For those who don’t know me, let me preface this column by saying that I am a Bible-thumping, Jesus-loving born-again Christian. I believe the Bible is infallible and am absolutely convinced that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. I’m pro-life and am committed to remaining a virgin until I take the plunge into the uncharted waters of holy matrimony. In other words, I’m one of those dangerous people the mainstream media labels as a member of the religious right.
So, what is a right-wing Christian extremist like me doing endorsing Cuddle Parties? Well, I’ll get to that, but first a little digression.
Some months ago, while leafing through Rolling Stone magazine for my occasional dose of liberal entertainment, I ran across an article called “The Young and the Sexless.” The piece piqued my interest because it dealt with the growing movement toward premarital abstinence among young twenty-somethings. I was immediately intrigued, and was hoping for favorable coverage from a publication my fellow Christians often view as suspect. But alas, I was sorely disappointed; not by the coverage, which wasn’t too bad, but by the tactics some Christian groups are pushing in their quest to achieve sexual purity.
One group of young men that figured prominently in the article liked to wear something called a masterband. A kind of bracelet worn on the wrist, the band was supposed to be a kind of badge of honor to show others that you weren’t masturbating. If you weren’t wearing it, that meant you had slipped; but that wasn’t the worst part. Those not wearing the masterband were subjected to social ostracism; the other guys wouldn’t shake your hand if it was caught in the cookie jar, so to speak. The author rightly called it a kind of “scarlet letter in reverse.”
Full-bodied hugs were discouraged among this group, since they were seen as too tempting; only chaste side-hugs were allowed. Guys were encouraged to “hold each other accountable,” by confessing lustful thoughts they might be having while on the phone with their girlfriends.
Quite honestly, the whole thing made me sad. I’m as committed to abstinence as they are, but this approach is based on guilt, shame, and negative reinforcement. Next they’ll be calling for chastity belts, I thought. I once had a pastor who said something very wise during one of his sermons; he said, “You can’t say no to something unless you have something better to say yes to.” This is why New Year’s resolutions and other approaches based strictly on willpower alone are not very effective at encouraging virtue and building new habits.
As I sat and reflected on these issues, I realized why I love Cuddle Party so much. As a single man saving certain sexual acts for an evening of wedded bliss, I need more touch, and more affection, not less. As I look back at the times when I’ve been most sexually tempted, they’ve been during times of isolation from others and an absence of human contact. During times like these, singles can very easily confuse their need for love with their need for sex, making choices they may later regret.
From a Christian perspective, touch is not the problem, but is actually part of the solution; the question is, what kind of touch? Well, the kind of touch that happens at Cuddle Parties is not only acceptable in the Bible, it’s downright encouraged. The Apostle Paul often closes his letters by inviting members of church congregations to “greet one another with a holy kiss” (Romans: 16:16, 1st Corinthians: 16: 20). In the King James version of John’s Gospel, the thirteenth chapter, the apostle John is described as reclining on Jesus’s breast or bosom (John: 13:23,25). In the preceding chapter, we are treated to the touching story of Mary, the sister of Lazarus, breaking open a bottle of expensive perfume and anointing the feet of her Lord. While not overtly sexual, it was most definitely affectionate; and yes, even sensual. Essentially, she was massaging his feet and drying them with her hair.
Most Christians I spoke with before I attended my first Cuddle Party were supportive; but a few of them reacted in fear, rather than faith. One of them ranted and raved about how the whole thing was going to turn into an orgy, while another person, a dear friend of mine, said, “These cuddle parties sound damn scary!” She feared that some of the men would be lying there in their pajamas with “obvious hard-ons.”
