There is much discussion here on the forums about definitions and psychologies and medical benefits of cuddling. But I haven't seen (not recently, anyway) any posts about what can happen the day AFTER a cuddle session. Anyone who has cuddled can describe the various positive feelings during and right after a cuddle... warmth, affection, compassion, euphoria, a sense of belonging... I get a bit cotton-headed and find my mental logician has taken an indefinite lunch break.
But what about the day AFTER?
The time before last that I had a session, I was gliding high for days before "normalcy" hit. This time... I am hit with a sudden and nearly overwhelming sense of isolation, of profound sadness, of a disconnect with the rest of humanity. I've been trying to busy myself to ignore this sensation, but it's perched like a vulture on my shoulders. I knew I needed cuddling, a sense of touch that I've felt deprived of for far too long... but the emptiness now sort of dwarfs the original feeling.
OK, I wasn't expecting THAT. "Snap out of it" doesn't seem to working. I have to believe I'm not the first person to experience this so... now what? UGH.
Peeps have discussed this somewhere else but not what to do with it. I'm curious if there's such a thing as some kind of oxytocin crash and it's as simple as that -- just brain chemicals.
I'm a little bit of a weirdo when it comes to this kind of thing... I don't do the distraction thing. I follow what the poet Hafiz advises: "let your loneliness cut more deeply." I'm a meditator and I basically sit with things like this, put attention into the sensations and allow them to blossom and do what they will.
Either that or more cuddles!
@StoryDoctor1138 I have a couple of clients that are prone to the reaction you describe. I stay in touch w/them post cuddle and it seems to help them from getting too down but not everyone is willing/able to do that. I'm not sure how often you cuddle but maybe start planning your next session will help?
I have to believe I'm not the first person to experience this
I have to believe I'm not the first person to experience this
You're not alone. I have been experiencing this as well. I had two cuddles last year, and I felt just as you described after both of them. The first time was a cuddle party. I wasn't sure if it was because it was public, or that I shared a woman with another guy at the same time, but I certainly didn't feel like I had hoped afterward. So I visited a pro for a private one on one session and still felt the same way.
My current theory is I might be sapio-sensual and can only truly enjoy it if I get to know my partner and have a connection with them beforehand. I'm not getting the full benefits when cuddling with strangers, so I might need to spend some quality time getting to know them first.
There is lots of talk about touch and physical intimacy on this site, but what if to truely enjoy that, one needs emotional intimacy first? Unfortunately, my asexuality makes me undateable to almost everyone. So my current plan is to find someone, most likely a pro that I can have multiple frequent sessions with and see if I can trick my brain into forming a bond with rapport and comfort building. If I can get to know them as a real person, then maybe I will experience that euphoria I have read others describe in their stories.
This sounds very similar to what is called 'sub drop' in the BDSM community. When you cuddle, you can get a sort of endorphin high along with other happy-fuzzy brain chemicals. When those chemicals wear off and reality sets back in, some might experience a feeling of sadness and loneliness. For 'cuddle drop', I'd recommend similar remedies that are recommended for 'sub drop', such as indulging in comfort food, pampering yourself with a long hot bath, treating yourself to a hobby you enjoy, meditating, and/or making plans for your next session to have something to look forward to. Ultimately, you want to take care of yourself and do something that will help bring your endorphins back up. Exercise and being outdoors are great for that, and if you have a pet or others to spend time with, that helps as well!
"My current theory is I might be sapio-sensual and can only truly enjoy it if I get to know my partner and have a connection with them beforehand. I'm not getting the full benefits when cuddling with strangers, so I might need to spend some quality time getting to know them first."......
YES.... this is turning into an issue for me as well. 😔💔
@bekah_cuddles They definitely sound similar. In the BDSM community part of aftercare is checking in the day after knowing it can set in to see how that person is doing and feeling.
A lot of good feeling can def make you crash like a cuddle hangover . It can be overwhelming especially if you have no other outlet to disperse rhe strong feelings you might get . This isn't a popular opinion , but this is why I say cuddling can have the potential of actually causing more harm than good in certain situations, particularly in situations where there is emotional instability with a lack of support system and lack of outlets. Not saying this is OP case , I just giving an example of where it might be harmful
I know it doesn't have anything to do with having a "pre-connection" to someone. I've never known someone in advance except for text chats. I cuddled with three people over the past several months. The first one I felt a sort of bonding occur and had a second session weeks later. The second one I felt an even stronger bond and was floating for days. This last time - the session was fine, but somehow by the end of the day I felt the bottom dropping out. I don't know.
It’s interesting that you said the third snuggle was “fine” (which seems like a less enthusiastic description than the first two) and that was the time you felt the “bottom dropping out”.
I agree with Mr. @pmvines that some cuddle connections are like an amazing rush with a possible “hangover” after and that can be overwhelming to deal with. I think this kind of enjoyable activity can lead to some similar patterns of behavior that accompany addictive substances (for me at least). By that I mean we put a lot of effort/ time/money/energy into the activity and reap the benefits of it (in this case cuddling as opposed to maybe cocaine) but once it’s over we are left searching/planning our next fix. Sometimes that gets us so enamored with the escape that we forget we also have normal life to live. Please don’t misunderstand.... I think the benefits of cuddling and touch etc is something absolutely valuable and harmless unless we are looking for more out of it than just a lovely little temporary distraction. I’ve noticed when I have a “crash” it’s because there was such a “high” and when I come back to reality I’m reminded that there is still a “normal everyday world” that I am a part of. It’s sort of the same when I come back from an amazing vacation, or after a fabulous holiday, even a big birthday extravaganza. The planning, the forethought, the galavanting.... these are all beautiful distractions but they are the exception for me and not the norm.
I can relate to @littermate suggestion.... Maybe lean into the pain a little and get a sense of WHY you’re feeling the “down” (could even be unmet expectations) and then you’ll have a better understanding to help you prepare emotionally for next time. Otherwise.... get ready for the next snuggle!!
Thanks @DonLonG and @bekah_cuddles for your perspective as well... interesting things to ponder at 5am. 😂😂😂
We all have varying abilities when it come to compartmentalization. I concur with @sillysassy on knowing cuddling is a temporary port in the storm of life. I'm grateful for the opportunites I have to cuddle and look forward to my next session embracing that expectation that there will be a let down of sorts to follow. I thank my lucky stars that I'm in a space where I manage both good and bad feelings as temporary, knowing both will pass -- depression is real.
I’m not sure if other pros do this but I let folks keep in touch with me after sessions for this reason. Sometimes I reach out to them to check in and say hi even with my limited time to chat, just so keep them in the loop and hopefully remembering of those good feelings without feeling sad that the high isn’t around forever. The sadness from returning to “normalcy” is understandable but the nice part is knowing that you’re a cuddle away from feeling better again if you really need it! Some folks don’t even know about this.