'Cuddle Party' Popularity Is Spreading

'Cuddle Party' Popularity Is Spreading

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It's popular in California and now, it's gaining momentum in South Dakota. Cuddle parties have been around for a decade and last month, one popped up in Custer.

Some people might see it as controversial, with sexual undertones, organizers disagree they say it's all about connection and communication. Also, you must ask the person before you snuggle with them.

 "I love the idea of having a way of connecting with people in physical way," says cuddler Joan Jackson.

Cuddle party facilitator, Les Nuckles, says it allows people to have a positive physical contact in a comfortable environment.

 "We stress and the rules in the cuddle party are that you never have to cuddle anybody you don't want to and in fact you don't have to cuddle anybody at all,"he explains.

Nuckles also stresses cuddles parties are not just physical.  Communication plays a big role.

"I asked a massage therapist for a neck rub because my neck was hurting and I was okay if he had said no which is something we learn in the cuddle party and I've used that in real life because I realize that the person that says no is taking care of themselves," says cuddle party assistant, Jane Backman

"That's really another aspect about cuddle parties is it's not just about the physical, the touch or connection, it's also about the communication," explains Nuckles.

Les Nuckles understand that a lot of people associate the title ‘cuddle party' with a sexual action. She says her "biggest job in educating people that it is not."

The cuddle party meets on the second Saturday and Sunday of each month.

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