For me, the best workshop of the unconference was the cuddle party. It was also the first cuddle party that I’d ever attended and was very different from what I expected. I was expecting standing hugs and group hugs and a general basking in oxytocin.
The start of it was very similar to the non-verbal consent workshop – establishing an environment where “no” is safe. It was even more safe than that because of the moderators, who did not take part, but watched over everyone to make sure boundaries were not broken and abuse did not take place.
What was most unexpected for me was the end of the workshop. It was a big group cuddle, but lying down on cushions and mattresses. It was like a non-sexual orgy. Non-sexual because intimate touch was not allowed throughout the workshop. Nevertheless, there was a semi-intimate feeling simply to do with the closeness and lack of everyday inhibition.
I found myself in contact with so many. Limbs of all genders, textures, shapes and lengths. I didn’t have a clue to whom most of those limbs belonged to and it also didn’t matter in the slightest. I was floating on the high of the moment and time slipped by so quickly.
The workshop came to an end, but the cuddle party continued in an unmoderated form. I didn’t notice anyone who left at that point.
Things heated up when I found my ear being deliciously nibbled by the very sexy Quillivet. A couple more changes of position, cuddle partners and some stretching later, I found myself drawn back to her for a second bout of cuddling.
Thankfully, there wasn’t any need to break the moment and discuss things like metamours because coincidentally her husband had been one of my partners for the non-verbal consent workshop. We had already talked together and I knew he is a nice and interesting person.
Time flew by and cuddles intensified until we finally withdrew to a private space carrying a mattress between us and cries of “have fun!” behind us. That time together was wonderful and we talked lot and got to know each other quite quickly, piquing each other’s interest to talk more. It was however getting really late (or should I say early) and it was time to return to our respective beds. As I walked back through the chill night air to the dorm, I could feel the initial stirrings of NRE bubbling up inside me, keeping me warm.
Fast-forward a couple of days and we meet up again before my flight home. There was a little farce with phones and trains – with me ending up on a non-stop express to Brighton, but we made the best of it by spending the day there in the brilliant sunshine, chatting like there’s no tomorrow. A stop on the way back to go climbing and bouldering before all three of us eating together and playing a board game. I couldn’t imagine it going any better than it did.
So, now I am lucky, riding high on NRE and completely avoiding OpenCon come down…