What Really Happens At Cuddle Parties: Boners

Today, a man reveals a deep, embarrassing secret: he likes to cuddle. So does his penis.

Dave Johns writes on Slate of his desire to hold and, even worse, be held: "I was behaving in an evolutionarily inappropriate — and unstudly — manner. I was cuddling like a girl." Of course, few people who have had occasion to sleep with a man still believe the old saw that dudes hate all skin-to-skin contact that doesn't involve the dick. But Johns needed to exorcise his demons! And write an article. So he went to a cuddle party.

The result sounds pretty much as awkward as Sadie recently speculated it might — sporadic cuddling, along with a fair amount of eating canapes and talking about dogs. Pre-party ground rules also included a discussion of boners: if one "pops up near you, do not be alarmed — just stay still and hope it goes away." Johns himself did experience what he calls "a crisis in my pants" due to a little crush on one of his cuddle-buddies ("I realized that I wanted very badly to cuddle with her one-on-one. These gathering feelings threatened to derail my training in pure, nonsexual cuddling"). All of which reinforces my belief that most things that have to be identified as "nonsexual" are, in fact, kind of sexual.

Johns doesn't get the girl — he spots her later with a superior cuddler he nicknames "Shaq." But he does get to talk with some scientists, and confirm that men's supposed aversion to snuggling is wildly exaggerated. Really, what his whole experience seems to show is that cuddling and sex are often, if not always, connected, and the notion that ladies want only the former and dudes want only the latter is pretty silly and simplistic. Evolutionary biologist Justin Garcia delivers a message I'd like on a t-shirt: "This idea that men want to disseminate their seed and women want love and babies is utter bullshit. That is total bullshit."

Just Hold Me [Slate]

Earlier: A Guide To The Global Spread Of Incredibly Creepy Cuddle Parties

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