@happybear is a male non-professional in New York.
What brought you here to Cuddle Comfort?
I found out about this by seeing an article in a magazine about a cuddle party in NYC. I thought that it sounded interesting, and in researching events the search showed Cuddle Comfort and several other sites. The others had only pros and I thought this one was the best fit for me.
I read everything on the site, the rules / forums from the start or at least what interested me, and found a local pro that had the most Karma and who had been on here the longest and gave it a shot. That first experience showed me that touch and cuddling comfort was missing in my life and how much it meant to me. It was an unbelievable experience.
Why is cuddling important in your life?
It is a place where I can go to clear my mind, focus on relaxing, connect to others, share space, be validated and validate another’s comforting needs too. Where there is no other expectation, no baggage, no history, where there’s deep communication. Where time goes by fast, you meet people and hear others’ perspectives that would have never crossed paths by any other means and share time in their arms for that moment.
What have you learned through cuddling?
I have learned so much from being on this site: about my love language by following a link to www.5lovelanguages.com and my personality type from www.humanmetrics.com. I learned a lot about myself. The introspection of what makes me tick, what’s important to me, what and how I was programmed, how to change, experience new things and expand, grow and learn. I learned that no one will advocate for your needs more than you advocating for them. To hyper-focus in someone’s arms, it’s relaxing almost meditative, relaxing to the point of hearing your heartbeat and breathing in a relaxing way and hearing your cuddle partner breathe and sigh.
You have sometimes talked about self care. Tell us your thoughts about that.
As Care Givers, Fixers, Nurturers, Cuddlers where energy is exchanged, it’s so important to find balance in your life that you have things in place that allow you to recharge. Whether it be a hobby, a massage, a day out in the sun, spa time, ME TIME or whatever it is, CUDDLING too - so you get to recharge, relax, heal. The same goes for work / play balance. There will always be stressors that take from your time and draw you in negatively. You need to balance that out, not get sucked in - DISENGAGE.
It starts by eating better, sleeping, a routine, monitoring caffeine and sugar intake, support systems. Health is not just physical, it’s mental, emotional and spiritual also.
Do you have any thoughts on the cuddling community?
I find the cuddling community to be amazing. The depth and openness of everyone here to share their thoughts, feelings, communicate their needs and wants, advocating for themselves for connection and touch is amazing. It governs itself, the machine adapts to keep people safe, and modifies its programing to streamline tasks and operations. When like minded individuals join a cause or hobby and show passion, care, compassion, it extends far past this site; it makes the world a smaller place.
Lots of thing make me happy in this world - this site makes me a happybear.
What kinds of things do you look for in a professional?
I try to pick professionals who show they are compassionate, affectionate and want to be held as much a being there for the one they are cuddling. I try to get a jist of their personality through their writing in their profile, pictures, and when ready from a phone call - it’s part of my vetting process, it’s required. I found to hear a voice, its inflections gives me the best verification as to how the session will go. The dialogue needed is so important in a cuddle session to me. Spending time with someone you know minimally, I rely on their ability to communicate with me and viceversa.
I like a pro that can lead or follow and be comfortable with either. I like an active cuddler whose hands are constantly touching as much as mine - it gives me the feeling I’m with a cuddling partner, and we are in it together for that period of time. I like one who gives as much as receives, and spending time together is relaxing for them too. I tend to be more of a giver and like to massage backs while arms are wrapped around one another, legs intertwined, and run my hands through their hair. It’s very relaxing for me to see someone relaxing too.
What do you like to do in a cuddle session?
I like to talk for a few minutes and start with a few sitting cuddle positions (my favorite sitting cuddle position is mama bear-papa bear). It’s a good ice breaker for each to get comfortable in one’s space, one’s arms, and to touch. After a bit, transition to laying down cuddle positions - the tangle and the side tangle are my favorites - and jump through several others, each position giving opportunities to hyper-focus on breathing, relaxing, feeling, being encompassed in someone’s arms and space.
We also take some breaks, drink water, go to the bathroom. I bring something sweet or food sometimes, or order in. Ideally it should be fun and playful. I’ve brushed people’s hair, read to them, played card games (mentally stimulating me is a great one), just held a hand for a long time because that’s what the person needed. I’ve talked about life, dreams, hope, future, likes, art, passions; cried and napped with several too.
An ideal cuddle session for me is: both of us being present, being in positive mindsets, looking for cuddle comfort, to enjoy 2-10 hours together - the more time the better lol, to make it a spa day / hugfest. Communicating about anything and everything. Sharing some food or eating something sweet makes it more complete. Watching a movie with some popcorn is great too.
@Sashamcgee is a female professional in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. "Sasha is my real first name and I went through a phase where everyone was _____ Mcgee, so it just became my go to username."
You love travelling and new experiences. Could you tell us some memorable ones?
I really have had so many memorable trips. I went to Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Liechtenstein when I was a junior in high school and they are such beautiful countries and I saw such amazing things. I doubt I will ever forget that trip.
One of the most memorable ones was when I crossed into Canada by myself for a day trip. I ended up going to a French quarter ... I don't speak French. The real problem came when I was getting ready to leave and realized I have no international plan, meaning I had no way of using GPS to get home! I ended up figuring out how to get some free wifi in French lol and it mapped my course for me! Silly me ... I still don't plan ahead. ?
