It happened. I was at a cuddle event and started having sexual thoughts about a fellow attendee. Oops. I noticed myself starting to feel ashamed that my thoughts were inappropriate and creepy. “These aren’t the thoughts that I’m supposed to be having at a cuddle!” I chastised myself.

My thoughts weren’t inappropriate and creepy. They were natural and human. And this awkward experience posed a good opportunity for me. It’s an important skill to be able to separate out the sexual from the sensual and platonic. Just as people naturally de-emphasize their sexual energy during work or family time, it’s an important thing to be able to do.

Should I Just Stay Home?

I’ve never had a woman contact me at Cuddle Sanctuary with concerns that her sexual energy may be a problem at a cuddle event. But I’ve had countless men do so. I’m guessing it’s because of the penis situation. The issue has “come up” enough times for me to put together an article on how to deal with it. Here’s the cliff notes version: If you fear getting aroused at a cuddle event, please don’t let that deter you from trying it! (I’ll tell you at the end which of the following techniques I used that night.)

Check Your Attitude

Your sexual energy is a beautiful and powerful part of who you are. But a platonic cuddle event isn’t the place to express it. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s not your cuddle buddy’s fault that you’re aroused. It’s also not your cuddle buddy’s job to take care of your arousal in any way. Consider your arousal as an opportunity to take responsibility for your sexual energy.

Paradoxically, getting good at acknowledging and shifting your arousal makes you a better lover. How – you might ask? It gives you better control of your sexual “instrument”- your energy and your body. It allows you to have authority over your sexual energy – rather than being a slave to it. If you get aroused, here are six tips to help you move your arousal from erotic back to nonsexual.

Try a Different Position

Whatever cuddle position you’re in, try a different one with less physical contact. Going from spooning – where your whole body may be making contact with your cuddle buddy – to sitting up side by side – may be all you need. Or you may want to take a break from all physical contact for while.

Change Activities

This might be a good time to do something else. At Cuddle Sanctuary, we often suggest thumb fighting as a playful way to connect. Maybe you could challenge your cuddle buddy to a dual. You could also try moving from cuddling to a conversation. Or changing cuddle buddies. Or grabbing a drink of water. Lots of options.

Change the (Mental) Channel

If your mind is distracted by sexual thoughts, put your focus on something else – your favorite TV show, a math problem, the lyrics to a song, etc. You could also try putting your attention on the other person. Ask your cuddle buddy about their day – and really listen to their answer.

Move the Energy Up

I created a video about this technique (at the beach!) and also describe it below.

Sexual energy tends to reside in the pelvis – right where the genitals are. When a person is feeling sexual, there may be attention and sensation in the pelvis. It’s possible with practice to move that sexual sensation and attention up your body using your mind and your imagination.

This technique is borrowed from the practice called tantra. For some people, this technique will work incredibly well. Try it out and see!

Pretend that your sexual feelings are a green ball of energy at your groin. Imagine that with each inhale of breath that you can move that ball of energy slowly but surely higher and higher up your spine.

Using your imagination, move that green ball of energy inch by inch all the way up to your heart. Now with the next few breaths pretend that your breath is originating not from your lungs but from your heart. Breathe in and out from your heart for a few rounds of inhales and exhales.

You can practice this exercise when you’re home alone. See if you’re able to transform your sexual energy into “heart energy.”

Rub One Out Earlier in the Day

Though I don’t have a penis myself, one of my clients does; he shared with me a tip that helps him. Before a cuddle experience, he brings himself to sexual climax earlier in the day. That helps take the edge off of his sexual desire and allows him to relax and enjoy the cuddle with less distraction. Perhaps you’ve used this technique for dating. It works perfectly well for cuddles, too.

So What Did I Do?

That evening when I was at a cuddle event and had sexual thoughts, I used two of the above techniques. I changed activities by hanging out with other people and “changed the channel” by thinking about other stuff. I still had a really great evening – it turned out to be no big deal.


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