Our next events:
November 12 - Cuddle event in Tukwila (Subspace)
As of November 19, all of our events will be in Redmond:
November: 19th and 27th.
December: 3rd, 11th, 17th and 26th.
For the safety of our guests, all attendees must to be vetted, and therefore we do not share the addresses publicly. Please read the below thoroughly and if interested, submit our vet request form.
Event info and guidance
What is the big deal about cuddling?
For many, cuddling is something we do with family members or romantic partners, but it is so much more! It is a well-known fact that human beings need touch, and it has benefits across the board. New mothers are advised by their medical staff to touch their newborns as soon and as much as possible. Soldiers in the military touch as a way to alleviate fear and create better comradery between them. Even animals cuddle-up both in nature and in captivity (even in warm weather).
Scientific research has shown that when cuddling, our bodies produce Oxytocin, which is a hormone that calms us down and makes it easier for us to deal with stress. Oxytocin can also block pain signals and reduce blood pressure, which makes cuddling very helpful and therapeutic.
While many of us do cuddle with our loved-ones and family, not all of us have people to cuddle-with. Even when we do, life often gets-in-the-way, not leaving us enough time to really enjoy and benefit from this activity. Beyond that, there really isn't such a thing as enough, when cuddling is concerned. At our events, people cuddle for hours-on-end, and some even fall asleep (and with all that Oxytocin, a 20-minute nap is better than several hours of sleep anywhere else!)
What is sex-positive?
The terms "Touch-positive" and "Sex-positive" are used often in our community, and they are very important. The term Sex-positive is associated with an Austrian doctor named Wilhelm Reich, who observed how some societies view sex as "negative" (shameful, disgusting and generally unfavorable, even for simple discussion). Other societies, according to Reich, hold opposite views and encourage sex to be openly discussed and practiced without arbitrary rules. For example, a sex-negative rule is that sexual intercourse should only happen between married individuals. Another is that it must only be performed if it can be guaranteed no one else knows or hears it. Many of us are taught such "rules" so early that we grow up unaware that it can be any other way.
Touch-positive is a similar concept. Most societies are touch-positive, and their members understand that touch is an essential part of human existence. In American culture, a touch-negative attitude is often observed (for example, many schools have policies that forbid students to hug each-other when meeting or parting).
While cuddling is not Sex, our community is, of course, very sex-positive and touch-positive. Part of our mission is to "open up" American society and help everyone realize the value of touch and how it can dramatically make us all healthier and happier. Not only do we want to provide a fun and safe cuddling space for residents of Puget Sound, we also want to inspire others across the country to be more open about this. By association, our attitude is also very sex-positive. Many of our members are involved with several sex-positive organizations, and so sex-positive topics often come-up in conversations.
Sex and Touch positive
An important aspect of cuddle events is the topic of consent. In the world of Cuddling in general, and at Hugz & Cuddlez in particular, consent is at the top of our value list, and for good reason. Even though cuddling is not sex, it does involve people touching each other, and therefore, respecting consent and boundaries is of prime importance.
If you plan on attending one of our events, it's imperative to keep in mind that one can cuddle with other people only if they are VERY clearly welcome to. That means that a simple glance or eye-contact does not mean consent. Everyone must seek and obtain verbal, clearly spelt-out consent before any form of touch (even a pat on the shoulder!). It's also important to keep in mind that consent isn't forever. In other words, having obtained consent from a person once doesn't mean you still have it an hour later (let alone a day or a week later). Similarly, anyone can withdraw their consent at any time.
Beyond the concept of obtaining consent and keeping it, one must keep in mind that a cuddle is often a group activity, which sometimes means you would be joining several people in a cuddle (sometimes referred to as a "cuddle pile" or a "Cuddle Puddle"). In such a situation, consent needs to be received from all participants.
Finally, keep in mind that even though consent management requires effort, we must avoid thinking of it as a hassle or nag. Even if you yourself are very easy-going with giving consent, it's imperative for everyone at our events to feel safe, and so it's critical to not only manage consent, but also avoid pressuring or shaming people who don't want to give it, or who decide to withdraw it. No unpleasant words, no nasty looks, and no trash-talking others will be tolerated at Hugz & Cuddlez events.
