Let's face it, 2016 has been a difficult year. What better way to end it than with the warm, friendly and fun human connection of a cuddle party?
Join us as we say goodbye (or good riddance!) to the past and co-create a new, brighter and warmer future together. We will begin and end early enough so that if ye have other plans for ringing in 2017, you can still attend to them, maybe even with some new friends!
(Note that your RSVP on Facebook or Meetup.com doesn't guarantee you a space at the event; only a ticket does).
Craving human contact and connection? Want to learn more about how to ask for, negotiate, give/receive non-sexual touch in a fun, safe environment? If so, this is the Official Cuddle Party for you!
Come join us for an afternoon of delicious fun, learning, sharing, and...CUDDLES!
"Touch has the power to comfort us when we are sad, heal us when we are sick, encourage us when we feel lost, and above all else, allow us to accept that we are not alone." ~ Samantha Hess
The value of physical touch and affection to human beings cannot be overstated. When was the last time you were held?
Whether you're a beginner in the world of cuddles or you're a connoisseur, You are invited to relax in a warm, safe, and empowering experience with your brothers and sisters.
Join as we share kindness, compassion, and connection through touch at the next Irish Cuddle Salon (official) Cuddle Party!
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Dublin-area YEAR END Cuddle Party - December Irish Cuddle Salon!
31 December 2016
1:30pm - 5:00pm (doors open at 1:15pm)
The first 15 minutes will allow you to change, socialise, get settled, then we will begin promptly at 1:45pm. No late entry will be allowed due to the intimate nature of this event. The opening Welcome Circle is for introductions and to go over the rules of the afternoon. This is an important aspect of the Cuddle Party experience and creates a safe container for all participants. It is essential that everyone be on time so as not to disturb the flow of the afternoon for the rest of the group.
Common Ground, Bray (10 min walk from Bray DART station)
€20-€25, sliding scale (please give what you are able and feel comfortable with to support this work)
NO ONE TURNED AWAY FOR LACK OF FUNDS.
RESERVE TICKETS HERE NOW - SPACE IS LIMITED
Limited to 20 individuals - please reserve your ticket at the link above now.
WHAT TO WEAR:
Wear comfortable, non-binding, clothing (sweat pants, loose cotton, pajamas, onesies, etc. - have fun!). Think comfy, not sexy. You may change at the venue if necessary. This will be a shoe-free environment, please bring and wear clean socks.
WHAT TO BRING:
Bring your open heart and be prepared for the open hearts of others!
Optionally, consider bringing a pillow and blanket (and possibly extra to share). Also feel free to bring non-messy snacks/finger-foods to share, if you wish, and water for yourself.
* Be reasonably hygienically clean & groomed upon arrival out of respect for others.
* Please refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes or other strong scents.
* Please arrive sober so as not to impair judgement and experience. Anyone appearing intoxicated will be asked to leave.
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But wait, WHAT IS A CUDDLE PARTY?
A Cuddle Party is a non-sexual, experiential, consensual touch and communication event - part workshop, part social gathering. It is an opportunity for you to experiment with and practice consensual, non-sexual touch in a safe, comfortable environment facilitated by an experienced and certified touch professional.
Through the use of standard agreements and language, we create a safe, comfortable and protected space where people get to choose whether or not and how they practice the touch part of the workshop. Whether you are single or in a relationship(s), old or young, touch deprived and longing, or full to the brim and wanting to share - all are welcome.
Bursting with fun, connection, deep relaxation, laughter and healing, we include playful light exercises to get everyone in the mood, boundary setting practice, some real heart-warming exercises and the opportunity to ask for (and receive) what you want at any time (including nothing and everything!).
Cuddle events are about experience, intimacy, and learning. Especially for those who are touch-deprived, attending a Cuddle event can be a powerful healing session. Although touch is natural, the skills that make it welcome and enjoyable need to be learned. These skills include communication, discovering, setting and respecting boundaries, asking for what you want, and being able to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ with clarity, kindness, grace, acceptance and love. It’s a place where we talk about honoring our bodies and learning how to protect ourselves if someone doesn’t respect the boundaries we've set. These skills can have profound effects on the other parts of our lives.
You will be gently guided to co-create a light-hearted, safe, and fun space with your fellow cuddlers - at whatever level feels right for you. Facilitators will be available for participants should questions or support be needed.
Some benefits of attending an Irish Cuddle Salon event:
* Enhanced Clarity and confidence
* Improved Boundary and communication skills
* Comfort, support and encouragement
* Welcome, relaxed, non-sexual touch
When boundaries and consent are clear, every relationship becomes easier.
“Good fences make good neighbours”.
Why come to an Irish Cuddle Salon event?
* to connect with yourself.
* to meet new people.
* to enjoy amazing conversations.
* to learn new skills.
* to touch.
* to be touched.
* to have fun.
