Cuddle Enthusiast

Interview with Enthusiast Cuddler

As part of our interview series we get an opportunity to share experiences of our most valued professional cuddle therapist and enthusiast cuddlers of our cuddle community!

Today we are going to share some most intriguing cuddling insights from one of our enthusiast cuddlers of our cuddling community – Choices Vital

Tell us about your experience as an enthusiast cuddler, and what pre-pandemic cuddling looked like for you?


I have been more of an enthusiast cuddler and over several years I have met tons of professional cuddlers or even enthusiast cuddle buddies.

Professional Cuddling remains to be an emerging discipline.

Professional Cuddling as a discipline involves one primary ingredient and that is TOUCH! Touch therapy is an important aspect of Professional Cuddling. Although, given the discipline is emerging and evolving, other aspects of professional cuddling involves listening, talking, sharing, and connectedness.

For me specifically, any session is primarily dominated with aspects of touch based therapy but at the same time there is another important aspect for non-so touch oriented elements that helps me is the connectedness during any session. I have been able to mostly enjoy all my sessions with professional cuddlers who are being present for me, talk to me, share with me and just be there with me! That might sound bit all about me needing lot of attention! Well the fact of the matter is, yes being a care giver and out there helping multiple people, it drains me significantly that I do need the me time and with professional cuddlers, I am fortunate to get that needed attention and care!

One important thing, I have been personally volunteering at some of the Elder Care centers where I have gone and met with Elderly who live alone and are lonely. I tend to spend time connected with them. With them it is less about touch therapy and more about being present for them! Reason I emphasize this for building awareness about professional cuddling is therapy for lonely people of all ages, touch-deprived people of all ages, singles who are looking for connection without getting into a commitment relationship! It’s a platonic wellness discipline!

What is the importance of in-person cuddles?

We as humans are touchy-feely individuals with few exceptions! We are huggers! There is a reason we tend to have pets like dogs or cats or any other fluffy pets! We like warmth! So in-person cuddles is the key ingredient for a true genuine act of wellness.

How your cuddle experience changed under lockdown, and how you adapted to the loss of in-person intimacy?

Maybe I am speaking for the entire cuddle community out there but I am pretty sure it was a big shocker for all whether it is Enthusiast Cuddlers or Professional Cuddlers! We are all touchy-feely individuals! For any professional cuddler or Enthusiast cuddler – touch giving or receiving is one of their needs for well-being! Only a hugger can understand truly what it means to be suddenly not able to hug anyone due to social distancing.
In all honesty nothing can replace the in-person intimacy and connection! There is nothing sexual about it! People at times tend to mix intimacy with sex! There are various aspects of intimacy! For lack of words, platonic wellness cuddling is probably an affectionate & care form of intimacy than anything else. 
There is no true adapting to loss of in-person intimacy when it comes to me! Although, for sure there are people out there who have achieved a next level of maturity without the need for physical connection. But for me, there is a big learning curve out there to reach that level of maturity 🙂 !!

In-fact it is scary to even think of a world without in-person intimacy. It will be probably the most unhealthy world down the line OR if we are fortunate we all will turn into spiritually uplifted beings! Those are the two extremes I see, there won’t be an in-between! 🙂 !

Said that, I did for sure took this as an opportunity to explore some other aspects of wellness therapy involved listening, talking, sharing, and being connected with someone for a cause! So that was/is the temporary adaptation for me I guess! I will emphasize again I truly hope it’s temporary situation till there is a vaccine out there or herd immunity developed!

Although, I do know that in-person touch wellness is resuming but with a lot of precaution and care!  While hopefully ensuring abiding to the pandemic guidelines and protocols! I guess at some point we all will have to realize that folks who are within the cuddling community as enthusiasts or professionals cannot stay virtually connected for a longer time, physical in-person connection is like food for them!! This physical connection can be in the form of any kind of relationship, not necessarily a sort of romantic or couple kind. It is mostly buddy bonding kind!

What digital cuddles look like for you, and what you think you have/haven’t been able to accomplish while being limited by digital tools?

Honestly speaking, there isn’t truly anything like digital cuddling! It’s nothing less than faking ourselves probably unless you are part of the community that has matured to that level! It’s a boon for those who found their leap!

Said that, there is probably a digital connection for lack of words! and even the concept of self-cuddling that is evolving more prominently with the combination of digital connection!

