@mark Can this thread be stickied, please? This thread (and the solo interviews as well) is such a great example of the vibrancy of cuddling enthusiasts and their very positive impact.
I'll temporarily sticky but it should ultimately be linked from the Cuddling Resources topic. I don't want too many stickies otherwise gets a bit cluttered and means people on mobile have to keep scrolling down to see the latest topics.
Oh but of course , as well as the cars, devo, and talking heads
@respectful is a male non-professional in Sydney, Australia. "I wanted a user name that made it clear I value boundaries."
Isn't it a little odd to interview yourself?
Yes, but maybe no one will notice ...
What's happening in your life?
I'm moving house (ten minutes away), about to start studying statistics after a long break from work (computer programming), and enjoying learning about cuddling! I spent my break drawing, writing, bush walking and kayaking, as well doing as a bit of nature photography and board game design.
My long term project is a Christian book about love.
How did you get into cuddling?
I was divorced in 2009, and didn't really have a source of touch in my life after that -- which was hard, because touch is my main "love language" (along with words of affirmation). My values exclude sex outside marriage, so I had resigned myself to only experiencing any kind of intimacy if I got married again.
Last year I somehow came across this site and was amazed to find that it promoted affectionate touch in a safe environment where there was an agreement to never make things sexual. That combined a whole lot of things I felt I needed, including female friendships, touch, giving and receiving affection, an environment of safety ...
This feels like an absolute gift from God to me. It still blows me away that platonic cuddling actually exists.
How do you like to cuddle?
The main position I enjoy is lying down in an embrace. Somehow my main cuddler and I have found a way to do that without our arms going numb, so I can happily stay that way for a long time. Cuddling chest to chest feels incredibly comforting to me.
I like to run my hand or fingertips up and down her back, caress her neck with my thumb and stroke her arm sometimes. Tracing the side of her face with my fingers is fun too. Ocassionally I squeeze her tight and rock a little (which is my way of saying, "Thank you, I'm loving this!"). An "eskimo kiss" with my nose on her cheek has been known to happen too. Playing with her feet with my toes is cool ...
My usual cuddler also suggested lying face up, with her head on my chest. I like that one too -- it frees my hand a bit more to play with her hair and things. (Long hair is lovely to touch!).
What do you get out of cuddling?
The feeling of oxytocin being released for one ... in other words, tingles! It goes right through my body from head to toe sometimes. After a good cuddle I feel extremely opened up and very close to the person I've been cuddling -- then one small touch can melt me into a puddle. Sometimes I keep touching or hugging them afterwards. It can take some time to "wind down" and let go for me!
I also get a lot out of feeling trusted by somebody. Placing your body in my arms -- and seeing me as a safe person -- is a very precious gift to me. Which means I never want to cross boundaries; being put in that position makes me feel protective of the person I'm cuddling.
I enjoy giving as well as receiving, so that's another aspect for me. It's very cool to get a reaction from someone! I love it when people in general can accept what I want to give them. It's a way of saying "yes" to the question, "Will you let me close to you?" You can't get much closer than an embrace.
Have there been any surprises?
Before my first cuddle I was a bit worried that romantic emotions might come up and confuse things. But that worry vanished pretty quickly after I actually started cuddling people. Platonic cuddling involves a ton of intimacy and affection, but it's a completely separate thing to romance.
With my favourite cuddler (a professional), the very first time we cuddled I surprised myself with how affectionate I was being with someone I had only just met. The conversation was like that too -- all about favourite memories (and animals ... I got a new appreciation for elephants!).
Thoughts on paid cuddling?
This is another area where I had reservations before ever cuddling that vanished afterwards. What I am interested in is a genuine connection with the person I cuddle, and I was concerned that they might fake it.
But it turns out that professional cuddlers are extremely loving and genuinely affectionate people -- the majority anyway. So what I feel I am paying for is their time and attention, and being the focus of the cuddle. The care and affection is part of who they are already, so that's what you get when you spend time with them.
I give little presents to my favourite cuddler (like her favourite food -- Chinese dumplings!). To me that's a way of saying this isn't just a transaction, I treasure and appreciate her as a friend too.
Have you met any non-professionals?
