cuddle with me
2020 has been just a complete dumpster fire of a year. While the list of injustices and crimes against humanity is too long to list in passing, I want to talk about a fairly overlooked issue that is sweeping over the population of the United States.
Moving into a year of pandemic behavior guidelines, many of us are touch-deprived to say the least. Men, especially, are effected by this because they are largely living in a social system that does not allow for emotional or physical connection at all. Many men want to feel close with their friends or family in a non-sexual way, but don't have the tools to get there. Especially for men who aren't queer, this can be an insurmountable obstacle.
Straight and closeted men often feel like they can't or shouldn't touch other people for a variety of reasons. Because of the sexualization of our society, and the portrayal of crime and abuse in the media, men can feel like giving a friend a hug is an inadvertently sexual advance, or that touching a woman or child can be seen as abuse. These men don't typically have an outlet for non-sexual consensual touch, and they learn to live without it.
Queer men aren't immune to this either! While we have been socialized to somewhat break free from the restrictive gender norms of our society, queer men are often hypersexualized. Therefore, we are much more likely to experience touch with other men, but almost always in a sexual context. We can get to a point where a handshake that lasted half a second too long sets off our alarms and we start wondering if our boss is hitting on us.
All men need non-sexual touch. This type of touch is often called platonic, that is, touch that is intimate and affectionate but not sexual.
What are the benefits of platonic touch?
First and foremost, cuddling in a platonic way is a great way to relax, release stress, and attain deep calm. If you've ever cuddled with or hugged someone, you know this is true. Arranging time to meet with a professional cuddler, you can take a single hug and stretch it out for two hours (or more!). Imagine how great you would feel after that. Or, remember how connected and grounded you felt either right before or right after sex, when you and your partner were physically close, but it wasn't exactly sexual. Take just that moment and let yourself stay there for as long as you need.
My goal for all my clients is to allow them to feel platonically loved and cared for, and to exist in a completely safe space where they can relax, recharge, and find peace within themselves. A feeling of peace is pretty subjective, so it's my goal to work with you to create exactly the kind of session you need.
When we cuddle, you might want to talk about your day, or cry, or even fall asleep. As long as it's platonic, there's no wrong way to cuddle. It's simply the touch, the connection to another human, that creates a space to relax in.
I should take this moment to say that I am definitely not a doctor or a therapist, and I don't want you to think of me as one. While we cuddle, I'm a friend who has your back. If you feel like you need a more directly therapeutic relationship, I'm happy to recommend a trained mental health professional.
What kind of commitment is this?
Because a cuddling session is based entirely around your needs, there is no commitment. Maybe you want to spend an afternoon cuddled on your couch watching Netflix and that's all you need. Maybe you are looking for something more long-term. Literally what you need is what we're doing.
Is this confidential?
In short, yes. This is a confidential service. I will never disclose to anyone (including my partner) who I've been cuddling with. Obviously you're free to tell anyone (or no one) you want. Because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, I will keep your name and contact information (email/phone/address) so you can be contacted in the event of contact tracing, but beyond that, my lips are sealed. (Though, I will say that I would hope that my work would help to dispel the stigma around men touching each other!)
For more information on the exact services I offer and to contact me, please check out this page about the Touch Services I currently offer.
Whether you work with me to add intimate platonic touch to your life or not, I sincerely hope that men everywhere can do their part to break down the walls that keep us from benefiting from the basic human need of touch.