I started this cuddle group MEN CUDDLING MEN for at least 3 reasons. First off I had dealt with Generalized Anxiety Disorder in a meetup group and found myself looking for natural ways to de-stress -- like yoga, buddhist chanting, mindfulness. Secondly, I realized I'd been a single gay man for a long time and I deeply missed the comfort of being held, and wanted to be proactive in getting what I wanted. Thirdly, I've come to realize that New Cuddling is part of a larger movement to transform the way we get our touch needs met. Sometimes we think we want sex, but what we really want is tenderness and affection.
Initially our group catered to single, gay men. But now the group is open to all who identify as male -- be they gay, bisexual, asexual, trans, questioning, straight, single, partnered, of diverse ages (21 and up) or of diverse ethnicities -- who want to cuddle with other men. It's our hope that this can open up new conversations between men of all orientations, which are much needed. I've been very lucky to collaborate with Charles Gamble on developing this group.
Our group is non-sexual. Clothes remain on at all times.
Cuddling is soothing, helps relieve stress, and is useful in dealing with loss and aggression. It's also a lot of fun to experience each man and see how people cuddle differently. Cuddling is sometimes sensual, energizing and even romantic -- but think of this as mostly as Communal Cuddling rather than Romantic Cuddling.
You really don't know what the experience is like till you've had it. What are you waiting for?
The word is spreading. Cuddling is nurturing, transforming, loving, de-stressing, a lot of fun! ** It is also non-sexual and clothes stay on. ** By the way, this group is in Chicago and has gone through various name changes. Originally we were CUDDLE ADVENTURES FOR GAY MEN.
Here is an article about our group in WINDY CITY TIMES. At the time, the group was focused on single gay men. Now it is more open. http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Hug...
One disclaimer: neither Charles nor I are therapists. Please let us know if you have any special needs, or physical or mental health issues we should be aware of. It is up to you to decide if our group might be a good fit for you. [I personally have dealt with depression and anxiety in the past.] We would like to be supportive of anyone, but realize there are limitations.
Here is a video I made about our group. Please enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dl4qv2avdH8
Our group, CUDDLE ADVENTURES FOR GAY MEN, has been profiled in Windy City Times and Chicagoist.com:
* Various Cuddle Opportunities in Chicago:
TRUTHFUL TOUCH is open to men and women: http://www.meetup.com/Truthful-Touch-Cuddle-Party/
CUDDLIST is a website to schedule a session for a one-on-one professional cuddler for a fee: Or visit: www.cuddlist.com/Dwight OR DwightCuddles.weebly.com
GROUND RULES for MEN CUDDLING MEN
Traditional cuddling takes place between people who are dating or in a romantic relationship, and the function is basically to deepen intimacy in that relationship. But the reality is that many of us aren't partnered, yet we still have the strong desire for tender touch, hugging, cuddling. And some guys might have partners that don't like to cuddle.
The cuddle movement has been growing for twelve years and there are cuddle groups throughout the world. "New cuddling" is a bit different from old cuddling. It can occur between people who have just met. It is motivated more by compassion and empathy, than by physical attraction or the constructs of a relationship. It can create deeper feelings of connection, reduce aggression and anxiety, provide comfort when one feels isolated or lonely or when one is going through a difficult time. Cuddling is powerful, healing, luscious and platonic!
REFUND POLICY. We must pay for room space, facebook advertising fees, etc. to hold cuddle events, so we generally don't offer refunds if you must cancel your RSVP. At times we will allow a refund if a member gives 3 days notice. Or if there is an extreme event which prevents you from attending, that is left to the discretion of the organizers.
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1. Cuddling can be exciting but please keep your clothes on at all times. No kissing, no reaching under a member's shirt or pants, no grinding. Sexual arousal can happen, but please focus on nurturing rather than arousing -- or we may need to gently intervene. :) This is communal touch which is different than romantic touch. We are caressing each other because we all need to be touched. Focus on helping your partner relax, decompress, feel grounded and affirmed.
2. Most people come to a cuddle group to cuddle. But if you prefer not to cuddle at this time, that is also an option. It's understandable that newcomers might be a bit shy. Though you'll probably have more fun hugging and snuggling!
3. If either cuddler at any time feels uncomfortable with the touch being giving -- please take responsibility for telling your partner, and changing the course of the position. If said partner does not respect your boundaries, feel free to end the cuddle and move on to someone else. Also feel empowered to ask for the kind of touch that you want. This is important. Be as specific in your request as possible.
4. To fully experience cuddling, it's important that people come to the group without recreational drugs -- including marijuana and alcohol and other such substances. You want to be fully present. Thanks for cooperating.
5. We always encourage members to bring a carryable blanket and small pillow. It can be a light blanket or bed spread is easier to carry. The blankets at the studio are not padded. Doesn't have to be a comforter. But you can also borrow a blanket and pillow from the studio. You must fold up your blanket exactly as you found them or we could lose access to them.
6. A clean body and clean clothes are essential for cuddling. No strong colognes; deodorants are fine. People often wear sweatpants or gym shorts, t-shirts, etc. Some wear pajamas.
7. Everyone who wants to get cuddled will get cuddled. Make sure you take responsibility for getting your needs met.
8. It's a basic human right to hugged and cuddled -- whether one is in a relationship or not. Don't worry about erections. They can happen. Just focus on nurturing rather than arousing. Or think of baseball!
9. Sexual harassment and drama won't be tolerated. Please respect people's stated preferences. Also please be respectful of people's privacy and avoid gossip of any kind.
10. Some people like to talk while they cuddle. Others may prefer not to.
11. Please share the joys of new cuddling with your friends! We want to change the world...one snuggle at a time. Let's revolutionize how we get our touch needs met, and save the planet in the process. Cuddling reducing violent impulses, increases trust, and feels amaaaazing.