What I am observing amongst the cuddle community like CuddleConnect.com is lots of cuddlers professionals or enthusiasts that during the pandemic times, they are finding creative ways to stay connected with each other across the world! Infact, one of the most visible thing that has become in the CuddleConnect.com community is that geographical barriers are in a way broken. Lots of members across the world have been reaching out to me at least and I am doing the same giving an opportunity to now connect with each other across states, countries and even continents. I am noticing there is more openness now amongst non-local members who are willingly engaging with me even though I am not local to them. I guess we all are taking advantage of Virtual Buddy Connection concept. It’s all good experimental thing for me and worth trying while I am limited with my physical connections!

Professionals are now not limited to just connect with people locally but now they can connect virtually with anyone. Indeed no physical in-person connection can be established but instead it is getting replaced with Lot of Virtual meet and sessions in form of Talk, Listen, Share, Connect, Exchange Messages, and one important aspect Professional Cuddlers are even teaching Self-Cuddling, Meditation, Distant Reiki, Yoga, Fitness, and more via their special sessions.

So that’s the exploration phase I am noticing as I engage with multiple members pro or otherwise, it appears that the cuddle discipline is growing beyond just the idea of Physical touch into Digital Connectedness !!


What you think digital intimacy is during this time and what you’ve been able to learn about yourself?

In a way, I answered that above in the last paragraph around the aspect of how digital connectedness is emerging in these times while it will definitely never be a permanent replacement to in-person intimacy! It better not else I don’t what will happen of me 🙂 !! lol! I am significantly touch starved while being extra cautious to not become the reason to cause an exposure to any elderly’s health condition negatively that I have commitment towards!

Our questions from CuddleConnect.com to you are all converging to ask a simple question: what is a cuddle to you, when you can’t do it in-person?

Hopefully, you got your answers in all of my above responses! Probably that’s all I have to say for now!

This concludes our interview questions with Choices Vital – Cuddle Enthusiast in our cuddling community! We thank Choices Vital for all the time you gave in responding to all of our questions!

If you read it this far, we at CuddleConnect.com thank you for taking the time to read our interview series. We are also very much interested to hear from you. Are you interested to share your experiences or thoughts? Reach us out at CuddleConnect.com. Let us know how you think we at CuddleConnect.com are making a difference for their members in the world of pandemic!

Hoping you are able to create something valuable out of this information that helps spreading good word about our CuddleConnect.com community!

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Cuddle Awards Announced!

Very recently we completed our first year as one of the fastest growing cuddle community! We are delighted to announce introduction of our cuddle awards of the year! These cuddling awards will be given to one of the selected professional cuddle buddies and enthusiast cuddle buddies.

This award is announcing our 2019 Enthusiast Cuddler of the Year! We are planning to introduce and announce 2019 professional cuddler of the year award soon in the coming weeks!

If you would like to learn more about our awards or would like to be participant, please contact us

Our 2019 Enthusiast Cuddle Member who has been selected by CuddleConnect.com for this award is NYCLatnGuy! Congratulations to NYCLatnGuy!!! Our Award includes $25 gift card and 1 year of Elite Membership! Take a moment to watch this one minute video and an interview with our Enthusiast Cuddler of the Year!

A bit about NYCLatnGuy in his own words:

I was born and raised in NYC, but have lived all over the eastern USA for my education and later for employment. Moving to new cities every few years has afforded me the opportunity to meet many new and interesting people, but has at times also led to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Thanks to sites like CuddleConnect, I have been able to mitigate that and form connections with people I would otherwise never have met.

Were you always a cuddler, or is it a more recent thing in your life?

I have always loved physical contact, even from a young age, when I would climb on my family or lay on my friends. I always had my arm around someone, would lean on them, or hold hands with those I cared about. If one is familiar with the concept of the five love languages, physical touch is my primary way of expressing affection, and it has been a major part of my life experience for both platonic and romantic intimacy. In recent years I have been more keenly aware of its importance in my life.

What brought you here to Cuddle Connect?

As I have matured in my life and relationships, I have grown to understand and appreciate the importance of platonic intimacy in my life. It can be difficult to find other people who are interested in sharing intimacy and physical touch, but who are comfortable with removing the possibility of transition to romantic or sexual interactions. This has been particularly true when I have been involved in romantic relationships with others who value physical touch less or who are at a distance that does not allow for consistent contact. Knowing that I have shared interests with my fellow platonic cuddlers takes away the stress of feeling like there is pressure for anything more than what we have agreed to, or for a need to act or perform in a manner outside of simple friendship, affection and kindness.

