Just some stuff that was sent to me by a cuddle buddy. Sharing some love through a hug 🤗
Free Online Book:
I've heard that "20 second" rule before, and it seems to be what makes the difference between a (short) hug and a (long) cuddle.
My experience is that most hugs are too short to be useful ; like pulling into a drive-thru restaurant, ordering and paying for the food, then driving away before it's handed over. ☹️
I so agree. Everyone has their preferences but I also like caresses, strong eye contact, massages, body pressure, but then I like to be close.
This may be weird but I do like to feel the full weight of my buddy and full body squeezes. It’s purging some how. I like to do what I like to others. With each squeeze my partner exhales and relaxes more and more.
All consensual of course.
The weirdest thing I ever had done to me was when initially meeting for a cuddle a gentleman asked to hold each other while talking when we were standing.
It was physically jarring and uncomfortable but quickly I psychologically and physically got use to his presence and touch. It was a physical icebreaker. Afterwards I decided I like it and sometimes use that technique myself.
Holding someone while standing, while music is playing, is a "smooch". Most of my teenage cuddles were like that.
Cuddle sutra is a good manual for exploring different types of cuddles and cuddle positions. There are some health benefits for people who are healthy enough to receive it.
I use the word 'healthy' in a very specific sense. Healthy here means being aware of oneself and needs. Cuddling as an intimate activity involves lots of sensations that often stir or call up unconscious or deeply held memories and feelings for many people. The intensity varies depends on where and how a person is touched. Those memories and feelings can trigger different kinds of reactions and behaviors in different people. Some passive, aggressive, passive aggressive, avoidant and so on. It can be very confusing and overwhelming at times if you don't take the time and effort to process and understand it.
That's why it's just as important to talk about one's feelings and expectations around cuddling as it is to talk about boundaries and consent. And a healthy habit to build as a cuddler is to have a head talk about how and what cuddling makes one feel. And build interest and desires around meeting what each person wants to feel and mentally retrieve from the experience. And perhaps make constructive feedback a consistent part of that experience. That's also a hidden benefit with the strong risk of the costs that comes with being vulnerable and honest with each other.
My point is while cuddling has many benefits it also has hidden costs. It's not a cure all for depression and anxiety and many other mental health concerns. It's another option. There's so much that happens inside a person when physically touched. Not all of it comes with benefits. Some of it comes with hidden costs of miscommunication, misunderstanding, emotional flares and unintended mental triggers. All of which can result in inappropriate reactions and inconvenient consequences.
That you cannot always know from filtering messages and conversations and forum posts. Or by filing through profiles and pictures. That often will only come out when you physically touch somebody for more than 20 minutes.
Is anyone ever prepared for that? And how does one deal with someone who presents a completely different picture of themselves in their behavior when physically touched from when you just chatted by video or phone?
I suspect the greatest risk of cuddling, is that it awakens a want that then can't be met as often or for as long as the person might want.
I went to a cuddle party once that had a workshop at the beginning. It was nice to hear them confirm that they are not any expectations to follow through and is discouraged. Made it clear arousal is natural. Instead of being offended I:
-Go for a walk
-Give each other a massages
-Talk while not touching not next to each other.
-then there is just riding out the waves of arousal cause touch is more sensitive but is sometimes a superhuman feat and break a necessity later.
-discreetly excuse themselves to the bathroom and when they come back start to platonically cuddle again.
-A folded towel can help to be an additional barrier for area of concern
LOL 😂 yes I’m definitely getting my cuddle on. It helps that clear platonic intentions are made from the beginning. If the heat starts to turn up it is easy to reset if both people are on the same page from the very beginning.
@Softsupport ~ Thanks for the book share!!!
I'm putting a link to it on my profile for reference :-)
Your so very welcome🤗👍🏽
I very much agree with @Bles that platonic cuddling can bring up all kinds of complex emotions, including past traumas and attachment issues.
It's very important to me as a professional cuddle therapist to refer people to trauma-informed therapy when needed. I do my best to be trauma-informed and educated as well, though I am not a qualified counsellor or psychologist so I recognise my limitations in this respect.
That said, for many people it can be tremendously healing and supportive, so it really depends a lot on the person and their background. I've spent a lot of time educating myself about attachment theory, somatic therapies and trauma healing, because so many clients who come to professional cuddlers come from traumatic and difficult backgrounds.
Everyone feel free to post or attach links to information or tools that you think will be helpful. Sometimes it can be hard to sift through the BS on the internet to something that really works.
I appreciate hearing another's perspective. Very thoughtful indeed.
There are a lot of sites I snag ideas from ~
Recently this is one I've been visiting as I start to transition myself back towards work and the multiple layers of trauma that is impacting our students, families and staff.
I like things like this not just for the kids I work with, but because they speak to, and provide comfort for, my internal child who requires the same tools to feel more in control, safe, calm, etc.
Nurturing your child within is a great way to go about shoring up your adult foundation.
Edit: All of the mindfulness practices can be done with or without your cuddle buddy present! So practice while still distancing then consider introducing the ones you like into your "play-date" activities ~ if nothing else it could serve as an ice-breaker ~ 💞
@quixotic_life your all levels of awesome. Thank you😆
A good cuddle risks emotional let-down, if the frequency of subsequent cuddles isn't enough.
Fear and / or experience of this, might discourage people from seeking the transient benefit, of what might be a rare event. Convincing them of the benefit of cuddling, might be unhelpful or even counter-productive ; because the greater the benefit, the greater the "crash".
@geoff1000 you make it sound like it’s addicting. It may be cause I’m hooked. Perspective is everything. A good reality check is going to a cuddle party that has a workshop. That workshop was enlightening. They talked about everything that is cuddling. Afterwards my expectations was more realistic, I was more tolerant, more accepting of self in that environment.
I do encourage everyone to do at least the workshop. The one I went to made it very clear that you do not have to participate in cuddling afterwards. You could leave directly after or just observe. Even professionals was there to be re-energerized with cuddles.
If you go to https://www.eventbrite.com/
then google cuddle party you will see all sorts of options for your area. Due to Covid19 at first glance it looked to be all virtual. Later when things normalize definitely go👍🏽
Every enjoyable activity is psychologically addictive. If someone is motivated to do something, they are motivated to repeat doing it.
😂then I am hooked for life. Seriously thanks for your input. There is nothing wrong with being cautious. Heart and mind can easily get confused with the happy feels the body enjoys. Can be a delicate balance.
I haven't have any cuddle let down and don't feel addicted, but I like it.
I don't really see cuddling as addictive, as it's a natural human need. It's kind of like saying talking to friends is an addiction, when it's just a natural human craving to experience social connection. We might feel a sense of dependence if we aren't getting our needs met in our lives, but it doesn't mean it's something inherently pathological like being addicted to drugs or alcohol.
The reality is that we are all interdependent as humans, as we all need each other. People who are truly happy in complete isolation are a very small minority, and even they still depend on other people for practical needs like food. Full independence is largely a myth.
My point is that if we are only likely to be able to get a little of something ; it can be easier to cope with none of it, than to be reminded of the shortfall.