How do cuddle events work?
To attend one of our events, you will need to be vetted, so a first step is to submit a request. The vetting process takes some time and would usually require a phone-call, so please make sure you fill the form with all the details and be aware that we cannot do same-day or last-minute vetting. Long-time members of the sex-positive community might get expedited processing. Once vetted, you can attend any of our events.
At our events, you will typically find chairs, couches, a snack table, and of course - a whole lot of mattresses. The mattresses will be covered in sheets, and we also provide pillows and other accessories to make your experience pleasant. Depending on your arrival time (we highly recommend showing up as close to the start-time as possible, as being "fashionably late" makes socializing difficult and awkward), you might find other individuals inside. Some might be snacking, others might be chatting, and a few might be cuddling on the mattresses. We use varying facilities, and so the amenities may vary as well.
Depending on your own personality, you might feel timid at first. Whether you just don't know any of the other participants, or simply a shy person, you might not know how to "fit in", and that's a very common situation. To help you and others, we always have an event leader at the events, sometimes referred to as a "Cuddle Catalyst". The event leader is present during the entire event, and actively engages with people that appear to be in-need of a guiding hand. The Catalyst can show you around the event space, and will also suggest introducing you around the place and even helping you find a place, a person or a group to cuddle-with. You can stay until the event's closing time, or leave sooner, if you so choose. Most people start things with some socializing, and then turn to cuddle for the rest of the evening. Some are so relaxed that they fall asleep on our mattresses.
Cuddle events have no dress code. Some people just wear whatever they came-in with. Others adorn pajamas or onesies. Anything that is comfortable for you is OK. The only things we are concerned about are glitter, body-paint and clothing or accessories that might hurt others (for example, a belt with a sharp buckle) or damage our sheets. We also encourage our guests to consider things like body or mouth odor, and take steps to avoid making the experience unpleasant to others.
How it works
How to "fit in" at our events.
As noted above, many find this challenging, but don't worry. Our Cuddle Catalyst is there for this exact reason and even if you don't ask, they will typically notice and approach you fairly quick. You are always free to approach them, of course, and ask for any info, guidance or help you desire.
If you'd rather do it yourself, a good way to start is to show up early. Being there before everybody else gives you a good chance to talk to people and get to know each other, before people get too-deep into cuddling. A good idea is to be near the door, and once a person comes in, greet them and offer a handshake. Another way to meet people is to offer a backrub (respectfully). Giving someone a good and relaxing backrub is a nice way to spend time with a person and both get to know them, and for them to get to know you.
Once you've established a rapport with someone, simply ask "Would you like to cuddle?", and most people will be glad to give that a shot. Walk over to the mattresses, and find yourself an available spot. It doesn't have to be all-yours…it's perfectly normal and encouraged for a person or a group to join an existing pile and form new friendships.
Even if all this is weird or difficult at first, keep in mind that building relationships take time. If you are a kind, courteous and good cuddler, then by the next time you will already have a handful of people who know this, and will be more than happy to cuddle some more. With time, you will feel more and more at-home at our events, and starting up cuddle sessions will become easier and more natural. In fact, if you are a nice person, good chance you will find others offering you a cuddle!
As noted, safety, security and consent are all prime values for our community, and so we require every new guest to be vetted before their first visit. The vetting can take anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes, during which we go over things like house rules, consent and "how things work", and learn about you, your experience, your history and your expectations (and of course, answer any questions you might have).
While we cannot provide too much details about the process, so as to not provide the community with a way to circumvent or work-around our security, we can tell you that our vetting process takes into account dozens of factors. This could include people you know or who know you, things you have done in the past, places you've been, your online activity, and much more (our interviewers are also trained in multiple communication styles so they have the ability to gauge "who" a person it effectively). The vetting process is extremely resource-intensive for us at Hugz & Cuddlez, but we invest the time and resources gladly, as the safety of our community is above everything else.