* to practice asking for what you want, to practice saying “no” to what you don’t want — all in a setting structured to be a safe place for exploration and enjoyment.
* to re-connect with yourself and the rest of the world.
* to help you feel like part of the planet when life's problems can make you feel that you aren't.
* Just to cuddle!
You will leave feeling relaxed with a healthy dose of oxytocin, an open heart, and a big smile on your face!
Irish Cuddle Salon events are non-judgmental and open to everyone, all ages, genders, sexual/relationship preferences, sizes, and abilities.
Participants do not have to touch or be touched at any time.
You're not required to do anything. If people want to bring a book or write in their journal, or just converse and not cuddle, that is completely OK and can have benefits for both yourself and the rest of the group too.
Please note: There is no nudity or sexual activity at this event. Although new friends can be made anywhere, this is not a dating group. If this is your reason for interest, please do not attend.
Most Irish Cuddle Salons (unless otherwise specified) include all genders (about 10-30 people) and are regularly held in the greater Dublin area and other locations around the country (and beyond, on request).
Adults only (ages 18 and up).
Thank You and Happy Cuddling!
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ABOUT YOUR HOST:
Randy Ralston is a consciousness facilitator and touch professional holding a California state-certification in sexological bodywork and a UK certification in somatic sex education. He hosts regular Cuddle Salons in Ireland and is a certified Cuddle Party Facilitator. He has a lifelong passion for helping others experience freedom in their lives, loves, and relationships.
Private cuddle parties and individual cuddling sessions also separately available, please enquire.
Feel free to contact Randy directly at any time with questions and he will be happy to answer them.
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"Reawakening that ability for loving touch can be one of the simplest and most beautiful gifts to ourselves and our loved ones. At its most basic, just showing up and being willing to touch someone with the intention of bringing healing or love can be a comforting experience for another. And sometimes it’s as easy as that. We may shy away from placing soothing hands on an aching back or stroking a tense head, thinking drugs or a doctor are more efficient, or not wanting to spend the time. Surprisingly, though, it can be all that’s needed to shift a mood, lighten discomfort, or unlock a deeper emotional layer that’s ready to be cleared. More importantly, touch connects people and increases that sense of trust and love in the world in a way that doctors and drugs struggle to do."
- Freya Watson (http://elephantjournal.com/2013/04/touch-me-please)
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Below are what some past Cuddle participants had to say about their experiences:
'I love this cuddle space, so safe and soft. <3' - L.S.
'I LOVE THESE CUDDLE PARTIES! Thank you so much. They make me smile inside and out.'
'Thanks, Randy for your input and guidance is very inspiring!! The Cuddle Salon is amazing.
'Great day - really enjoyed it - thanks for creating a great space.'
'Thank you so very much to all people who attended today! This was my first Cuddle party and I had no idea how I would like it! I am so much happier after the party... I had a tough time the last few years and much hurts.. After coming today I feel that i opened my heart again, and i feel better than I have felt in the last few years.. I needed this warmth and kindness of people and hugs so VERY much. Thank you so much... my heart is healing. With love & many cuddles.'
'A very special experience, on so many levels. Thank you.'
'It was just what I needed.'
'Thank you for organizing this safe space where a person can clearly ask for what they want and receive feedback.'
"This was a very special one for me.
I felt that I was really heard and accepted and given permission to say No and that it was ok.
I notice that I am often feeling very nervous at the beginning of cuddle parties but when I do honour my wishes of not wanting to hug someone by saying No and letting go of judgements of that, I feel safe.
It's as if when I realise that I have the permission and power to choose the right interaction for ‘me' I put myself at ease. And then I end up relaxing completely and by the end of yesterdays workshop I felt softer, gentler, happier and also stronger and safer in myself.
Another thing I find that is that I can often be concerned about whether the other person is OK that I’m not in the moment and enjoying. I also then don't know what I really want because I'm off elsewhere. It was really good to hear it said out loud that we are capable of looking after ourselves. It was empowering and also relieving. I didn't have to worry about the other person and whether they wanted to stop cuddling."
'A wonderful afternoon with a lovely, welcoming group. Looking forward to next month's Cuddle Salon!'
'Beautiful, moving & fun Cuddle Salon. Thank you.'
'Highly recommended safe space for practising how to bring more human connection to our lives.'
'Thanks Randy, I had a great day! :-)'
'It was my first time to go to one last month and it was a really wonderful experience. It was a really safe and welcoming space to be. I learned so much about human interaction and communication, boundaries, consent - it all felt so natural to me. I know I have more to learn and what a beautiful way to spend a Sunday (or any!) afternoon!'
'Great experience, warm and enriching. A really nice event. Can't wait for the next one.'
'Nice, honest, open.'
'Thank you for a wonderful time! Relaxing, loving and nurturing.'
'I'm still feeling the effects of it today, such a beautiful experience, thank you everybody.'