In the last three months, I have sent messages to eighty one people nearby. Seven have replied, resulting in one movie and one cuddle. That person pushed the boundaries though unfortunately, which was hard for me (she has since deleted her account). The person I saw a movie with was nice though; holding hands during a movie is an experience!
Out of the other replies, one person wasn't comfortable with someone older, but was very kind and polite about it; one has deleted her account; one had religious differences; one was open but stopped replying; and one sounds lovely but is sick at the moment.
I've wondered about those who never replied. Some possible reasons are: personal preferences; they're looking for dates not cuddles; they have met their cuddling needs elsewhere; or they gave up but left their account hanging around. Or maybe I was a little too forward in my initial messages (before I read @BlueIris's advice on approaching women), which was just an assumption about how things worked here. (Of course I wanted to know them as people too! But my thinking was, that could happen when we cuddled). Oh well.
What kinds of emotions has cuddling brought up for you?
Lots! I'm a pretty emotional person sometimes anyway (tears well up when something really touches me), but cuddling has opened up a whole fountain of emotion that I wasn't really in touch with before.
One is a feeling of being valued and accepted. After a lovely cuddle I just feel valuable, like I've been treated really really well. Not that I don't normally feel valuable! But being embraced physically and emotionally just gives me a wonderful sense of acceptance.
Another one is the "oxytocin high" after a great session, which can last for days sometimes. The feeling can return when I remember the cuddle, but that starts to fade after a while.
It's also amazing to care for (and be cared for by) someone ... it does something profound inside me to give and receive affection in this way.
There have been some negative experiences too, but overall it has been amazing. Now cuddling is something I couldn't do without!
What has motivated some of your posts?
Sorting through past forum discussions was a great way to learn about platonic cuddling.
The top 220 professionals started out as a wish list if I ever visit the US, inspired by reading karma comments. The stats were just out of interest.
The poem was in appreciation of my favourite cuddler, and the art and fiction were for just for fun!
Bravo! Very insightful! You make a strong positive contribution to the community here.
You make a good team, @respectful.
I particularly enjoyed reading your introduction and how you got into this.
Ah, @respectful the long break from work and the interest in statistics explains some of your earlier threads! ;-)
Good stuff here.
@OzVisitor, @Mark, @quietman775 Thanks guys!
Next up: @I_am_Polylover.
Lovely post, I am new on this forum, and I would have loved to pin this. Oh well.. Thank you @respectful for this insight, I will add you somehow to not read some of your publications.
It’s ok I talk to myself all the time
I loved reading this. Awesome~
Loved getting to know you! Your thoughts about professionals were on point!
Thanks for all of your contributions to this community
@I_am_Polylover is a male non-professional in Pasadena, California. "Polylover is pretty obvious since I am polyamorous. I've used it since the 90s. When I joined here, I was mistakenly banned, and had to rejoin with a slightly altered version."
You've been having fun with @sweetangelpm on the forums. How did you two meet?
I'm a founding member of the SoCalPoly Yahoo group, which actually existed before Yahoo did, but then switched to Yahoo. @sweetangelpm -- known to me as Portia, My Love -- had been curious about polyamory for a while, and signed up there with all of her questions. I answered them as best as I could, but she wanted input from others as well, which is understandable. I offered to drive her home after a poly meetup, but ended up taking her there as well. Between our correspondence and being together in person, we really hit it off, and the rest is history. She knew I was here, was curious, and signed up here herself.
Are you enjoying your retirement?
Yes, I am, especially when I'm doing background acting, or when I'm with one or more of my three girlfriends, two of which are platonic, and Portia who is not platonic. My relationship with my wife is also platonic, and she is my best friend.
How did you originally get into in cuddling?
I'm not really sure, it sort of happened gradually. I've always been very much into hugging and joined a free hugs group. I don't remember how I found out about Cuddle Sanctuary, but ended up going to a free workshop they had about five consent techniques, which I highly recommend for everyone, either in person (best in my opinion) or via webinar.
There were some exercises that involved plenty of hugging. Jean is a fantastic hugger, but Fei is just out of this world. If you ever get a chance to hug or cuddle either of them, do so, especially Fei. Both are great facilitators. I am signed up to be part of their professional cuddler training program on the 25th, and will be getting my first professional cuddles ever for free. At any rate, after that workshop I was hooked on cuddling.
Could you explain the term "polyamorous"?