What do you value most about cuddling?

There is nothing quite like the feeling of snuggling up with another willing person. The feeling of calm and relaxation that washes over you, the security of being in another’s arms, the softness of another’s gentle touch. Frankly, the experience of connection and closeness is what I find to be most valuable to me, and the effects last for days or weeks, improving my general mood and sleep. How do you most like to cuddle and be cuddled? Every experience with each individual cuddle partner varies, although all have their highlights. I have found that open, clear, and honest communication before and during cuddles has led most consistently to a feeling of mutual satisfaction. I feel that versatility and open-mindedness are key to optimizing any particular cuddle interaction, and the only thing I consistently ask for from all my partners is that the room temperature be slightly cooler, as body heat can make warmer spaces more difficult to endure.

How has your experience been here on Cuddle Connect so far?

Since the moment I joined almost a year ago, my experience on CuddleConnect has been a consistently positive one. I have found fulfillment in the opportunity to not only be part of a growing community of like-minded people, but thanks to the attentiveness and responsiveness of the site moderators, I have had the privilege of helping improve the experience for myself and others by giving feedback that they have implemented into practice. I am excited about where the site is going and am hopeful that it will continue to thrive as more curious and touch-starved people learn about the concept of platonic cuddling.

What kinds of things do you look for in a professional?

At various times in recent years, I have had the pleasure of employing professional cuddlers. It is often difficult as a private man with a hectic work and life schedule to find people who are willing to meet at my behest and at times with somewhat short notice. I find it extremely valuable that there are people who are willing to share affection tailored to my needs and who focus on me in exchange for reasonable compensation of their time and efforts. The consummate professional for me is someone who communicates clearly and consistently. Timeliness of communication and giving me the feeling of a genuine interest in helping me feel better are crucial to optimizing our experience.

What are some experiences that weren’t so positive?

I think that at the end of the day it is important to remember that the people who join sites like CuddleConnect are just people from all walks of life who are looking for a connection. Being mindful of the one generally shared goal, occasionally one will interact with another individual who they may not “mesh” with. I have found that this happens particularly when the communication is not clear and specific, and when expectations are not aligned. It does not matter if it is an interaction with another enthusiast or with a professional, if people do not approach each other non-judgmentally and with curiosity, the risk of friction rises. If we come to each other with empathy and understanding, even those interactions that are not uniformly positive can still be helpful to those involved and helped us all grow together as we try to navigate this exciting phenomenon of platonic cuddles!

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Cuddle Boundaries

“Please don’t touch me without my permission”

– Mr. Little Boy

For cuddling or touch to exist, there needs to be a relationship between the two partners. The kind of relationship that can define the type and extent to which the individuals can cuddle or touch each other. The way a married couple will cuddle will not be the same way the individuals in a platonic relationship will cuddle. This section contains the different types of relationships.

Queer Platonic (QPRs)

Queer Platonic is a relationship that features intimacy and closeness between the partners involved. It could be a romantic relationship or a non-romantic relationship. Specifically, it involves a platonic relationship or a close emotional connection between two people. The intimacy and level of commitment in a Queer Platonic relationship is greater than a romantic relationship. Some Queer Platonic relationships may or may not involve sex. Individuals in this relationship don’t consider themselves as best friends; it is far more than that, though to the onlooker they are seen as close friends. A Queer Platonic relationship can appear in whatever orientation the partners choose; either as a non-romantic or asexual relationship. You may hardly find two QPRs that are the same. One may involve kissing and/or sex while the other does not involve either or both of them.

Romantic

A romantic relationship is often defined as a sexual relationship. This is a general perception as not all romantic relationships are attached to sex or amorous affairs.
By definition, a romantic relationship is an intimate relationship where the involved partners respect each other. It is an emotional connection that may involve physical but not necessarily sexual intercourse. Essentially, it is an intimate relationship that provides two individuals the foundation to grow in their personal lives

Platonic

The term platonic relationship refers to a relationship that has a degree of intimacy between two partners. What makes this relationship stand out amongst others is the absence of sexual activities. Yes, there is no sexual activity in platonic relationships despite the closeness and emotions being shared by the two parties. Boundaries A healthy relationship is one with boundaries. When boundaries are properly defined and respected, it will go a long way in making your relationship last longer. These boundaries can often be crossed based on mutual understanding. If boundaries are always broken, then there is a need to set up a wall. These walls could be distance, abstinence or restrictions. Relationships with boundaries bring the feelings of both parties into consideration. In less healthy relationships where boundaries are not respected, the partners involved function by assumptions. They believe their partner feels the same way they do. They are not concerned or bothered by the consequences of breaching their partner’s boundaries. Boundaries in a non-romantic, asexual or romantic relationship is very crucial. It enables each partner to avoid violating the intimate space of their partner. It is also very important to clearly communicate boundaries to our partners. This makes us feel safe and happier in our relationships.

