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New Jersey’s bogus Internet Dating Safety law

The Internet Dating Safety Act became law in the state of New Jersey, the home of Lovefraud, on January 13, 2008. It is supposed to take effect next month.

The law applies only to New Jersey, USA, residents. It mandates that any Internet dating site must disclose to New Jersey members, clearly and conspicuously, whether it conducts criminal background checks. “The disclosure shall be provided when an electronic mail message is sent or received by a New Jersey member, on the profile describing a member to a New Jersey member, and on the website pages of the Internet dating service used when a New Jersey member signs up,” the law states. “A disclosure shall be in bold, capital letters in at least 12-point type.”

“Internet dating companies bear a responsibility to their customers to provide basic screening to weed out threatening individuals,” said Richard J. Codey, president of the New Jersey Senate, one of the law’s sponsors. “At the very least, Internet daters should at least know whether or not their chosen Web service provides such screening. This will open a lot of people’s eyes to the dangerous aspects of Internet dating.”

Cody’s last sentence represents only possible good that will come from this law—people in New Jersey may become aware of the dangers of Internet dating. In reality, the law is bogus. Online dating companies will never be able to screen out threatening individuals, even if they tried.

True.com lobbied for law

New Jersey, I’m embarrassed to say, was the first state to fall for a lobbying initiative by the dating website True.com.

I wrote about True.com a year ago, in Lying, cheating and online dating. True.com claims that it does not allow married people to sign up, and that it conducts a criminal background check of all members. Users should not believe that True.com is safe.

How does True.com screen for married people? It asks them to certify that they are not married.

And how does True.com run a background check? According to the Internet Alliance, True.com provides the names people give when they sign up—without attempting to verify any identities—to Rapsheets.com, which then runs the names through its database of criminal records. Rapsheets.com gets its information from various state governments that choose to participate—and many of them don’t. Plus, state records are notoriously incomplete—many counties do not even report crimes to a publicly accessible central database.

The bottom line is that True.com claims to screen for married people and criminals, but it reality, its screening is almost useless.

The law is, however, a marketing coup. True.com has succeeded in legislating its business model.

Other big players in online dating—such as Match.com and Yahoo Personals—opposed the law. Match.com concluded that background checks were worthless. But many users won’t know that.

“If consumers see a state mandated warning on the page of one company that doesn’t do screenings, over and over again, they’re going to think something is wrong,” says Braden Cox of NetChoice, who testified against the bill during hearings. “They’ll search out a site that does these screenings, and they’ll not read about the failures of criminal screenings because these will be buried in the terms of service. The result—a mistaken sense of safety.”

For more information on True.com’s shenanigans, see Hot but virtuous is an unlikely match for online dating service, in the New York Times.

Falling in love with a fantasy

Online dating is a huge business. According to Juniper Research, an Internet consultancy, online dating represents a $700 million market. Every month, 20 million people visit online dating sites.

Here’s what these 20 million people should know: All Internet dating sites are dangerous.

As Lovefraud explains in Online Seduction, anyone who falls in love with someone over the Internet falls in love with a fantasy. You never really know who you’re talking to. And much of the interpersonal information you usually use in order to evaluate someone—tone of voice, body language—is missing.

Furthermore, background checks on dating sites will never work because:

  • It is impossible to find out if someone is married.
  • Criminal records databases are incomplete.
  • Crimes like fraud are rarely prosecuted, so there is no conviction and no record.
  • Domestic violence often goes unreported.
  • Many people who do not have criminal records are still predators.

Lovefraud readers have told many, many stories of becoming involved with sociopaths who seemed to be upstanding members of their communities, but were, in fact, emotionally, financially and even physically abusive. Much of this behavior never gets exposed in court, either criminal or civil. Therefore, there is no record.

Report dating ads on Lovefraud

Lovefraud endorses no dating sites. In fact, we make every effort to block dating sites from advertising on Lovefraud. Every time we see one, we add it to our banned list.

Still, you may see dating ads on Lovefraud.com. This is because Google enables advertisers to target ads geographically. So a dating site for Australians, for example, may advertise on our website, and here in New Jersey, we’ll never see it.

If you see an ad for a dating site on Lovefraud, please let us know. Send the url (www.datingsite.com) to [email protected], and we’ll block it.

Listen to your instincts

Dating sites represent a perfect storm for cheaters, criminals and con artists. Predators see plenty of targets who have already admitted to being lonely. Predators can hide their true identities and intentions. Predators can work many targets at once, looking for one—or more—who will give them what they want.

Yes, there are normal people on dating sites who just want to meet someone nice. So if you’re going to use a dating site, here’s my advice: Only get involved with people who live near you. This way, you can spend quality time with them—and check them out.

Finally, with online dating, keep your eyes and ears open, be skeptical—not starry-eyed, and always listen to your instincts.


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36 Comments on "New Jersey’s bogus Internet Dating Safety law"

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I think a better idea than online dating – is to use the MeetUp system or site. I think that’s what it is called, where people get together because of like interests: politics, religion, hobbie etc.

I am sure psychos troll those groups too, but since you do meet in-person, in a group I think it’s safer and an easier way to shop around, and maybe make some real friends.

You can’t legislate morality or good sense—people will do what they want to for whatever reason.

We have “laws” against illegal drugs, they don’t work. We have laws against murder, they don’t work either. We have laws against incest, child abuse, spousal abuse, fraud, etc. and NONE of them stop anyone from doing anything that they WANT to do—every criminal thinks that they will somehow get away with what it is that they choose to do. They never expect to get caught. They will be the exception. No one robs a bank thinking they will get caught.

