Cuddle parties are all the rage in Utah

<p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Human beings are inherently social creatures. When people don’t come into physical and emotional contact with others, the psychological ramifications can take a toll.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>To combat this, one national organization is taking snuggly, sweet action.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Welcome to Utah’s official chapter for the National Cuddle Party Organization. The chapter meets about two times a month, and there are reportedly hundreds of Utahns signing up to attend the bi-monthly cuddle parties.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>And when it comes to the goings-on at these</span> <a style=”text-decoration: none;” href=”http://www.9news.com/story/life/2015/08/17/utah-cuddle-parties/31835609/”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>cuddle parties</span></a><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>, the intentions are pure as they sound. For four hours, members gather in their most comfortable duds (many wear pajamas) and engage in nonsexual cuddling, hand-holding, and massaging.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>For many of the members, the cuddle parties provide well-needed emotional relief and comfort after experiencing traumatic incidents.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Pamela Bradford, founder of Utah’s Cuddle Party chapter, told The Salt Lake Tribune that the organization provided great solace for her after her divorce.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>After getting divorced in 2013, Bradford and her children moved to Utah. From there, work seemed to overtake her life and Bradford found that she craved physical touch, so much to the point that she sought out touch therapy.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>”I hadn’t touched another single human being except in the course of an accident, and you don’t want to get to where you start to arrange accidents,” she told the</span> <a style=”text-decoration: none;” href=”http://www.sltrib.com/home/2807418-155/intimate-strangers-why-hundreds-of-utahns”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; font-style: italic; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Salt Lake City Tribune</span><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>.</span></a></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>While doing research, Bradford discovered that Cuddle Party organizations existed across the country. While there are</span> <a style=”text-decoration: none;” href=”http://delexpress.com/check-out-these-3-amazing-atlantic-city-bus-tour-attractions/”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>31 national airports</span></a> <span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>located across the U.S., Bradford didn’t want to have to travel, so she started her own chapter right in Utah.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Since then, the parties have been extremely popular.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>However, to engage in Cuddle Party, the participator has to be primed and aware of the rules.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Firstly, all new members must attend a workshop before beginning the parties so they understand the terms and conditions of the meeting. At the parties, clothing is mandatory, but pajamas and comfortable digs are recommended.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>For Cuddle Party, consent is extremely important. Before engaging in any form of cuddling, one member must ask the other if touching them is okay. Within the group, “no” means “no”, and “yes” means “yes.” If any cuddler should feel uncomfortable, they can and should stop cuddling whenever they feel like it.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Attendees of Cuddle Party say that the meetings are likened to a state of bliss, leaving them feeling comforted and secure for days.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>According to Tiffany Field, a researcher at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami, research says that the power of nonsexual touch is underestimated. In fact, it can provide a number of benefits, such as improved sleep, reduced stress, and better overall health.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Now those are the kind of facts one can easily snuggle up to.</span></p>

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