Costs and labor
Admission to our events costs is usually FREE, and we operate on a non-profit basis. We do setup a donation-jar in most locations, as we do need some money to help cover some of the costs, such as that of food, drink and supplies (like sheets, mattresses, pillows, laundry etc). We usually suggest a donation of $10-20 per person, if your heart and wallet permit, but even if you cannot, we do not turn away guests due to lack of funds (you can also donate via PayPal or Venmo). Please do note that a few of our events are at commercial locations (because we want to make the events available to people across the region), and the commercial locations might have a fixed cost that is unavoidable. Hopefully, we will be able to keep costs to a minimum, as our event staff are 100% volunteers (including the organizer Erez).
Want to help?
Like many other community-based events and venues, we are 100% volunteer based, and work diligently to reduce costs (*). Our organizers are very adept and experienced, and so rarely require additional labor. However, if you'd like to help, please send us a note and we will add you to the list of potential helpers. We are also interested in ideas for events that the community might like.
* We are committed to full transparency and hide nothing from our members. If you are interested in specific info, please feel free to approach us at an event and ask us anything.
Is there nudity? Sex? Kink?
Many of our guests are also members of the sex-positive community, and so some of them might be interested in various adult-oriented activity. While the vast majority of the activity is simple and platonic cuddling, we don't impose a lot of limits, and occasionally, some guests might engage in activity that is more mature in nature. We should stress once again that the focus of our events is the healing power of touch, so sexual activity is rare. If you are an out-of-town guest in our region, you will find a wonderful and nurturing atmosphere at our events, but if you are looking for a quick hook-up, our events are not the right place to look for that, and you will likely be disappointed.
Is it dating?
Hugz & Cuddlez is not a dating club, although our events certainly draw a lot of singles or people who are open to new partners. We still expect our guest to be respectful of others, and not make assumptions about other guests' availability or interest in romantic adventures. Naturally, the physical intimacy of cuddling can lead to development of emotions, so if you and another guest develop a relationship, we will be supportive and happy for you. Just keep in mind that consent, respect and boundaries must be kept, so that everyone feels safe even if all they want is simple touch.
What's the ratio of male-to-female? Is there gender-pricing?
The ratio at our events is dynamic and random, and we have no intention of trying to control it (*). Some of our events draw more women than men, some vice-versa. Since, as noted above, Hugz & Cuddlez is not focused on dating or hook-ups, the ratio shouldn't matter (also, most of our guests feel cuddling with one's own gender is just as fun as cuddling with the opposite sex). If the ratio is highly important to you, then our events are probably not going to be a good fit for you, not only because we cannot predict the numbers, but also because alongside straight people, many of our guests are gay, queer, trans, non-binary and a-sexual. We respect anyone and their choices at Hugz & Cuddlez, and so it's important for us to avoid setting an unrealistic level of expectations. For those who focus more on sex, or feel timid about being close to people of their own gender, we recommend exploring some of the other events in the region, which might be a better fit.
* Some places practice Gender-based pricing as a way to deter single males from attending events. This practice is typically found at events that are highly sex-focused, which tend to draw a lot of single males looking for quick and easy sex. Since our events are not about sex, we do not attempt to control the male/female ratio and do not practice gender pricing. Also, many members of the sex-positive community strongly object to gender-based pricing on-principle, as do we.
Frequently asked questions
More questions & answers
What if I don't get picked to cuddle with anyone?
As mentioned, Hugz & Cuddlez isn't about dating, so the notion of "getting picked" is quite irrelevant. Some people prefer cuddling only with their partner, but most of our guests are looking for community and connection, and thus most of us engage in group-cuddles (a.k.a. Cuddle Puddle or Cuddle Pile). That means that it's not likely for anyone to feel alone or left-out...on the contrary! We are here to bring people together and enjoy each other's company and touch. Even if you yourself are shy or uncertain, our Cuddle Catalysts are here to help!
Is it Swinging?
We welcome people of all walks of life at our events, and that includes Swingers, of course. However, our events are not sex-focused, and thus not well-suited to people looking to "swing". Sometimes our guests do engage in some level of sexual activity, but it is rare and it's important to realize that Hugz & Cuddlez is not a sex club (even if some of our events do occur at locations that host sex-focused events at other times).