What are Boundaries in a Relationship?

Defining of trigger words In this regard, there is a need for the clarity of language to be used; especially those words that hurt. It is important to discuss words that remind you of your past negative experiences.

Agreeing on what you tell friends If you have friends that you share intimate information about your relationships, it will be best to tell your partner about them. You and your partner will decide the extent of the information your friends should know about the relationship. The most important thing is for both of you to be in agreement on such a sensitive issue.

Setting sexual boundaries Being in a committed relationship doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be sexual boundaries. Determining what to do and what not to do to or with your partner is important.

Deciding what’s off-limits to share It is very important to set a boundary such as what is off-limits to share; this makes each partner feel more comfortable in the relationship.

The Importance of Boundaries None wants to be controlled but that is what most people do in their relationships which often brings untimely doom. We want to be in charge of everything and want our partner to do only what we perceive to be right. This is unfair. A relationship in this direction is heading towards disintegration. When boundaries are set, you create a mutually understood relationship; a relationship filled with respect and love. It makes for maintaining a successful relationship. It makes you feel safe and heard.

The Importance of Consent and How to Communicate Consent is the permission given to you by your partner to do something or break certain boundaries. It means the person is aware of the forthcoming event and knows about its possible consequence. They can even say no if they change their mind at any point in time and the refusal should be honored. Consent and boundaries work together. When your partner declines a move, it means they’ve created a boundary and breaking this boundary without consent is unhealthy in a relationship. In a purposeful relationship, consent is very important. It is the responsibility of the two parties in a relationship to make sure that they feel comfortable and safe with each other. The way you behave or your actions towards your partner will surely have an effect on their feelings about you and it will deeply affect the relationship either positively or negatively. Importance of Consent Prior to making a decision in a relationship, the consent of both individuals involved should be obtained. When the two parties give consent to an action and the action yields undesirable results, they will both walk through its consequence together rather than one party throwing the blame. For the sake of emphasis, consent is required in all relationship dealings, particularly one that includes sexual intimacy. There should always be a consensual sexual activity regardless of the level of intimacy. It is against the law to go against the will of your partner. It’s not just a crime but the emotional trauma it evokes may last forever. How to Communicate If you want to gain the consent of your partner, there is a need for communication and getting a feedback – Yes or No.

Communicating is an art that allows for feedback. – You must be honest and the following tips will guide your communication so as to positively win your partner’s consent: replica rolex watches

Be Confident

Everyone acknowledges the bold; so, start being confident Confidence attracts or makes a person pay total attention to you. It makes you look great and worth people’s time. Be honest, don’t be manipulative. Be respectful, and be receptive.

Show Interest

Great communication means giving space to the person you are communicating with and understanding that they need to understand you. This understanding cannot be achieved if there is constant rambling during a conversation. Be as clear as possible and show interest in being understood. You should also be able to make others feel free and confident to talk about themselves instead of just listening to you..


Listen Twice, Speak Once

It’s important to give the other person your undivided attention when they are talking as this will lead to an ease and flow. The ability to exercise patience while listening to your partner’s reasons will create the room for smooth-sailing communication..

Do Not Attack

To get your partner’s consent, you should be careful with your choice of words as well as your tone of voice. Harsh words can sound like an attack which can make your partner go on the defense and feel less receptive to your message.

Be Honest

The truth hurts most of the time but it is necessary for a healthy relationship. You should learn how to be honest with your partner. Make your motives open and very easy to understand. Once your partner senses an ulterior motive, it becomes hard to fully trust you.

Check Your Body Language

Knowing how to use body language to maintain an effective and efficient communication will give you an opportunity of gaining consent from your partner. Make sure you give your partner the undivided attention he/she deserves and do not engage in any other activities like playing with your phone during a conversation.

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