Adults in Minneapolis, Minnesota, are meeting up with strangers to find comfort in Cuddle Parties (video below). They also reportedly learn to deal with rejection at these events.
“I want you to know that for tonight ‘No’ is a complete sentence,” Candessa Hadsall, a facilitator for a Cuddle Party, tells participants, according to CBS Minnesota.
The strangers will learn about communication and boundaries, as well as cuddling (clothed) on the floor of a living room.
Hadsall, a registered nurse, informs the cuddlers that this is not a dating service or a chance to meet their life partners.
Hadsall has spent much of her nursing career counseling people who have been sexually assaulted and folks with chemical dependencies.
A big part of the Cuddle Party is telling people what you want and don't want, which may include not touching you.
Those who do cuddle experience a release of Oxytocin, an emotional attachment hormone.
Cuddle Parties take place across the U.S. and in Canada, according CuddleParty.com.
"We humans need touch and affection," the website reads. "It’s no longer a question. Nurturing, welcome consensual touch is good for you. Good for your body, heart and spirit. Good for your blood pressure, your nervous system, your emotional health, your ability to connect with and trust people, your ability to respect and care for yourself, your creativity, sense of safety and comfort and belonging. Infants who are deprived of touch fail to thrive; we never outgrow the need. We humans need touch that is not about sex."
There is a fee for this non-sexual touch, usually in the $20 to $30 range per person.