Before I float back into all the awesomeness, I should backtrack a little bit to say that Mr. Shiny Eyes was one of the guy pals I reached out to after my New Years resolution to remember how to have guy friends. In the thick of divorce grief a couple of years ago, I’d broken things off with him for no good reason, and I was superworried that I’d hurt him—and I had. I’m sad to say that I haven’t always been fully conscious of the fact that I can affect men’s feelings, and I was glad I asked him about it. We had a really nice call a few weeks before the conference, so it only took us a few minutes of being in the same building to get in kiss/cuddle/flirt mode that day. A day where I kiss three worthy men is a good one.
Also, I can’t overstate how much of a difference my extra introvert time made. It had been such a long time since I’d felt like I was on a magical adventure with my cute, slutty self—this was a reunion within a reunion.
Anyway, back to being excited/nervous/fluttery to meet up with The Professor at the Cuddle Party. I got into my PJs and nice warm socks and brought pillows and blankets downstairs to the party room. I was one of the first to arrive, so I made a little nest within the bigger nest of pillows and blankets and I stretched and breathed. The Cuddle Facilitator stamped my hand with a red heart that meant I could come and go as needed.
When The Professor showed up with The Kind Ma’am, I felt surprisingly shy for someone who’d spent the day raising my hand emphatically like a smutty Hermione in the workshops and smooching old and new pals. It was both like a first date and not a like first date at all. If all first dates involved wearing soft pants, (and like an hour of consent practice) the world would truly be a magical place.
Once The Professor was in his plaid flannel pajama pants, he sat down between me and The Kind Ma’am, his arms around both of us. They talked and I snuggled up against his shoulder, feeling the warmth that radiated from him all over. And who should sit down next to me on the other side but Mr. Shiny Eyes! Without much preamble, we started making out gleefully, and I got to feel the glow of being between two beautiful men, of being in a chain, no, a net of soft, snuggly vibes and comfy touch. The perfect mix of kissing and friendship, safety and adventure.
For technical stuff about Cuddle Parties this is a good post: but basically the first loooooong time of the party was consent practice, practicing asking specifically for what we wanted and saying and getting nos and yesses. (Not doing the things yet, just the asking and answering.) We even had to say no to things that we really, really wanted and yes to things we hated—that way you can really feel what a no or a yes feels like in the body, the Cuddle Facilitator said, and I think it was true. I LOVE consent practice and often wish the world were more Cuddle Party-esque.
When the cuddles finally started in earnest, The Professor was occupied in a sort of two-person-seeming snuggle so I sat down on one of the chairs at the side of the room, breathed and waited to see what would happen next. I felt hesitant, but warm and hopeful. I was so pleased when The Kind Ma’am sat down next to me and asked “Can I put my arm around you?” Yes! I felt protected and friended, taken under her wing. I wondered aloud if she might be willing to pull my hair and guess what! She said yes!
Having been spinstering it for a couple of years, I hadn’t been too sure where I stood with my kinks, though I suspected they were still there. With her, it was as if no time had passed since my last adventures, like I always have been and always will be getting my hair pulled, forever and ever, amen. When she grabbed the hair near the nape of my neck, I let out a fairly un-Cuddle-Party-like groan/purr/wail. I tried really hard (and fairly unsuccessfully) not to disrupt the proceedings with my caterwauling, but no one seemed to mind.
I wound up sitting at her feet, feeling little and adored and silly. She arranged my hair into pigtails, played, pulled, and (after I asked very nicely) called me “Good girl.” Swoon. The Kind Ma’am was perfect and careful and sweet, but I got a little overwhelmed from the burgeoning energy of the room and the new/old/hurty/lovely sensations, so I thanked her and said I needed a little time. I curled up on my own for a bit, letting the relief and happiness and complicated homecoming emotions swirl around me and within me.
Next: Cuddling heartbreak a little, cuddling joy A LOT.