In my previous blog I wrote about “The Art of Hugging”. This is mostly inspired by the many mishaps that have happened over the years of my existence when it came to the act of hugging, being hugged, or avoiding hugging. This blog is all about Cuddling and is inspired by the same thing.
I like to cuddle. I think that I am good at it. Others may disagree. I don’t care. I have had lots of rave reviews regarding my abilities in this arena, so if you disagree it is only because YOU don’t know what you are doing. So listen up. Cuddling is something that lowers blood pressure, increases serotonin in the brain, increases endorphins, thus giving the “feel great” signals through the body and the mind, and boosts the immune system. So it is therapeutic and just plain fun!
Cuddling can be done anywhere…except the grocery store (that would be another opportunity to get arrested!). People cuddle on the sofa, on the floor, on the bed, on a chair, in a house, in a car, on a train, in a bar, even in church! I’ve seen that one! Hell! I’ve DONE that one! It was the best experience I have ever had in a church. But I digress. Basically cuddling is a socially acceptable form of human connection. I have noticed that when I cuddle with another male there is a lot more stigma about it here in North America than if I were to do it in Europe. Those Europeans really have it together when it comes to this! And why the hell should it matter what gender a person is? Cuddling is not something that is automatically sexual anyway. Yes, it can become so, but if your intent is not such, then it does not. From the time we are small children we tend to know on a deeply intuitive level the importance of human physical contact. Medicine Wheel teachings tell us that from the time we are born until the time we die, no matter how long a period of time there is between these two events, we all need to be held. Human physical contact is indeed THAT important! It was only with the introduction of “therapeutic distance” in modern medical practice, and with the introduction of religious stigmas earlier on, that physical contact between human beings became something that was looked upon as anything other than NATURAL. This contact does not have to be limited to one’s mother, or father, or brother, or sister. It can extend to one’s grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends and so on. It is how we make deeper emotional bonds with people. And that way we learn how to continue those emotional bonds with our own children.
I remember when I was about 14 years old my eldest sister brought to the family farm a couple of men from Romania. They had just immigrated and were in a program that she was involved with to help them to assimilate into Canadian culture. This program taught them all sorts of social skills but was mostly focused on helping them to learn better English and get viable jobs so that they could then send for their families to come over to join them here. My family was extremely musical (we even had a family band for a number of years that would do gigs all around the province) and so whenever we had people over it would usually end up in one big jam session. This was no exception. So my father played a few tunes on the guitar, and my mother played stuff on the organ and I played stuff on the piano etc. While we played, these two men (best of friends) were sitting on the sofa. My sister was sitting on one end and they were in the middle and the other end. As they were enjoying the music they leaned into each other and relaxed and listened. One put his head on the other’s shoulder and then other put his head back on the sofa. They looked so peaceful and in such bliss! I was so happy to have helped them to find such relaxation in a situation that, for anyone, could be tense and stressful.
The next time my sister came over, my father was expressing, in no uncertain terms, that whether they were from Romania or not (his mother’s homeland) they were not welcome back. When she asked why that was his response was that he did not want any gays in his home. My sister and I looked at each other, both with giant question marks above our heads, and then looked at him and she asked, “What makes you think that they are gay?” He then referred to them cuddling on the sofa. At this point I became quite disgusted with his ridiculous idea that two men cuddling equated to homosexuality, as well as his bigoted attitude toward homosexuality. My sister reminded him that they were both married and had wives and families in Romania and that in Europe there was likely a lot less of an issue with such connections between men than there is here in North America. My father would hear nothing of it. This made me both angry and sad. I knew, even then, that this was so wrong! This was, after all, coming from a man who bragged about skinny dipping with his army buddies and that it meant nothing because “we were, after all, in the army”, as though this qualified as an excuse to overlook the possible homoerotic undertones of the event. The hypocrisy abounded in him, every day.
So I decided, much to his chagrin I am sure, that I was not going to be one of those bigots who saw everything as a possible affront to the heterosexual life choice that people make. Did you catch that? The heterosexual “life choice” part? After all, that is what bigoted idiots call others’ homosexual natures. There are two sides to THAT coin, folks! In addition to that decision, I also decided that I was never going to be a person who would pass up a perfectly legitimate opportunity to cuddle whenever possible and with whomever I liked. So suffice it to say my father lost his mind when he found my best friend and I cuddling while watching TV! I thought his response was hilarious. He did not. I was not allowed to see my friend for a month and was told that I could not watch TV for that period of time either. Wow. And I don’t mean that in a positive “Wow! Is that ever AWESOME!” kind of way. I mean that in a “Wow, is that ever screwed up!” kind of way. He would likely roll over in his grave now that I am actually intimately involved with another man. Do I care? Obviously not.
In the meantime, I have had plenty of opportunities to cuddle with friends and family. This is why I also enjoy movie nights. Some of the best times I have experienced have been when having a bunch of friends over to watch a movie and we all just cuddle with each other on the sofa, on the floor, wherever, often with comfy blankets to stay warm and cozy. It also does not matter to me with whom I am cuddling at such a gathering. It is also perfectly natural for one person to sit while another lies down and puts his or her head on the lap of the first person to watch the show. This also does not have to be a sexual thing. In fact, it rarely is, unless the two are already intimate in some deeper way. Sometimes as people change positions they also change their cuddle partners. That is cool as well. And for those brothers of mine that are now getting wigged out by this concept, let me assure you….the females of our species find that two guys cuddling is one of the HOTTEST things that they get to witness! Sex with your girlfriend is going to get more prolific and a lot hotter if you have no hang ups about cuddling with another dude! Everyone tends to feel quite blissed out by the end of the movie, not because of the movie as such, or because of any sexual innuendos, but because of the physical connection to each other.
Does this lead to an orgy? Well, I have never experienced a spontaneous eruption of an orgy. Those, in any personal experience or “I read about that” experience, have always been planned way ahead of time so that all parties have known what they are getting themselves into. So no, cuddling does not equate to “orgy”. Nor does it equate to some homoerotic activity. Yes, some may have “feelings” for others, but those feelings have most likely existed way before the cuddling has started, so it is not like the cuddling is the factor that brought up those feelings. The feelings were there first. Whether or not those feelings get acted upon completely depends upon circumstances, and those circumstances may or may not have anything to do with the cuddling. So I think that we really need, as an entire culture, to pull our heads out of our asses about this act of human connection. This does not have to be a scary thing or as sexual thing. In fact, it can be one of the most life enriching things one experiences….even if the other person is of the same gender! Even if the other person is of the opposite gender! So get over it folks! Put on the popcorn, get out the comfy blanket, turn on the movie, sit close together so that your bodies are touching, and enjoy!