'I at first thought it was a bit unnecessary to describe how to say No and Yes, but later on realised it was actually much more complex and useful than I thought.'
'I was apprehensive, not knowing what to expect but really enjoyed it. The structure and clear exercises made it easy so I was able to relax. I felt I gained something vital. A great, enjoyable experience that left me yearning for more.'
'Yes, cuddling with strangers is awkward at first. But we're all people, we all need touch and affirmation and love. After a minute or two, the cuddling gets comfortable and cozy, because you are soon no longer in a room full of strangers. This is a positive, shame-free space to get important needs met. You'll feel better, mentally and physically, after a good snuggle.'
'Definitely would do it again. So much food for thought & discussion."
'I grew up in a hands-off, touch-deprived atmosphere. Cuddling changed my life. Attending cuddle events, I met my partner, made wonderful friends, and helped create heart-centered, touch positive community. cuddling helped me realize I was lovable, worthy of giving and receiving loving human touch.'
'I used to spend €60 per week on massage, and now I have friends with whom I can share different types of touch.'
'Cuddling taught me that touch is as infinite as colour or music. Cuddling taught me that compassionate touch can be as powerful for emotional healing as talk therapy or antidepressants. Cuddling taught me that desire for sex and desire for touch are two different things.'
'As a woman without a partner whose primary love language is physical touch, I find cuddling one of the best ways to feel connected to myself and others in a safe way. I’ve made great friendships along the way, too!'
'Even though I’m a teacher, I sometimes have social anxiety. Well-facilitated cuddles have helped me to relax and connect without feeling the need to have a couple of drinks to loosen up. Also, becoming more touch positive has helped me come through times of stress, loss, or uncertainty with a more robust sense of resilience.'
'Cuddles have had an enriching effect on my life. Growing up middle class, it was taboo to touch people. I recall even having this fear of brushing up against my friends or strangers. But, as I opened myself up to different cultural modes of thought, I explored such things as cuddles, and found that touching and being touched in a controlled environment is quite liberating and much needed!'
'Cuddling has made it possible for me to go much longer without a boyfriend, so that I can be more choiceful in my romantic relationships.'
'Cuddling helped ease my chronic pain & enriched my recovery from surgery by soothing my parasympathetic nervous system & lowering my cortisol levels.'
'Beautiful...I appreciate the effort and care put into it - the comfy blankets and pillows, the gourmet snacks, and of course the smiles and support'
'Really enjoyable and interesting!'
“I have been now to six cuddle parties in a row. They all have been intense, lovely experiences, with the single downside that Mondays are tough as I get something like a cuddle party hangover! :-) I accept that, as well as the energising effect that I get for the rest of the week. More than just fun, I am realising that these parties have become a means to learn about relating, and about myself - so there are benefits that carry into my life outside the parties. Moreover, my cuddling with each person is like a little story, and the story can develop if the other person comes to another party and we cuddle again. This opens some interesting possibilities with respect to depth of relating! In a nutshell: it is great to come to a single party, or even to the odd party, but for maximum benefit I recommend that cuddlers come to every party!”
'Peaceful and Nourishing'
'I need MOAR!!!'
'A great experience. Everyone should try it! '
'Really enjoyed the boundary setting. I feel like if I went to another event it would be of great benefit.'
'I can't even begin to describe how soothed I felt after it.'
'Appreciated the clear explanation of the rules and the examples to aid their understanding.'
'I have attended two of Randy’s Cuddle Parties now, and feel like so many people would benefit from this way of reconnecting with people in a real, physical way. Being at the Cuddle Party was nerve-wracking at first, but by the end I found myself wishing it would never end. Randy creates a safe space where consent and respect are tantamount, and there is no pressure whatsoever to do anything you don’t want to do, including cuddling. The result is this safe cocoon of warmth, healing and understanding, a place from which you can explore and practice asking for what you want without judgement. It really is an amazing way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and a wonderful gift to yourself. I would definitely recommend the experience to anyone.'
'I really enjoyed the way the space was set up and the progression of the night.'
'Very much appreciate the lack of pressure to cuddle/touch. It made me think about my own boundaries a lot - very therapeutic. I would like to go again to explore my boundaries more next time.'
'You sprayed us all with oxytocin (I couldn't believe how "at home and relaxed" I felt there)...Thank you for this incredible process that you facilitate!'
'I really like this and felt I could have explored it further, but really appreciated that I was given the space to decide myself what my boundaries would be.'
'Yet again, a lovely experience. Very different to the first time I attended yet the experience still managed to soothe the soul while positively re-directing my perspective.'
'As relaxing an atmosphere as it could be...being able to chat and cuddle with people was fun/nice (despite my social discomforts). I like the people who were there. Now that I've dipped my toes in, I'd like to try it again, ya!'
'Great afternoon, lovely time, and beautiful people.'
'Thanks for organising that beautiful event which attracted so many wonderful people. It was a real treat!'
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