First things first; it’s strictly PG.
A Cuddle Party happening in Cork at the end of June is inviting perfect strangers to drop in for a few hours of therapeutic, non-sexual human contact.
According to the organisers, the trending therapy is about connection, made possible (and presumably less awkward) by strong communication and agreed-upon boundaries.
Wherever you get your hugs, studies show that they do increase the level of the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin in our bodies. In fact, a 20-second hug can lower your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, fight fatigue and lower your blood pressure.
Ready to spoon a stranger?
Run by life coach Gráinne Carr, one of only two qualified Cuddle Party facilitators in Ireland, the June 29th evening starts with a short workshop on consent, communication and conscious touch, followed by a couple of hours where you can put what you’ve learned into practice.
While ‘hugs, back rubs, spooning and general non-sexual snuggling’ are the order of the day, you can also attend Cuddle Party to sit, chat and unwind with other kind and caring folk – it’s your choice how much or how little you participate.
“At Cuddle Party you may experience an increased sense of well-being and belonging, a boost in compassion and playfulness, a decrease in blood pressure and afterward have a better night’s sleep.” says Gráinne.
“It’s quite normal to walk in not knowing anyone and walk out of cuddle party feeling happy and at ease, feeling like you had a really fun and relaxed time being with good friends. Nurturing and consensual loving touch is good for maintaining healthy blood pressure, a strong nervous system and a balanced emotional health, we all benefit from connection with other beings.” she added.
Tickets for the three-hour event are available here (€20 for waged, €10 for students and unemployed attendees). Registration begins at 6.45pm and the door closes at 7pm sharp so make sure you’re on time if you’re up for a Saturday hugathon.
Herbal teas and dark chocolate will be served, but attended are welcome to bring snacks to share too.
The good news is that, even if an evening getting up close and personal with a stranger is not your cup of tea, you can still enjoy all the benefits by hugging your other half, a friend or someone in your family.