While concerns should always be aired, it’s too bad that so many well-meaning Christians would object to an event with no sex, no alcohol, and lots of wholesome human interaction. After all, Cuddle Parties could very easily be Christianized for youth groups, Christian singles events, and other gatherings. One cause for concern seemed to be that sexual passions would be stirred up and that people wouldn’t be able to control themselves. Well, as co-founder Reid Mihalko likes to say, “We’re more self-controlled than we think we are.” It’s interesting he would say that, since Scripture lists self-control as one of the “fruits of the Spirit” (Galatians: 5:22-23). As Christians, we believe the Holy Spirit comes to live inside a person’s heart after they place their trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Spirit then begins to produce fruit, a byproduct of genuine conversion and a changed heart. Self-control is one of those fruits, but where do we get a chance to practice it? Cuddle Party, with its clear rules and firm boundaries, gives us a safe space to do just that.
Cuddle Party also teaches and models clear, direct communication, something the Bible also invites us to practice. In fact, rule number five, “If you’re a yes, say yes; if you’re a no, say no,” is remarkably similar to Jesus’s injunction in the Sermon on the Mount, “Let your yes be yes, and your no be no,” (Matthew: 5:37), in which Jesus urges us to state our intentions clearly and directly. Who can argue with that?
In order to maintain premarital abstinence, saying no may sometimes be necessary. But this is easier said than done; better to practice this skill in the safe confines of Cuddle Party than waiting until you’re confronted with temptation in the heat of passion on a hot date.
My only objection to Cuddle Party is the rule that allows kissing, even kissing on the mouth. For a party that is billed as a nonsexual event, I believe such a rule sends exactly the wrong message. It’s just too intimate. Not only can sexual passions be unnecessarily aroused, but women especially are at risk of getting their feelings hurt. It’s been my experience that women often get emotionally attached more quickly and easily than men, and tend to view kisses as signs of a man’s interest, whereas many men seem able to view kissing more casually. But this is a minor detail, and one that can be easily modified for a Christian Cuddle Party.
Finally, Jesus repeatedly commands Christians to love one another. Sadly, our society has lost touch with touch, one of the oldest and most effective ways to extend love and affection to our fellow human beings. We know from science that some babies die from lack of touch and human bonding. While adults don’t die, they shrivel up emotionally. As Cuddle Party facilitator Len Daley says, “They become irritable, and we think irritability is normal.” So, with that said, I invite all of us, in Christian love, to make our lives a little less irritable by including some cuddle time in our schedules.
Andre Traversa is a freelance writer and media consultant living in Park Ridge, Illinois. He can reached firstname.lastname@example.org
*Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are taken from the New International Version.
Is it a sin for a Christian couple kiss and cuddle before marriage? No, it's not sinful, but it is unwise. The act that God deems sinful is sex before marriage, not kissing or cuddling.What happens at a cuddle party? ›
“Cuddle Party is a playful social event designed for adults to explore communication, boundaries, and affection,” reads the website for Cuddle Party, a non-profit organization operating throughout the U.S. “You can come to a Cuddle Party to meet new people, to enjoy amazing conversations, to touch, to be touched, to ...Can Christians sleep in the same bed? ›
' If the Bible does not permit having sex or living together before marriage, sleeping in the same bed would not be pleasing to God either. In Hebrews 13, the Bible talks about honoring the marriage bed by keeping it pure. The ESV Bible translation says “let the marriage bed undefiled”.What happens at a cuddle puddle? ›
Cuddle puddles – often found at festivals and house parties – are when groups of people get comfortable together, cuddling, hugging, gently stroking and/or petting one another. While there's a range of sensuality and sexuality expressed in cuddle puddles, most cuddle puddles remain clothed and free from overt PDA.Do couples sleep while cuddling? ›
One study of 90 couples found that people mostly reported falling asleep while physically touching their partner, most commonly in a spooning position.How intimate is cuddling? ›
Cuddling, like all touch, can be a form of intimacy. “Cuddling is an excellent way to express physical intimacy and affection in a relationship,” says St. John. “It can help create a sense of closeness and security and can be a very intimate experience.”Does cuddling include kissing? ›
Hugging, snuggling, massage, and kissing all fall under the cuddling umbrella. There's no right or wrong way to cuddle, but these common cuddling positions can pave the way to an epic cuddling session.What is the cuddle buddy rule? ›
If becoming fall cuddle the category of cuff wanting someone to exchange body heat with—and not body fluids—these rules are for you. Cuddle Buddy: a person dating you only snuggle or cuddle with. There is no relationship that extends beyond exchanging body heat and physical companionship.How long do cuddle sessions last? ›
Cuddle sessions are a service provided to you by a professional cuddler in a one-on-one setting (like a massage, but with cuddling, caressing, and/or conversation). No touch is required in either setting. How long does a session last? Sessions generally range from 60-120 mins.Is kissing a sin before marriage? ›
The Bible tells us a lot about lust and sexual immorality, and that we are to flee from sexual immorality and lustful desires. If kissing before marriage stimulates lust or leads to sexual immorality, it is a sin and should be avoided between couples that are not married.
