?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

cuddle parties

Well... remember my friends in New York? Who give really really relaxing massages which totally made my spring break? While I was there they were simultaneously working on a new idea of theirs, a "cuddle party" which was kind of a spinoff of the massage parties they were having. A little more PG rated rather than R, specifically focused on getting people to be physically affectionate in a non-sexual way. At the time, it was little more than an "invite a bunch of friends over" kind of experiment. They said "this could be big" and I didn't hesitate to agree, but sweet jesus... it is now literally sweeping the nation (and to some extent, world)!

I finally got a chance to talk to my close friend Marcia last night, who has been telling me for months "I'm too busy to talk right now" which was kind of a switch, and made me feel less bad about all the times earlier this year that I'd had to say the same. But now I found out exactly why. Apparently, cuddle parties are so huge now that a clip of her and REiD was played on Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect, they were mentioned on David Letterman, and featured in Newsweek last month and in GQ this month!! They've recently been interviewed by FOX news as well as some other tv shows, and needless to say, the hit count on their website

http://cuddleparty.com


has gone through the roof. (I promised several months ago I'd mention it in my lj to help with exposure--ironically, I was bad about it and waited so long that it hardly needs any plugging now!) I knew it had been steadily growing for the past 6 months or so, but had no idea until last night the incredible heights it's reached. Totally insane... But really really cool. Congratulations, Marcia! Talk about an idea waiting to happen :) Funny thing is, she's talked about how wonderful platonic physical affection is as long as I've known her. It's just always come natural to her; but what once was a quirky personality trait has turned into a revolution. Here's a small but representative sampling of some of the (english) press it's received:

http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/211251p-181992c.html
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,128567,00.html
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5781993/site/newsweek/
http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/Northeast/08/09/cuddling.parties.2.reut/
http://www.onmilwaukee.com/buzz/articles/cuddleparty.html
http://www.oaklandtribune.com/Stories/0,1413,82~1804~2382251,00.html
http://www.fitnezz.net/article_read.asp?id=245
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1270626,00.html
http://www.azcentral.com/ent/pop/articles/0513cuddleparty13-CR.html
http://healing.about.com/b/a/104298.htm
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1169633/posts
http://www.nerve.com/dispatches/stoddard/toocloseforcomfort/

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
mathslut
Sep. 9th, 2004 09:27 am (UTC)
I first found the Cuddle Party page about a month ago, and totally talked it up to everyone I know as the coolest idea ever. That is crazy that you're friends with them and cuddled with them long before it was the rage of the town! I want to have a cuddle party.
spoonless
Sep. 9th, 2004 10:13 am (UTC)
Did you notice their official organization name is "Atlas Spooned"? Best company name ever ;)
lars_larsen
Sep. 9th, 2004 09:54 am (UTC)
Them city folk sure are weird :) Aren't they afraid of being pick-pocketed?
geheimnisnacht
Sep. 12th, 2004 03:18 pm (UTC)
That's probably their angle with this thing. The host invites a bunch of people over, and gets them all comfortable. Known only to the host, among these people is one of those street magician/pickpockets (the guys that can nab your watch with one hand while snagging your wallet with the other). As the "cuddle party" progresses, the filcher worms his way through the mound of people amassing a hoard of jewelry and chronometers, which he stores in his codpiece. When he's finished he heads to the bathroom, leaves 10% in the medicine cabinet, and exits through a window.
gustavolacerda
Sep. 12th, 2004 07:51 am (UTC)
Great link. I like their philosophy.
sapience
Sep. 20th, 2004 02:02 pm (UTC)
i c u. :) i added you to my friends list last night and put you in all the right filters today. i haven't hooked my camera up to my computer yet, but i'll get the pics to you when i do.

spoonless.net is broken. :( tease!

cuddle parties are quite prevalent in the poly communities i've interacted with, although they aren't necessarily called that. i've tried getting my non-poly friends to be more open to it, but it seems difficult for many of them to be able to accept physical affection as something that doesn't have to lead up to anything sexual. cultural conditioning causes them to associate intimacy with sexual relationships, so even if it isn't sexual, it stirs up relationship-type feelings that they can't handle.

with people i think are nifty, i'm a total cuddle slut. but outside of people that i already know to be into it, i have trouble even suggesting it after a few major misunderstandings i had a little while back when i was really trying to spread the cuddly goodness around, and thought i was being explicit about what meant what, but had a few people take the affection wrong and cause major drama. and i prefer my life to be a drama-free zone.

but anyway, massages and cuddles are simply marvelous. i even like mine with a bit of sexual tension, as long as all parties know in advance whether or not (and how far) the tension is to be acted upon. nothing like some yummy teasing to add that extra edge to things.

enough for now. will have to further check out your writings in the near future.

and great to have met you, fun boy. looking forward to future interactions.
spoonless
Sep. 20th, 2004 06:45 pm (UTC)

spoonless.net is broken. :( tease!

Well, there's nothing much on it anyway, aside from a front page; but it's down cuz I just moved into a new place this weekend (half before / half after the fog-burning party) and it's hosted from my personal computer. My internet won't be back on for a week or so. Using school computing resources for now.

cuddle parties are quite prevalent in the poly communities i've interacted with, although they aren't necessarily called that. i've tried getting my non-poly friends to be more open to it,

Yeah, my NY friends are mostly poly too. And yes, used to having private parties with a bit more sexual tension. But the fact that they managed to capture some of the goodness there and distill it for the masses and gain such widespread acceptence and appreciation is quite an accomplishment! Even if most people can't deal with the intricacies of open relationships, there's something important in the non-sexual aspect of cuddling that they can (and should) be benefitting from.