Polyamory is a combination of a Greek term, poly, and a Latin term, amory. The literal translation means multiple loves. Polyamorous relationships can take on many forms. I always tell newbies to figure out what works best for them, and go with that. It's okay if they want to use someone else's relationship as a model, but only if it works for them. If you really want to know more about poly, PM me, or sign up on the PolyamoryNetwork.com site where I have a blog with lots of resources.
To me all love is the same, and the only difference is in how we act on that love. I love someone in a sexual relationship with me the same as I love someone in a platonic relationship with me. Love is all encompassing, and I don't love one person more than another, even though I may show that love differently. That goes for kids as well.
It seems to me that if a person has more than one platonic cuddle relationship, they are loving more than one person, and are therefore polyamorous to that extent.
How do you interpret the word "platonic"?
The best way I can answer this question is to copy and paste a portion of this post:
"I personally will provide cuddling for free to any woman who wants it. Whether they want the non sexual platonic cuddles, cuddles with a full relationship involved, or anything in between, I will always give them as much love and caring as I possibly can. BTW, 'platonic', at least in its original definition, means loving deeply in a very spiritual manner that is above physical needs, but does not necessarily exclude them. It later took on the meaning of being non sexual."
That is a quote from a post I made on another site, and does not mean that I will provide anything beyond platonic cuddling to anyone on this site.
"For me, platonic cuddling is all about connection, both physical and emotional". I relate! What kinds of things result in an emotional connection for you?
Some people just have an instant spiritual and emotional connection, and I'd like to think I fit into that category, but that is for others to say, not me. @sweetangelpm is one of those in my opinion. Someone with a willingness to connect goes a long way for me to connect with them. Once again I think the best way for me to answer is to just copy and paste:
"For me, platonic cuddling is all about connection, both physical and emotional. Without the emotional connection, it wouldn't be platonic cuddling, it would just be physical cuddling. I wouldn't be able to handle that any easier than I could handle a sex only relationship. I know that a lot of people are wired differently just based on the number of NSA ads on the internet, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around that kind of mindset. I guess that is one reason I am polyamorous, because poly is all about love, and so is platonic cuddling."
What kinds of things do you enjoy in a platonic cuddle?
I like as much skin contact as possible, so I'll wear shorts and a t-shirt, unless requested to wear something else. I like lots of soft stroking of my arms and legs, and having them play with my hair. Full frontal close contact is always a plus, as is switching up our positions some. All that is what I like, and I'll provide all that that and more, depending on what my cuddle partner wants and needs.
Any thoughts about the cuddling community?
This cuddling community has changed quite a bit, I think. There used to be more personal attacks (particularly against me, but others as well). There has been a lot of clients vs pros, and men vs women in the past, and I still see some of it, but not as much as there used to be. I've always come down on the side of the women, partially because I think their arguments have been better, partially because I was raised to respect women, and partially because I think women should be treated as if they are right even if they are wrong (though I haven't seen much wrong from any of them here).
@Morpheus and I have some hard feelings between us, but despite our differences I think we have come to respect each other. If we can do that, I think others can as well. As I said in this post:
"In my opinion, there is too many attempts in this forum to make others wrong. I have seen these attempts from both men and women. I may have even been guilty of it myself, but I hope not. We all need to try harder to not create friction on this site. It was created to promote platonic cuddling. The word platonic means love on a higher level. How can we promote this love while fighting among ourselves, and trying to make each other wrong?"
One last note. Some of you may have noticed my absence on the forum lately. It is because I've been pretty busy, and I have a lot of catching up to do. I'm trying to work my way up from the bottom, and not offering my opinion as much as I usually do in order to catch up faster, but sometimes I just have to put my 2 cents worth in.
Thanks Jim, I appreciate that. There are no need to hold grudges, it’s good for the soul to just let things go :-) Your italicized paragraph is spot on.
That was big of both of you, @I_am_Polylover and @Morpheus. It's nice to see civility in action.
@LovelyCompany Ooh, a fellow Australian! I may get down to Melbourne again one day.
@cuddlebugTM I'm sure those are some interesting conversations ...
@Lorelei, @HugsFromFei Thanks!
@Missy87 is a professional cuddler in Madison Heights, Michigan. "Missy is my nickname. It's what all my friends call me."