Ephesians 5:3 says amongst you, there should be not even a hint of sexual immorality. When we talk about sex, it is not just the penetration of sexual organs. Sex does not begin with the penetration but it begins with cuddling, kissing, romancing and these are what we call the foreplay.Is it a sin for unmarried couples to live together? ›
The Church's teaching on cohabitation is not an “arbitrary” rule. Living together before marriage is a sin because it violates God's commandments and the law of the Church.Does cuddling involve touching? ›
"Cuddling is a form of touch that can be both sexual and nonsexual," Brown-James says. "The wonderful thing about cuddling is that it can also be something that is just comforting and relaxing, as your brain still releases feel-good hormones in the body from closeness."What does cuddling feel like for a guy? ›
"Cuddling, especially with someone you like, gives you a sense of closeness and relaxed intimacy that's difficult to find in other activities. If you feel comfortable with the other person, it kind of just let's you relax and not have to do much physically.Do guys get feelings after cuddling? ›
Also, many men have a particular chemical response to cuddling with women they find attractive. If he gets an erection while you're cuddling, then there is a good chance he has feelings for you beyond friendship.What does it mean when a guy holds you while sleeping? ›
This position can also signal emotional and physical dependence on your partner. Holding hands while sleeping is common for couples with strong relationships. They hold their sweetheart's hand to show their partner that they will always be by their side. The relationship is so strong that their trust is unbreakable.Why does cuddling with a girl feel so good? ›
When we touch – cuddle, hug, or holding hands – our bodies release “feel good” hormones. These hormones include oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. Once the hormones are released into our bodies we experience feelings of happiness, relaxation, improve mood, and lower levels of depression.Why do I touch my partner in my sleep? ›
Sexsomnia, also known as sleep sex, is a type of sleep disorder known as a parasomnia. Parasomnias refer to unusual sensations and behaviors, such as sleepwalking, that people may experience or exhibit while asleep, falling asleep, or waking up. In the case of sexsomnia, people engage in sexual behaviors.What does it mean if a guy cuddles with you all night? ›
If the guy you like is willing to stay around and cuddle all night, you can bet that he wants to be close. He's looking for intimacy from your connection. What is this? Guys, on the whole, appreciate and are interested in cuddling and usually won't spend the night doing it unless they have an interest in you.How long should you cuddle someone? ›
Psychologists in London claim they have cracked the code on the ideal embrace, saying hugs should last between five and 10 seconds. According to researchers at Goldsmiths university, longer hugs were found to provide an immediate pleasure boost compared to shorter ones (lasting just one second).
A man who's falling in love tends to show his desire for greater closeness and intimacy in many different ways. He will likely prioritize spending time with you and put in real effort to make you happy. He may show you his softer side, while also serving as a source of strength and comfort when you need it most.Is cuddling celibate? ›
Celibacy generally means abstaining from sex (usually penetrative sex) voluntarily. Ideally, celibates must stay away from everything related to sex, such as kissing, cuddling, snuggling, or touching sexual parts. However, different people practice celibacy differently.How can I make cuddling more intimate? ›
Sit comfortably and tightly with one another, and let your hips touch.
- Wrap your hand around your partner's shoulders.
