One of the things we practice at a cuddle event is asking. It’s part of how we practice saying “No” (and yes).
But what if you don’t know what you want to ask for? How can you explore a connection with someone you just met to see if there is an appropriate activity for the two of you?
Here’s a story that might help:
The other week at a cuddle party I was sitting next to two new people, we will call them Sara and Mike. This was the first cuddle party for both of them, and while the rest of the party was cuddling, we were just sitting to the side chatting. Eventually, I turned to Sara and asked:
“What is the thing that you really want to do today?”
She replied with a stunned
“No one has ever asked me that before…”
It can be overwhelming to be faced with an infinite amount of possibilities. Sometimes it is hard to even think of anything, much less the best thing. So, we sat in silence for a few moments and then Mike prodded.
“You didn’t really answer…”
Sara looked a bit like a deer in headlights. Maybe stressed at being put on the spot, maybe stressed at admitting she didn’t know herself. So I offered an exercise:
I explained that I was going to ask her for every possible position. After each one, she would answer with an honest yes/no, remembering that maybes are nos, and after answering all of them we would look back and see if any of them stuck out for her.
Fortunately, we have posters all over the walls of different types of cuddle positions, so I didn’t have to do some crazy memory test.
I went through asking if she would like: a foot Massage, a back massage, a hand massage, a head massage, partner stretching, just sitting and talking, ying-yang cuddle, half spoon, face-to-face cuddle, a cuddle puddle, a spoon drawer, head in lap lying down, head in lap sitting up, having your joints moved, brushing or playing with your hair, spooning, back-to-back cuddling, front-to-back cuddling, side-to-side, the squish.
For each one, Sara responded with a yes or a no, and I just continued on asking about the next item.
At the end, we took a breath and then I asked:
“Did any of those stand out for you?”
“Yes” replied Sara “I’d love to lay my head in your lap and have you give me a head massage”
“I’d like that too” I replied…
There is a reason restaurants have menus and dessert trays.
We expect people to ask for what they want, but to do that they need to know what they want. And to do that they need to know how to go about figuring out what they might want.
By taking the time to consider each possibility individually, Sara was able to learn what she wanted and ask for it. This exploration allows both people a chance to discover an opportunity that might otherwise go unrealized.