What is happening in your life at the moment?
I am currently in the process of moving.
I first got into cuddling while on medical leave after surgery and getting an infection immediately afterwards. It was a lonely time, very few visitors, and my activity was restricted. I was bed bound for a couple weeks. I happened to come across an online ad for cuddling. It got me thinking that there might be others out there who feel lonely too and would like to have the comfort of cuddling. I figured if I could help someone else feel better while helping myself cure loneliness too, I'd be doing a good thing.
Platonic cuddling is such a pure and lovely thing, but unfortunately can attract the wrong kind of people. How often have you had to deal with "creeps"?
Most of the time after reminding a person that this is platonic and telling that person that I will end the session if they repeat the offending behavior, they won't do it again. I have only ever had one instance of a "creep". I hope to not ever deal with that again, which is why I make it clear in my profile that I offer platonic cuddling and activities only.
I've noticed many professionals are available for non-cuddling events like dinner and social events. Do many people take you up on that? What has it been like?
Yes, I have had people take me up on non-cuddling events. I have been to Detroit Red Wings games (I'm a huge fan), a concert, and a charity ball gown event. I enjoyed it because it was a good time without having to worry about sexual stuff being expected or happening.
A couple of people in your karma commented about your appearance ("she is much more beautiful in person"). How much does physical appearance come into platonic cuddling?
I don't mind someone commenting on my physical appearance but I'd rather be seen as more than just looks. I'd like to think that physical appearance wouldn't have a high value in platonic cuddling but I am aware that it must have some importance to guys.
How does the conversation tend to go during a session?
I tend to like to hear about the individual's interests, hobbies, occupation, etc. Something about me causes many people to feel at ease and open up to me, so sometimes I hear a lot of tough stuff, but I try to be positive, listen, offer advice if I can, and don't judge.
What is your main aim when you cuddle someone?
My main aim is to help improve their mood and lift their spirits. I have cuddled with people who suffer from depression, had recently become widowed, or were just feeling lonely and like they had no one in their life that they could turn to. If I can make someone laugh, smile, or feel like they have someone that cares about them and will listen to them then I feel like I have achieved my goal.
another great interview
So nice to get to know cuddlers from all over
“that makes me sound pretty chivalrous“
Because you are.
@Lorelei You so sweet thank you!!
Thank you to the kind folks who commented and who took the time to read my thing. I had to really think about it before agreeing because to be honest the whole premise seemed a bit self indulgent but I think it turned out pretty well
great interview @respectful and glade to learn more about you @Missy87
I agree with @pmvines about how I felt about the interview to begin with. However, the more I looked at the questions, the more interested I became in answering them. @Sideon I was taught civility as I was growing up. @Morpheus You're welcome, and thank you.
@Lorelei is a professional in San Antonio, Texas. "I like the name Lorelei because I've always thought that it's a pretty name and it's connected to mermaids and water sprites, which I've always loved."
Tell us about Lorelei.
About me? Well ... I love to love people, that's how I've always been. To know that I've positively impacted another human being is one of the best feelings in the world to me. I've never been more proud or more fulfilled in my life than the times when I have seen someone else deeply happy because of me.
My family is pretty southern, but I've been all over the place. 27 moves in my life so far, I've gone as far south, north, east, and west as you can go in the states and further. I like meeting new people and broadening my horizons, I enjoy being introduced to new cultures and new experiences. I sometimes come off as shy because I can be kind of quiet; in truth, it's not because I have nothing to say, it's usually because I have too much I could say and I over think things.
I love philosophy. Being a writer, people have said that I speak formally over text, but in person I tend to be pretty laid back, and quite a few people have told me that my voice is soothing and my presence has a calming effect.
I'm also a huge nerd. I love video games, anime, manga, mythology, folklore and science. I could go for days talking about those and I can also hold my own in a conversation about super heroes -- Marvel or DC.
I grew up with two older brothers, and no matter how many frilly dresses my mom filled my closet with, I was always something of a tomboy when I was little. I was also a bit of a scrapper; I could beat them both at arm-wrestling when I was fifteen and one of them was a football player.
How did you get involved in platonic cuddling?