- Let someone lay head on your chest and snuggle up.
- Rest your cheek on their head.
Two people lie sideways and back-to-back. It provides a sense of closeness without the discomfort of intertwining limbs, says Hess. Here, one person lies on their back while the other cozies up to their side. A hybrid of the classic "spooning" method, this position allows for room to touch and talk.How many couples actually cuddle while sleeping? ›
In general, most people tend to share a bed with their partners – about 80%! Of those that share a bed, about 60% fall asleep cuddling.How do you tell a guy you want to cuddle? ›
Again, just be honest in your communication. If you're not sure about how far you want to take things, you can share that up front. In this case you could say, “I'd really love to cuddle with you sometime. If you like that idea, then let's cuddle together and see how that feels to us.Can you cuddle while sitting? ›
Best sitting down cuddling positions:
The basis is sitting next to each other, but Keeley says you can choose to hold hands, rest your head on the other's shoulder, or put your leg on top of your partner's while sitting next to each other. It's all about whatever makes you both feel good.
According to a new study, the culprit is our old friend oxytocin, a.k.a. the "love hormone." Its levels shoot up whenever we make physical contact with someone important to us. It's widely understood that its reward system plays a crucial role in deepening the bond between two lovers.Is it okay to cuddle after hooking up? ›
Cuddling post-sex is as beneficial as having sex with your partner. As aforementioned, cuddling encourages the release of oxytocin, also known as the “Bonding Hormone” in the body, which promotes strong bonding between partners.What does cuddling in bed mean? ›
to hold close in an affectionate manner; hug tenderly; fondle. verb (used without object), cud·dled, cud·dling. to lie close and snug; nestle. to curl up in going to sleep. noun.
for·ni·ca·tion ˌfȯr-nə-ˈkā-shən. : consensual sexual intercourse between a man and especially single woman who are not married to each other. also : the crime of engaging in fornication compare adultery. Note: Where still considered a crime, fornication is classified as a misdemeanor.Is it a sin to touch your boyfriend? ›
Sex is covenantal.
If you're not married, any sexual activity (oral sex, sexual touching or fondling, etc.) is a sin, for the only person you're to engage with sexually is your spouse. And to clarify here, you might love the person and intend to marry them, but neither dating nor engagement equals marriage.
Proverbs 5:18-19 KJV
Nothing in the Bible prohibits caressing one's breasts. Yes, when it comes to the other sex, we should all act honorably. However, if a man or woman touches someone's breasts while they are covered up, it is only considered a touch and no additional offense is committed.
The Holy Kiss Implied Full Acceptance
In New Testament times, a kiss on the cheek was used for greeting and implied friendship and acceptance. A kiss of greeting between Christians implied that no elite groups existed and that all were equally loved and accepted—not only by God—but by one other.
Open mouth and tongue kissing are especially effective in upping the level of sexual arousal, because they increase the amount of saliva produced and exchanged. The more spit you swap, the more turned on you'll get.What does the Bible say about kissing and cuddling before marriage? ›
The Bible never specifically mentions kissing before marriage. However, the Bible does tell us to avoid sexual immorality, which includes abstaining from sex until marriage (1 Corinthians 6:18, 7:2).Is it healthy for couples to cuddle? ›
Cuddling releases the hormone oxytocin, “the feel-good hormone”, which can lead to overall happiness. It also releases endorphins, which are the same hormones that are released during a good workout. Get ready because it's time to enjoy cuddling with your spouse.Is it OK to cuddle with someone in a relationship? ›
04/7Cuddling releases feel-good hormones
When a person cuddles with a partner, he can smell his partner and feel the warmth of her body. This experience of smell and touch help to release the feel-good hormone oxytocin, which makes couples feel happy and enjoy each other's company more.
Increased cuddling in committed romantic relationships can increase relationship and sexual satisfaction. Cuddling occurs around sexual activity, but it is also perceived as a nurturing behavior. Not everyone wants to cuddle often, so it's best to check with one's partner about their affectionate needs.