A Philadelphia-area all-men's group will soon be holding another mass cuddle — all in the name of healing from past sexual abuse.
What? What is this?
The group, called Men's Therapeutic Cuddle Group, is based out of Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. The group has apparently held previous regular sessions for men to gather and cuddle. Their next session is scheduled on April 3.
The group aims to cuddle its way into comfort, including to "help heal past sexual abuse." The group's goal "is to provide a safe, structured, and platonic environment for men to experience 'the three As': Acceptance, Affirmation, and Affection.'"
The event page lays down the rules of conduct, which include an age regulation of 18 years old.
Other rules include being "hygienically sound," on time, fully clothed at all times, and insistent upon receiving verbal confirmation before touching anyone in the group.
The men-only event kicks off at 7 p.m. with an introduction to healing through cuddling. After customary greetings, men are paired up to experience one-on-one cuddling. This goes on for about 10 minutes and men are then encouraged to jump into the group cuddle.
"We establish 'safe touch' boundries [sic], and only allow non-sexual cuddling," the event organizers write. "Men may want to cuddle 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."
How does this work?
Group organizers suggest holding your fellow man "motorcycle-style," which is described as the "holder," who "sits on a pillow on the floor with his back against a wall or sofa."
"The 2nd man; the one being held, sits in front of the holder facing forward so his back rests on the holder's chest, his head on the shoulder," the page adds. " The holder will embrace the man around the chest and, in time, may be asked for additional forms of affection such as hand holding, hair or beard stroking, back rubbing, hand massages, etc."
You might think it would be bad for men who have experienced past sexual abuse to cuddle with other men if they are sexually aroused, but organizers say that if any men get aroused during the cuddling that session, it won't be a problem.
"Most men experience some level or arousal during cuddling," the organizers add. "This is completely normal...we're all guys. We just ignore it. There is no shame here!"
Other options for group cuddling include "spooning," "just lounging on each other," and "forming a 'cuddle train.'"
"Some guys may want to cuddle with a man who may carry the energy of their father, a brother, or the jock who may not have affirmed them in High School," the page explains. "Other men may choose NOT to cuddle someone who reminds them of, for instance, their abusive teacher, uncle or a childhood bully."