Frequently Asked Questions
When you consider attending your first Cuddle Workshop you may feel a bit shy about the idea of cuddling people you don't know, that's perfectly understandable!
Led through our ice breaking exercises and precise boundary setting agreements, participants usually relax very quickly... then it's simply a case of enjoying yourself!
By the end of the workshop people tend to feel very connected, thus we have a tradition of going out to a local cafe afterwards.
What happens at a Cuddle Workshop?
Our Cuddle Workshops last for just under 4 hours. During this time we will:
· Introduce ourselves
· Do some ice-breaking exercises
· Run through some agreements designed to create a safe space
· Practice communication skills and negotiating boundaries
· Have lots of opportunities to cuddle with touch exercises
· Boost our levels of Oxytocin (see below), promoting happiness, wellbeing and relaxation
In addition to our regular workshops, we offer a 'Cuddling for Beginners' workshop and a 'Sunshine Cuddles' workshop about three times a year.
The Cuddling for Beginners workshop is a slower paced experience designed for anyone new to our work or who may feel nervous about attending. Extra attention is given to looking at how we recognise and communicate our boundaries, which almost always creates a stronger feeling of safety and feeling comfortable. More than one nervous patricipant has said it's life changing!
The Sunshine Cuddles workshop is for anyone who's already attended one of our workshops, is familiar with the guidelines and 'culture' of the workshop and who wants to spend more time cuddling. It is kicked off with some playful games followed by a warm up connection exercise, and then there is room for more informal cuddling and chatting. Towards the end we come into silence for a relaxing dive into cuddly bliss!
Have a look at our Events page to see the dates of our next worskhops.
What kind of people attend Cuddle Workshops?
People from all walks of life attend our workshops, from business professionals to students, artists, musicians, lawyers, teachers...you name it!
People's ages have ranged from 18 to 85, although anybody is welcome as long as they are 17 years old or over. We aim to maintain a rough gender balance for all workshops.
What if I don't want to cuddle someone?
It is very natural for us to be drawn towards certain people and away from others. You are never expected to cuddle anyone at any time unless you want to. You can say no at any point and we'll give you an opportunity to practice this with a simple exercise so that it is made easier. Also, you are given the opportunity to change your mind as much as you want. You may find that the people you're drawn towards by the end of the workshop are different to the people you expected you would be drawn to at the beginning!
Why should I pay for cuddles?
You're not paying for cuddles. You are paying to attend a safely held space and participate in a guided workshop with experienced facilitators. The workshop has been constructed in a way that allows for a gentle innocent exploration of human physical contact with new people. The cuddles - and resulting Oxytocin - are free.
What is Oxytocin?
When you've enjoyed a good hug or cuddle with another human being you may have noticed a wave of calm or relaxation wash over you. Your breathing slows down, your muscles relax, you start to unwind. This feeling is likely to have been due to a wonderful naturally produced chemical called Oxytocin. Oxytocin in a hormone and a neurotransmitter that is produced in the body when we have feelings of care, connection and bonding with another. Sometimes nicknamed the 'love hormone' or the 'cuddle chemical,' it is present when we bond with a newborn child, when we fall in love, when we snuggle up with a partner and when we take care of or stroke a pet. The health benefits of oxytocin are tremendous; amongst other things it relieves depression, lowers the stress hormone cortisol, regulates blood pressure, improves heart function, produces feelings of calm and relaxation, reduces cravings and boosts the immune system. It is the reason why people with pets recover from illnesses quicker and why married people live longer. It has been found that higher levels of oxytocin in the body are correlated with feelings of happiness, trust, love, bonding, gratitude and generosity.
Is Cuddle Workshop like the Cuddle Parties I've heard of in America? How does it differ from other cuddle events I've seen?
Cuddle Workshop is not affiliated with Cuddle Parties in the USA. We are similar yet different from Cuddle Party. Like them, we offer a safe boundaried space to explore nurturing non-sexual touch. Our workshops are more structured throughout the event however, offering various exercises that gently ease participants into greater levels of closeness for developing awareness and intimacy skills, so that the more reserved of us remain comfortable too!
You may have seen cuddle events popping up around the UK recently. Some may event be calling themselves 'Cuddle Workshop'! We have been running our events for 14 years, and have had plenty of experience creating safe and professional workshops. Be careful! Unless you see the event listed here it is not one of ours.
I've heard there are rules at the workshops, what are they?
The rules are designed to ensure that a safe and comfortable time is had by everyone. As you may notice, some of them are guidelines more than rules.
1. You do not have to cuddle anyone you don't want to, or participate in any exercise you don't feel comfortable doing. This is essential to respecting your own body and your boundaries.
2. You must keep at least one layer of clothing on at all times.
3. Ask permission before cuddling. This gives both of you the opportunity to feel more comfortable.
4. Please treat all touch as you would the touch of a family member or small child. Kissing and sexual energy, whilst perfectly normal, are not appropriate during a Cuddle Workshop.
5. All emotions are welcome - Sadness, anger, tears and laughter etc are all part of the rich tapestry of being human, and sometimes it is only when we allow ourselves to relax fully that we give those emotions permission to be felt.
6. Remember your Cuddle Manners! Always say thank you after a cuddle.
Where can I book?
The workshops are pre-booked - we recommend reserving your place early as they often get fully booked!
Bookings are currently taken via our Meetup page - www.meetup.com/Cuddle-Workshop/
Joining this website is free and takes just a minute or two. If you choose to you can also get notified when a new workshop gets posted, as well as any social events that happen from time to time. If you prefer you can email us directly to discuss alternative ways of booking.
I'm in a relationship. Am I welcome?
Yes, you're really welcome, with or without your partner. The nature of the workshops is non-sexual so it should not feel uncomfortable for anyone in a relationship. Obviously people's experiences may differ so please contact us if you're in any doubt.
If you come alone it may be wise to have a conversation with your partner first to make sure you honour the specific agreements of your relationship. There are many simple things you'll learn during the workshop that are really useful to enhance your relationship.
Coming as a couple is a really special treat. You'll get the opportunity to experience some relaxing quality time with one another without many of the distractions you're used to, and many couples say it has deepened their love and intimacy levels with one another.
How do you manage gender?
We are sensitive to the non binary nature of gender and welcome everybody. From past experience however, we've noticed that the workshops work best for everyone when there is a rough 'gender balance' of attendees. For the duration of the workshop gender is not specified when arranging exercises.