If you’re a man who suffers from trauma and struggles to get through difficult moments in your life, you may find comfort in cuddling with other men. Philly.com reports about the Men’s Therapeutic Cuddle Group that provides a safe, structured, and platonic environment for men to experience “the three As”: Acceptance, Affirmation, and Affection.
The Plymouth-based group is open to men over the age of 18 regardless of religious beliefs, marital status, or sexual orientation. The group is designed to breakdown traditional stereotypes of masculinity and allows for men to freely express themselves in an open and controlled environment.
Members who wish to be a part of the group must first apply and go through an interview process. Men who are under the influence or unhygienic may not participate in the cuddle group. Nudity and sexual touch are not permitted and consent is mandatory amongst participants. Additionally, those with bad knees or joints and who are seriously obese are informed that they may not be able to have a full experience.
Kevin and Scott, moderators for the MeetUp group say:
We establish “safe touch” boundaries, and only allow non-sexual cuddling. Cuddling never takes place on a bed. Men may want to cuddle or be held for many reasons, including to help heal past sexual abuse. If touch boundaries are not honored by all men, it can be damaging to the emotional or psychological health of other men.
Participants of the group have shared that cuddling has helped them cope with various forms of anxiety from childhood sexual abuse to the loss of a loved one.
Some of the activities in the group may include:
- Motorcycle Hold: where the holder sits on a pillow on the floor with his back against a wall or sofa and the 2nd man sits in front of the holder facing forward with his back resting on the holder’s chest.
- Hand holding
- Hair or beard stroking
- Back rubbing
- Hand massages
- Cuddle train: Free form of cuddling where participants lounge around each other
- Huddle circle: A final gathering with all the men where each shares a word of personal affirmation
Moderators of the group are clear to note that cuddling does not replace professional care by a certified counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist.