Snuggling is an activity for which there is a great amount of need. Many experts recognize this. However, it’s still on the edge of cultural consciousness; and because of that, there’s not yet widespread understanding or demand around it.
Some of this stems from our complex and sometimes uncomfortable relationship with physical touch in general, and difficulty navigating the platonic to sexual continuum, all parts of which are important to most of us. As a culture, this is a taboo topic area, one which we don’t openly and candidly talk about much.
But if we’re to live balanced lives that honor both our spiritual and our physical aspects in a healthy and integrated fashion, we need to start. Not just for ourselves, but for the well being of the generations who will follow us.
As mentioned in The Snuggle Party Guidebook, a number of people have been working on spreading these concepts for years, with growing numbers joining. Bob Czimbal and Maggie Zadikov, Tribal Love Network, Cuddle Party, Oregon Touch, and Cuddle Up to Me, and Snuggle Central on Facebook are just a few.
Earlier this year I announced an intention to catalyze a Global Snuggle Party, which would involve the largest number of simultaneous snuggles ever thrown on or near the same weekend. Truth be told, promotion of the event has been limited, largely because just getting The Snuggle Party Guidebook completed took more resources than I had anticipated.
I’ve found myself recalling the concept of Kaizen, or slow, steady, incremental, and sustainable change. This is a useful concept for anyone involved in social change.
Part of how shifts happen is with many people being involved in different ways. And many people are.
I’m super excited that even though there may not be a Global Snuggle Party at the scale once envisioned, Portland alone happens to be throwing at least nine different events that include snuggling within two weeks of Winter Solstice 2014. That’s right–at least nine cuddle events! The majority of these are thanks to the amazing coordinators of Oregon Touch and Opening to Love. I can’t take much credit outside of simply spreading the idea a bit.
If you’re hosting a snuggle or cuddle event in the near future, and it’s not yet listed on the Global Snuggle Party page, let us know about it. No extra effort on your part required; the basic idea here is simply to spread more awareness about snuggling.
Alongside all of this, Samantha Hess (author of Touch: The Power of Human Connection, which I also highly recommend) recently opened her new cuddling shop in Portland, and has been helping many people. Shanya Luther launched a crowdfunding campaign for the first Snuggle Mobile, to reach even more people. I’m excited to see Samantha’s shop gaining momentum, despite getting some fear-based criticism just as The Snuggle Party Guidebook has. And even though the Snuggle Mobile didn’t raise the desired amount on its first try, I have a sense that it’s going to happen eventually.
Imagine if just a year or two from now, your town had more than half a dozen such events during the winter holiday season, when many people crave more connection than they’re getting. Imagine if, alongside other common activities such as wandering the shopping malls, there were the option to just cuddle up with some friends to enjoy conversation, listen to music, or enjoy a movie together on a cold evening.
And even if it’s not something you need, possibly because you already have plenty of physical affection from your current relationship(s), imagine others who aren’t so fortunate having that option. What if there were also a local professional cuddler or professional snuggle business, and maybe even a traveling snuggle mobile, where they could find some respite from their loneliness?
A friend recently reminded me that snuggling fits well into the popular Five Love Languages model, which I’ve referenced in the context of other intimacy models and Weekend of Authentic Connection. This time of year, people often spend plenty of time buying gifts, but they spend relatively little time connecting directly.
Maybe you, or someone with whom you simply share this idea, will help to make it happen. Also feel free to check out snuggleparty.org for additional resources.