I'm an LGBTQ individual. Am I welcome?
Cuddling is for everyone, and Hugz & Cuddlez is for everyone too! We welcome you whether you are straight, gay, queer, trans, Bi, Pan, asexual, you name it. In fact, Erez, the organizer and founder of Hugz & Cuddlez, is an LGBTQ individual who also practices ethical non-monogamy (a.k.a. ENM, CNM or Polyamory). Creating a welcoming environment is one of our founding principles, and the majority of our guests have always been LGBTQ individuals.
Is there food? Drinking? Pot?
Hugz & Cuddlez offers some snacks at all events (stuff like fresh veggies, cheese plates, pretzels, cookies, gummy bears, sodas etc.). Food is not allowed in the Cuddle space (no one likes cuddling on crumbs or smeared ketchup), but we always have a snack table in the facility. We also encourage guests to bring snacks or food to share! On some events, we offer more food (for example, our Thanksgiving party had traditional thanksgiving foods). As for drinking and drugs, we do not serve alcohol, nor do we permit drinking or drugs at our events, as these affect people's decision-making ability and we don't want to risk anyone doing things they might regret in the morning (also, Alcohol and cannabis-smoking causes an odor, which could be detrimental to a pleasant cuddle experience). We request that our guests also avoid arriving at our events while under the influence of such substances, and we might turn a guest away if they are clearly affected.
What if I get aroused? Or the person next to me?
While cuddling is not a sexual activity, arousal from touch is natural and some people have a higher sensitivity (especially individuals who have been touch-deprived for a while). Our community is made up of people who are educated adults, and who are compassionate individuals, and we don’t rush to judge people for being human beings. Our community is also sex-positive, and so we don’t get offended by the idea that people can be sexually attracted to each other. Ultimately, what matters isn’t being aroused, but what we do with it. We expect our guests to have control over their actions, meaning not acting on their arousal unless it is done with a fully consenting person or group (and by consent, we mean clear, VERBAL and enthusiastic consent, rather than a silent agreement, hint, glance or nod), and in a way that doesn’t disturb or unbalance the atmosphere of the event. A person who feels aroused may choose to step-aside for a while, or communicate it with people around him to make sure they are not uncomfortable with this.
Can I bring a friend or partner to an event?
A friend of yours is a friend of ours! ....but we need to know that they are good people and pose no danger to other guests. If you yourself have been vetted, and strongly feel that a friend or partner are good & safe individuals, you can vouch for them. To do so, show up at the event together, or contact our staff beforehand to notify us of the vouched-for person. In such cases, you may share the address of our event with them, and they will be more than welcome! Regardless, please make sure the person visited this site and read it thoroughly, so they know what to expect and don't risk either being disappointed, or finding themselves in trouble for consent-violations.
A few more answers
What is fetlife?
Fetlife is the de-facto social-media site for the sex-positive community. It is similar to most other social media, and has profiles, photos, writings, "friend" connections, event listings and more. The vast majority of our guests find our events on Fetlife, and they also use the site to communicate. While using Fetlife is not a requirement to be involved in our community, we highly encourage people to sign-up for it.
Why should I bother with Fetlife?
The main reason is that it contains more info about our events, as well as other events in the sex-positive community, which might be of interest to you if you like our Cuddle events. Being a Fetlife user makes it easy to not only find events (*), but also get info about these events. Our Fetlife listings typically have stuff like special conditions in events, such as admission price, parking conditions, food allergies and more. People also indicate on our listings whether they are going, which helps us know how many people to expect, but could also help you learn if people you know might be there.
* This is easy not only because there is a dedicated event listing page, but also because Fetlife will see and inform you where your friends are going, so you can keep-up.
A second reason for using Fetlife is that you might meet and befriend someone at one of our events, and wish to connect with them later. At events, most people shy-away from sharing their personal details such as Facebook or phone number, and using Fetlife gives us an extra layer of security and privacy. As such, you are more likely to make friends by having and sharing your Fetlife (some people even have a business-card printed with their Fetlife alias!).