Mark has been attending Cuddle Sanctuary events since the early days of our conception. He has since become one of our beloved Cuddle Ambassadors, and has been “out” about cuddling everywhere in his life. Here is his story:

Was there a point in time that you decided to share openly about it?    

My initial experience, was that I realized I really missed physical touch after my wife passed away. I found Cuddle Sanctuary, and signed up. The first night, I was nervous about cuddling with “strangers”. I did not tell anyone for fear that it would seem needy, desperate or really weird. But I found that it really was great for me. I kept attending.  after about a year, I could feel the difference in my life, and decided to drop any shame with cuddling. I got bold about sharing with all my friends.  

 

What was that process like?    Most everyone was supportive, as they knew my deep and painful loss of my spouse.  More than a few thought it was “weird” or that the intimacy was more than they had in sex.          

 

What have you found helps other people hear about this practice.

By sharing my personal experiences, how it has made my life better to be very conscious of consent. Being clear on my own Yes and No, respecting others No and yes, has been profound. Learning to ask for touch that I want, and also give the touch that others want have indeed made a huge difference in my life.

It is hard for others to hear this and not “feel” how this has impacted me. Some had attended a cuddle with me, with varying benefits.But left very understanding of the wonderful and diverse friends at cuddle!

Now I talk to many people that I meet about cuddling and the value to touch. No longer ashamed of needing, wanting and finding a place to share this with others. Especially in these times of turmoil, finding kindness, understanding and sharing a present and powerful moment in touch with others. Yes, I am an ambassador of cuddling wherever I go. I have seem its benefits for me, and many others. Always clear with consent, knowing you can take care of yourself and others in the group will accept you, and your boundaries is powerful!   

I love hugs and cuddling.

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