- Produce a minimum of 3 successful review Cuddle Parties
- Discuss preparation and planning in a group video call before and after each review party
- Background check
For details, see – Foundations of Facilitation
What is the Foundations of Facilitation live training?
Cuddle Party offers a live 3 ½ day training periodically as interest and facilitators are available. We start with a Cuddle Party and then spend 3 days deconstructing what makes that work. This is advanced work in which we “pull back the curtain” to examine and practice the tools of effective facilitation.
Let us know if you are interested in attending or hosting.
Are Cuddle Parties therapy?
Cuddle Parties are not therapy. But they can be healing, comforting, restorative, rejuvenating, inspiring, insight-producing, and challenging of your preconceived ideas. And they are almost always playful and fun.
Many people have found a deep support and growth in self-awareness and relationship skills. Others are fine with where they are, and come just for the fun of it.
They are intended for people who are basically well. People who need professional help respecting boundaries – their own or others’ – should consult trained health care professionals.