My first introduction to the word “polyamory”: we were sophomores in college, and I was helping J move settle in to his new dorm room. Because he was an RA, he was responsible for hanging up flyers on the bulletin boards. One of them proclaimed “Berkeley Polyamory Club! Cuddle Puddle Party!” We laughed uncomfortably, made fun of it. A cuddle puddle? What the heck??
Recently I went on a date with someone whose community consists of folks who actually do have cuddle puddle parties on a regular basis. It sparked some deeper thinking around why the community I am part of and build seems averse to non-sexual touch and physical closeness. I know in the past it’s made me uncomfortable, but largely because I have been unsure about what it would mean: will they think I want to have sex? What if I don’t want to have sex? Will it mean that J and they will have sex? How will I feel if that happens? However, taking sex out of the equation makes cuddling and touching my close friends sound really amazing.
Last night some of our best friends came over to help us paint and install ceiling fans. I was exhausted at the end of my Friday (I fell asleep on my yoga ball at work, and woke up as I was about to fall off), but from the minute they walked in the door my energy perked up, and we talked and worked and hung out until midnight. And after sharing my thoughts with them about nonsexual cuddling, I noticed that we began touching more. And I liked it. I like feeling like I can cuddle up next to someone, and that hugging doesn’t need to lead to anything more. It can just be a cuddle or a hug.
I am really curious as to whether, how, or why I may bring this to the table for any future parties/get-togethers I/we have. I don’t know if it has just been me in the past that is closed off to touch, or if there are others. I’d basically love to experiment with a cuddle puddle party: cuddling, massaging, hugging, but no sex. It sounds liberating and connecting.
I’m not sure exactly why it has taken me as long as it has to come to this light-bulb moment (that I can touch someone and be touched without it leading to sex)- perhaps part of it is because we have dated or slept with a number of our close friends, and I don’t want to confuse the relationship. But I guess that’s where explicit communication comes in 🙂
Do you like cuddling/touching your close friends? Why am I so late to the game?