(Btw: I am in a monogamous relationship currently so I cannot claim to be poly. But I like the idea in the abstract, as long as all parties are amenable to it. Seems to work well enough for various people I know.)

enough for now. will have to further check out your writings in the near future.
and great to have met you, fun boy. looking forward to future interactions.

sure... enjoyed meeting you too. cya round the net.
sapience
Sep. 20th, 2004 07:38 pm (UTC)
it's hosted from my personal computer.

duh on me. of course it is. sorry, i just wasn't thinking.


the fact that they managed to capture some of the goodness there and distill it for the masses and gain such widespread acceptence and appreciation is quite an accomplishment!

oh, i completely agree. i wish i'd had as much success. as an introvert with an introverted partner, i'm not the type to host events, though, so that may be a big factor in why i couldn't do more.


Even if most people can't deal with the intricacies of open relationships, there's something important in the non-sexual aspect of cuddling that they can (and should) be benefitting from.

yes, i completely agree. i have no desire to convert anyone to being poly. even if i *wanted* someone to be poly (which definitely occurs--there is one very strong example of that in my life right now), it's not something i would ever even dream of pushing on them. and even if it *is* something they're interested in, if they don't make that decision for themselves in their own time, it's just going to cause trouble anyway.

i wonder if me being poly actually makes mono people less likely to want to cuddle with me. on an instinctual level, that baffles me, because although i am an extremely sexual person, i am not at all casual about it--i would never step over the platonic boundary unless it was something explicitly agreed to by everyone (me, them, and anyone either of us is involved with). but i also realize that most poly people are not that way, and so people are probably making assumptions based upon most people they know rather than taking my personal version of polyamory into consideration. and my high degree of sexualization may also be confusing. it's good in that people are always thanking me for helping them open up to more sexual possibilities and to be more accepting of their bodies and their sexualities, but it's bad in that i think it may make those same people feel a bit intimidated by me, and so a bit standoffish physically.

also, the hesitance may be out of fear that someone (me, them, their lovers, whoever) will misunderstand what's actually happening. or possibly because i have mutual sexual tension with almost all of my close friends, and they're afraid of something happening (despite what i mentioned in the above paragraph). i think the cuddle parties are brilliant in that they have set rules to prevent that from happening, so it sets up a space people can trust to be safe.

although one place that the rules get thrown out the window is dance clubs. in a dark club with thumping music, people who would be too frightened to put their head in my lap and let me stroke their hair will get all sorts of down and dirty and rubby and such with me to a sexy song. but then, maybe that's the alcohol. i'm not much of a drinker, so i often forget the part that that can play in things.

but poly or not, i definitely believe in the importance of touch. i am naturally a very tactile, affectionate person, and i can see the positive effects of touch on the children, animals, and open-to-cuddling adults that i know. it builds a sense of love, safety, closeness, relaxation, acceptance, and bliss that i consider to be vital (and blatantly lacking in mainstream american culture).

I am in a monogamous relationship currently so I cannot claim to be poly. But I like the idea in the abstract, as long as all parties are amenable to it.

i really appreciate it when non-poly people are accepting of those who are poly. yay for open-mindedness!


heh. welcome to the world of my overlong comments. once my mental gears get going on a subject, my fingers just fly. :D
sapience
Sep. 22nd, 2004 04:21 pm (UTC)
okay, i got all the pix posted for you. you have to be logged in to lj to see them, though. i made a separate friends group only visible to you, so i can post them to my lj pics page and only you and i can see them, to protect your privacy. save them and then do with them as you wish:

http://pics.livejournal.com/sapience/gallery/0000htfy
spoonless
Sep. 23rd, 2004 07:31 pm (UTC)
yay for pics!

I just got a chance to check my lj today, it was our first day of school today so kinda busy.

I'll add at least one of them to my icons, there's a couple I like. Thanks!

As for the lighting, hmm... that's kind of strange. I did adjust most of them myself to be what I thought was optimal lighting, but I think it depends a lot on what monitor you view them on. They look fine on my home and work machines, but I definitely remember seeing them look a lot darker on certain friends' computers. Could be a Windows/Linux thing too... I don't have any Windows boxes to test it on. Some of the lightened up icons you made out of them look too bright to me, like they have false white lighting or something. But the ghettofab looks natural, and a lot clearer. I must not have messed with that image when I cropped it. I should probably go find a friends' computer somewhere and do a full comparison though. Thanks for bringing this problem to my attention, it may be too dark for most people and I just never realized it.

This weekend sometime, I'll play with it and figure out which to add. Gotta run. Thx again!
sapience
Sep. 23rd, 2004 07:54 pm (UTC)
Ah, I hadn't considered the Linux/Windows angle. Well, use whichever ones you want, and then keep or delete the others, as you wish. I don't consider it time wasted, because I really needed some heavy distraction my first couple of days back, and I had fun messing with them. Photoshop is soooo addicting. :D
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

blueshirt
spoonless
domino plural

Latest Month

May 2017
S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lizzy Enger