I've always been affectionate toward my friends; like I said, I love to love -- but that isn't why I sought out pro cuddling. The first time I found a pro-cuddling site, it was actually as a client. The beginning of 2017 was a bad time for me. A very, very bad time. A lot of people I loved and trusted had hurt me deeply; I felt isolated, betrayed, frightened, lonely and vulnerable, like there was no one I could really turn to -- and if you've ever been standing on the edge and had someone give you a good push at just the wrong moment ... you know how I felt.
I didn't have friends nearby, and while my family can be helpful with material means, their attitude toward emotional support is ... uh, let's call it "discouraging." After a few sessions with a pro and after I felt like I was back on my feet, I realized just how much it meant to have someone there with you -- listening, holding you and not judging you. Simple kindness like that is amazingly powerful.
We NEED more of that in this world and I wanted to offer it to others, so that's why I initially joined this site as a regular cuddler -- but I found that my time constraints and budget mean that I can't do this for free, so this is my compromise. I do my best to make my services affordable while still making sure that I can afford to keep doing what I love to do.
What helps you to connect with someone when you cuddle?
I seem to be able to get along with most people, and any mutually shared interest will usually do the trick if we can get to talking. Seeing a client get excited about a topic and get carried away in telling me all about it makes me feel pretty great -- even if it's not something I know anything about, discovering someone else's passions is fascinating to me. I respect and admire what drives you and if you love talking about it, I'll enjoy hearing about it.
On the other hand, for more quiet clients, it's more about body language and, if you'll forgive the rather new age term, auras. Some people just have a pleasant air about them and put out good vibes, honestly. I can't help responding in kind. However, with more anxious people, I'd say it just takes patience and a gentle touch, and that's okay. Sometimes I try a light back rub (or tummy rub!) to help them relax. Some clients seem to like exploring and massaging places I would've once found unusual -- hands and wrists, for example. I feel like it expresses curiosity and thoughtfulness, and it's just kind of charming to me, can't totally explain it.
You have a lot of friends here! How has it been to be part of the cuddling community?
^_^ I love it here! People like you, @PMVines, @Scarlette, @BlueIris, @quietman775 and @DeliMan have been a delight to talk to ... so many good hearts here. I mentioned a couple of them, but all the really active pro-cuddlers are wonderful and we tend to look out for each other a lot, I've noticed. That kind of teamwork from across the country or even across the world just makes me smile.
I think the staff is pretty cool, @reurbo and @Mark are doing a really good job. Some of the topics on the forums have been a lot of fun and others were really interesting.
"I don't mind if people cry or are emotional". Has that happened very often?
Here? No. Everywhere else in my life? You betcha. I've been a nanny, a nurse, a counselor, and a best friend to many people. I can't tell you how many people I've held when they were crying, old and young, male and female, stranger, family, friend ... I've never minded seeing other people break down; heck, I'm honored to have someone share their emotional moments with me and I'm grateful for the opportunity to help in their time of need.
How would you explain to a man who is unfamiliar with the concept of platonic cuddling that it is enough in itself, and doesn't need to become sexual?
This isn't going to apply to everyone, but here goes: Can you remember being held as a kid? Sometimes life just got too rough, didn't it? Sometimes you'd get someone who'd come along -- a parent, a grandparent, a guardian, an older sibling, who would hold you and say that it's going to be okay.
Here's the thing ... the need for that never really goes away. The world may tell you to suck it up because you're an adult now and there may even be someone who tells you it's unmanly to need comfort like hugs and kind words, but that's because human society is actually a lot like a playground bully -- immature, arbitrarily cruel, and just kinda stupid. Plus, it can't even make up its mind -- many years ago, being emotional and affectionate with other men was actually considered a sign of manliness and pink used to be a guy color, blue was for girls.
Main point I'm getting at -- I'm here to be your friend, I'm here to spend an evening with you talking about your day, or your life, or whatever you need to talk about; I'm here to hug you, encourage you, help you feel recharged so you can keep tackling all the stuff in your life that tries to wear you down. I want you to feel valued and cared for as an intellectual human being.
Sex, in itself, has its merits, sure. However, that's not why I'm here and it's not what I do. You can get that from a lot of places and if that's what you really want, by all means please, go to those places and have fun -- but if you need someone to give you that long hug, to show real interest in you as a person rather than as a means to a that specific end, to help you feel encouraged and cared for, then I'll be right here.
