If you read my post earlier this week, you’ll remember that the discussion was centered around a Portland woman named Samantha Hess, the professional cuddler who founded Cuddle Up To Me.
Well – there’s a reason I’m posting twice this week. Hess has big news, and I need to get the word out there before it’s too late.
The world’s very first cuddle convention is happening this Saturday, February 14th (we all know what special day that is!) in Portland. It’s called Cuddle Con, and according to Hess, it’s the most important even in cuddling history.
The 12-hour convention will be held across various venues, including a ballroom, a hotel conference room, an AcroYoga studio, and Cuddle Up To Me’s office suite. The event’s website boasts that there are so “many options to choose that even cuddling itself is optional and not required!” Here’s an incomplete list of attractions:
- Safety, Communication & Consent
- Cuddling Classes with celebrity professional cuddler Samantha Hess & a LoveTribe Snuggle Party
- Massage Classes with celebrity massage therapist Meagan Holub, founder of The Love Lab
- Partner Yoga and AcroYoga with Diamond Mike & Tempos Acrobats
- Dance Lessons for Newbies & Pros Alike
- Fun, Games & Laughter
- Piggyback Rides
- Pillow Fights
- VIP After-party (Award-winning Entertainment at “The Dance For Romance” and “Poetry For Passion” poetry slam)
- Snuggly Surprises
For a detailed schedule of Cuddle Con events, see below:
The goal of the Cuddle Con is to welcome newcomers into the touch-positive community that Hess so deeply believes “will help challenge and change the global culture forever through the power of human connection.” She also aims to teach those who attend how to communicate their wants and needs to others in a safe and comfortable way.
The convention will be strictly platonic and nonsexual, but the website even promises a 100% money-back guarantee to anyone who doesn’t feel safe at the end of the day. Valentine’s Day is a day mean to be shared with that special someone, so to most, cuddling up to a total stranger on Valentine’s day might seem tremendously creepy. Hess, however, assured CNN’s Jareen Imam that problem lies in people’s perception: “In our culture, cuddling is connected with romantic relationships. Platonic touch is such a taboo thing.” She hopes that Cuddle Con will be a chance for the public to witness first-hand the power of platonic touch. Last week’s post covered in detail the plethora of benefits that come from cuddling.
Cuddle Con is open to the public, but seeing that this is pretty last minute, it might not be realistic to suggest that you drop everything you’re doing and fly out to Portland for the weekend just to take an edge off for the day. Hess is optimistic, however, that events like this will become more common and widespread within the next few years. She’s gone as far as to call it a “movement.”
Luckily, if you can’t wait, there are 40,000 of us here at Penn State! I’m sure someone other stressed out student is looking for light-hearted relief this weekend. The moral here is, whenever you’re feeling stressed, don’t underestimate the comfort you can find in others. From experience, we all know that sometimes language isn’t enough to alleviate intense frustration or deep-seated anxiety. It’s times like these when we must remember the power of touch.