It sounds like you have always been a cuddler. Was there a point where you started cuddling people outside your family?
Hmm I think in high school. I was in the marching band and we were all really close and would ride the bus to and from games and I'd be cuddled on my friends shoulders or laps lol.
You have said that people here are looking for affection and unconditional love. Can you say some more about that?
I think we are all looking for affection and unconditional love, even if we aren't cognizant of it or if we couldn't verbalize it. That feeling of security knowing someone will love you even if/when you screw up.
How long have you been a professional?
It has been a little over a year now. Although I did take a break for a little. I have found it gives me a tad of anxiety but overall it's been really great at helping me overcome some of my shyness and fear of rejection which has been amazing.
Do you find that clients know what to ask for, or do you tend to suggest things?
I have a lot of first time cuddlers who have no idea what they want or how to ask for it. I typically ask them to give me their expectations so that I have an idea what they are looking for. If they don't know then I give them ideas. And a lot of them ask me to just lead the time. Typically people just react in the moment once we have begun cuddling and it's just a natural exchange of breathes and caresses.
If you were the client, what kinds of things would you ask for?
Head pets all the way! That's one of my very favorite things in the whole world. Maybe some palm tickles because I love those too. ?
What kinds of skills would you want to pass on to a new professional cuddler?
I honestly wouldn't know where to begin. I feel like what makes people successful in this are the soft skills, natural things you can't teach very easily.
@Bles is a non-professional woman in Taneytown, Maryland. I'm on a journey to count my blessings everyday. The word 'Bles' felt like it aptly captured that spirit and mindset that I'm currently in.
Tell us a bit about Bles.
I am a former school teacher who is passionate about mental health and cardiovascular disease, loves to read and learn new things. I'm especially interested in learning how to use breathing to manage anxiety and low moods.
I like practicing yoga, listening to music (all types), playing board games (especially Monopoly and Scrabble), walking outdoors and volunteering in the community. No pets right now. I hope to reconnect with a cat soon; I love cats and dogs as pets.
Were you always a cuddler, or is it a more recent thing in your life?
Cuddling is a recent passion for me. I dabbled as a hugger and snuggler. I didn't know it as "cuddling". My interest in it grew during periods of celibacy and aloneness as a way to live and grow.
What do you value most about cuddling?
I mostly value the physical intimacy and social and emotional connection that one gets from touching and communicating with another person.
How do you most like to cuddle and be cuddled?
I mostly love to cuddle chest to chest, face to face with feet entwined and both our hands getting busy all over the back, arms and thighs and head. I'm all about active lively cuddling.
When I cuddle I like to talk about topics that keep the energy flowing. So it's usually about favorite foods, places to go, favorite activities to do, sharing funny stories about mishaps or some weird experience or just everyday slips and bloopers that we remember and share a good laugh about. Anything that keeps us blissfully focussed on the act of cuddling.
How has your experience been here on Cuddle Comfort so far?
So far I've had mixed cuddle experiences. Mostly positive. I'm still learning and growing. From the community it's been the same. Mostly authentic feedback from the forums. The folks on this site are poignantly blunt in their comments. I like it. I may not agree but I like it. I am often amused.
What are some experiences that weren't so positive?
A negative cuddling experience for me is where someone continues to touch me in a way I already clearly stated I do not wish to be touched. Or just is generally very passively involved in the experience even after we discuss what our expectations are. I've had someone continue to writhe his body against mine despite being repeatedly told not to do so. I respectfully ended the cuddle session at that point.
Another person just wanted total silence all the the time and no talking. So I honored honored her request and kept a running documentary in my head about a day I had at a river bed as a child with my dog, Brimmer to deal with the boredom.
You once mentioned "learning from the cuddle experience". What kinds of things does that include?
I've learnt that I need to be more consistent and clear in communicating with others, how to receive touch, give and receive verbal feedback and to mindfully enjoy as opposed to just tolerating.
I don't always communicate using language that others understand. So I am learning new sets of words to describe specifically what I want and how I feel about being touched in a particular way. I'm learning about touch words in terms of degree; for instance, soft, gentle rub or massage. Or hard steady rub. Or a loose or tight hug.
And in terms of setting boundaries and expectations, just using specific words that describes what I need or want from someone. For instance saying I need you to hold me here (a specific place or way) and demonstrating. Or that I prefer you to text me only if you're checking in to see if I'm okay. Just being specific in using words as well as being open with the other person.
Also to be comfortable with silence in between cuddle conversations and messaging or texting conversations. Initially when someone is getting to know you you both tend to communicate more often. As time goes on the frequency wants and tapers off, often quite suddenly. And it's something one has to adapt to. I've learnt to take it as it comes without completely tuning out the person to the point of losing interest. So I'm learning how to balance.
Perception is best left in in the eyes of the beholder. When it's put on camera it becomes real. And that vision that becomes reality stays. Fortunately or unfortunately. Sometimes the projection does a terrible job of presenting a reality. Just one of those things. This is probably the worst interview I could possibly give anyone. I have probably given the worst projection of myself any human being could possibly give him or herself. It's another lesson, another teacher, another guide on this journey called life.