As a medical professional, can you tell us some things about the benefits of cuddling? Do you have any stories?
Sure can; let's talk science for a bit. Oxytocin, aka the "love" / "bonding" hormone, is released during cuddles. This chemical reaction reduces blood pressure and the risk of heart disease, it can also reduce stress, anxiety (including social anxiety), and even ease depression.
Over all, oxytocin creates a feeling of overall "well-being" and happines, inspiring a sense of positivity. This feeling of well-being and happiness caused by oxytocin also has the power to boost your immune system -- preventing and fighting illness, relieve / reduce pain, and due to its ability to relax you and reduce depression / anxiety levels, it can even help with insomnia.
Looking over all of these conditions, try to think of all the people you know who have at least one of these problems. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the US; stress, anxiety and severe depression levels have been disturbingly high in recent years. Over 75 million adults in America have high blood pressure. More than 40 million adults in the States alone suffer from anxiety disorders. 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. More than 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia.
Believe me, the world needs more cuddles; and the more we get the word out, leading by example, the better off everyone will be, including the next generation. Studies done on children and their anxiety levels in comparison to how often they were shown affection by their parents showed that "adults whose mothers showed 'extravagant' (frequent) affection were much less likely than the others to feel stressed and anxious. They were also less likely to report hostility, distressing social interactions, and psychosomatic symptoms."
It's never too early or too late to receive incredible benefits from this. I'm afraid none of my stories are terribly specific, just people -- patients and clients alike -- becoming calmed or soothed and having good feelings and a positive outlook when held and comforted. Cuddling just works, it makes us feel better mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Great in depth interview . Love the name I’m a GG fan !!
If approached, I would like to politely decline from being interviewed. While I understand the OP's intent, I find this series to be too invasive for my own personal comfort level.
@VIPirate Your declination is accepted.
I really appreciate people's openness in these interviews, and the environment here that makes that pretty safe. But I can totally understand not being comfortable to do that.
@MattCat is a male professional in Mission Viejo, California. "I chose MattCat cause I thought it'd be cute, plus I'm a total cat person! Even though my personality is more like a dog."
I'm curious about the orange costume in your profile pics! And can you tell us about Toothless the cat?
Hahaha well for starters it's actually a Pokémon Onesie! I got it for Halloween my senior year of high school and it's just never gotten torn or too worn out to wear, pluss it's super comfortable!
As far as toothless goes, he's got quite he backstory, but long story short I got him from my friend and he's grown really fond of me and he's the BEST CUDDLER EVER.
How did you first get into cuddling?
I've always been a cuddler . Human contact is something we not only all desire (to some extent), but I think it's a need for our well being if we don't have it for long periods of time.
Only 4% of professionals on this site are male. Have you had much success so far?
Jeez, 4%? I've not had the most success, networking is difficult and finding people who are even interested is a challenge in itself. I'm not too certain I'll get any women wanting to cuddle me honestly, just because I see the supply and demand of men and women on here is very unbalanced.
Is there much difference between cuddling women and men?
There's no real difference I see in cuddling men vs women, it's just a matter of their preferences for cuddling, and who they are as a person! But if I'm being honest I prefer cuddling with women simply because it eases me more, not entirely sure why though.
Where do you usually cuddle?
I usually cuddle in a bed or on a couch, anywhere we can get perfectly comfortable works though.
As far as public cuddling goes, it doesn't matter where I am, so long as I don't think we're making anyone who may see us uncomfortable.
If you were the client, how would you like to be cuddled?
If I were the client, I'd just want someone who would show me they cared, and would hold on tight and not let go! I'd prefer being the big spoon and either watching a movie or just simply embracing each other with the knowledge that we'd keep each other safe and warm.
Any advice to other men thinking of becoming pros?
If you're thinking about becoming a pro, sign up sooner rather than later! The more time you spend on here the better chance you'll have to get people to reach out to you!
Oh, and make sure you keep clean, and always always ALWAYS make sure you have an extra set of clothes when you travel, just in case PJs aren't the most appropriate attire.
I have to ask: do the whiskers ever get in the way?
The whiskers haven't gotten in the way before, but again, I guess that goes along with people's preference on if they like it or not.
I'm a tad confused as I thought these interviews were being stickied.