Leaders of the Consent Movement since 2004
Loving Touch is the first, primary and primal language of humanity. We need touch with presence as much as we need food, water, fresh air, clothing and shelter. Without it psychologists have documented that war orphans, who receive everything except loving touch, fail to thrive, and sometimes even die. It’s that important!
Many people today complain of skin hunger, or a longing to be touched. Even those in loving partnerships report feeling touch-starved. Similarly, I’ve had Tantrikas tell me, after a Loving Touch Workshop, they didn’t realise how much touch they still needed to feel fully expansive and happy.
The problem is, touch has become overly sexualised – so we either give ourselves away sexually in order to receive some touch – or we avoid touch like the plagues, lest it leads to sexual intercourse with someone we don’t wish to be that intimate with.
Cuddle Party Workshops (aka Loving Touch Workshops) are designed to support people to give and receive fully clothed, non-sexualised loving touch without agenda. It is touch with presence, with intimacy, and with unconditional love, and it releases the vital hormone of belonging called oxytocin. This is the hormone that’s released in a mother’s milk when she breast feeds her baby, which helps the mother and baby to bond. Oxytocin is also released when we are in the resting state of the parasympathetic, where all healing, repair, transformation and growth takes place.
We call Loving Touch gatherings ‘workshops’ because there are very clear agreements before the free-style cuddling is invited, together with ice-breaker exercises in healthy boundary-setting, where overt consent is critical. Choice is honoured, and a participant may choose to practice their ‘no’ the whole way through the workshop, or lie on a couch and read a book. Loving touch with presence and intimacy requires culturing, and so the workshops are designed for us to practice, practice, practice, and grow our capacity to give and receive.
I have benefited enormously from Loving Touch Workshops, especially in the areas of allowing myself to receive, whilst being able to communicate what I really, really want clean and clear. Furthermore, in facilitating them, I have witnessed how beings blossom in the presence of love, and how much more we can open to our ‘yes,’ when we know for sure our ‘no’ will be respected.
For more on Cuddle Parties and how to become a facilitator, visit cuddleparty.com