I've been here for 12 months now, and it's been interesting! I've met 15 people in person (mostly professionals), including ...
-- someone who couldn't be better. I am so so grateful for her, to the point of tears a couple of times (just by myself, not in front of her). She makes me feel so cared for and well treated. Half of my cuddles have been with her. She is away right now though, and there are no guarantees she will always be around. I've decided to just be thankful for the time we've had together rather than be sad when she's not here.
-- a non-professional who crossed boundaries and wanted to make things sexual. That was difficult to deal with, but I learned from that experience to always talk about boundaries with people and never assume they are on the same page about the platonic nature of cuddling. (She has left the site).
-- a professional who wore gloves and long sleeves! The message being, "I don't really want to touch you." Pretty odd.
I've also made some friends who are (currently) too far away for cuddles. There are some lovely people on this site. I think cuddling draws in a very interesting group of people.
Another discovery is that not all cuddles / cuddlers are the same. There is a combination of things that really touch me and make a cuddle wonderful:
-- the other person enjoying the cuddle. It's lovely to be able to make them feel nice too, and I enjoy giving as well as receiving. Though when I've mentioned that to some professionals, they have gone into receiving mode and stopped giving, which wasn't exactly what I meant.
-- being genuinely caring, which touches a part of me very deeply. I think I've missed out on that a bit!
-- letting their guard down. There can be a moment when I feel like someone has "let me in" and allowed me to be close to them emotionally, which makes me feel incredibly honoured, since trust is a big deal to me.
-- a certain kind of touch. Sometimes it's nice to just hold someone and be held, but most of the time it's lovely for me to be touched continuously. My sensitive spots are my back, my arms, my neck and my sides. If someone touches me the right way then I get an oxytocin high which feels amazing and can last for days, but it's also possible to "rub me the wrong way" which doesn't feel so good. It's been tricky communicating this though; I can show people but it seems hard for them to imitate (only a few get it).
-- a subtle thing: not holding back. I think sometimes women may be worried about giving the wrong message if they cuddle someone too wholeheartedly. But in the context of platonic cuddling I'll never interpret an enthusiastic cuddle as sexual, just as someone being caring and loving, and I will treasure everything they give (more than I have words to say). And reciprocate with lots of affectionate cuddles too!
-- bonus things: a sense of humour and being playful sometimes; having cool life experiences; admirable things about them such as creativity, being intelligent, having integrity etc.
Finding all of those things in a single person is a lot to ask! Actually I don't expect them, I just take each person as they are. That's just a list of things that I've learned make a difference to cuddles for me.