Laws are like locks, they only stop “honest” people—who don’t need stopping in the first place.

The P that I dated after my husband died, was a man I had casually known for about 10 years. I was lonely, crushed, grieving, and totally vulnerable to his attentions. He had just been kicked out of his 32 year abusive marriage to a woman who had finally had enough, and he was trolling for NS and another “respectable wife” to keep his harem of women at bay. He had me sited as his next “respectable” wife. The person who would supply a home and respectability in a community, from which he could venture out to keep the stable of “girlfriends” and the wife who would prevent them from expecting marriage or committment of any kind.

He had operated this way the entire 32 years of his “marriage” to his respectable wife, until he had finally gotten caught “with his hand in the cookie jar” and she tossed him out. Glad to be rid of him. Her comment to me later (I also knew this woman) was that “since he has been gone, I have not had to say “I”m sorry” 100 times a day.”

This man has no official “rap sheet” with the police, but he has instead a long list of ruined marriages, broken hearts, and broken promises in order to feed his sexual appetites and his “feeling of being the big stud”—and at the same time being recognised in the community as “someone.”

He has a huge desire to be “respected as a man of consequence” in his community, and at the same time, he leads the kind of life secretly that is predatory and uncaring, but his “image” as a “man of consequence” is extremely important to him.

The common interest group that we share (which is where I had met him 10 yrs before) was very important to him, and because of how he treated me, and other women within that group, though it is widely spread over several states, is actually a very “small” community of people, and his “cover” has been broken within that group. In addition, his “cover” has been broken in his own small community where he lives as well, because of his now-known behavior.

That’s not much satisfaction to a previous girl friend of his (that he was still trying to lure back at the same time he was trying to marry me) because he managed to burn her house to the ground in revenge. There was no way this was proveable, but there is NO doubt in her mind, or the minds of many of our mutual friends that he did this, he threatened her, had motive, opportunity, knowledge of how to do it (he is an electrician) and was near her home the day it happened. Not enough proof for the law, but NO doubt in the minds of anyone who knew him.

I don’t doubt one iota that if he wasn’t afraid that my own sons would seek revenge against him that my home wouldn’t have burned as well. At the time I broke up with him, I told him that if my house was struck by lightening and burned and I witnessed the lightening strike, I would still send my sons “after him”–that was a lie, of course, but I made him believe it, and ultimately he is a coward. He did get some minor “revenge” against me, but it was not burning my house. He called me in the middle of night of the 1 yr anniversary of the last time I saw him to gloat about it. I was asleep and answered the phone before I realized from caller ID it was him, when I woke up enough that I recognized his voice, I hung up.

For what it is worth, I think the N-injury I gave him and the “outing” of his REAL character rather than the “pillar of the community” image that he likes to project, at least punished him somewhat, but there will always be women suceptible to his charm and his throwing money and gifts at him. Buying expensive gifts for his women friends is one way he projects himself as the “big man”—when we were first dating and he offered to buy me this or that and I declined his offers, it actually seemed to insult him…now I know why.

Legislation won’t stop this kind of predator or the millions of others—on line or off. Only educating the potential victims so that they do not fall prey to ANY predator is the answer. The jails are so full now from serious violent crime that there is a waiting list to get from the local jail to the prisons as it is. Unless they have actually killed someone my state is letting them out on parole —for each YEAR of the sentence they are serving 45 DAYS behind bars.

I have a little story about online dating.

Don’t do it.

The End.

Aloha, HOW RIGHT YOU ARE!

This is Nuts!!! We need to teach out kids how to avoid scams online. That is why there is legislation already!!!! Schools are mandated to teach internet safety like i-SAFE http://www.isafe.org. BTW – i-SAFE is great and my kids love it. But the truth is, this legislation does exactly what laws are NOT intended to do.

Aloha

Short and to the point – I love it!

The last guy I dated was from the online world. He wasn’t an N, P, S or Free’s ex-bf (I don’t think) but he wasn’t exactly normal, either. Saw some minor red flags of the indeterminate variety.

So, no more online for me.

I have so many interests and ways to meet people it’s not funny. But I always looked at those things as separate. Now I’m not, and it’s already making a world of difference. Between politics and movie volunteering, I’m meeting a whole new group of people who already have the same interests and overall education level . That italicized part is crucial. No matter who I’ve dated, they’ve never really shared any interests or educational background. It’s hard to make a connection without being on the same wavelength.

And the Internet is a P’s playground; have to agree after meeting a few of them that way.

Thanks for the warning. I guess “CP” are just dumbdownded attempts to be FWB (friends with benefits) as if being a friend wasn’t enough.

I want to vomit. This is so ugly, in so many ways.

I know people who have found someone through the Internet but for me, my ego can not take another “meeting” where the guy looks you up and down. I hate this.

Also, many guys go on and on about what a gentleman they are but then you find out that this only applies if they are getting what they want.. or if they think you are hot. If they don’t, any kind of grace goes out the window. I also find reading their profiles is very disturbing to me. Do men actually think they should put their sexual preferences and requirements in an ad? Or discuss them on the first date? One would NEVER bring up these subjects meeting a stranger at a party unless they were a horses behind!

I am done with taking abuse from these Internet Goobers or worse yet, psychos!! HAHA!

Down with Internet dating!!!

Now I guess I need to get out more. :o)

I have a Google News Alert set for “Cuddle Party”, and this came up as a match: “And don’t go to a CUDDLE PARTY !!!!! They are probably all predators too … ”

Seems a bit harsh and judgmental for someone who has never been to a Cuddle Party. Hi, I’m Doug, and I hosted around 14 Cuddle Parties in Southern California, stopping about 18 months ago because of time conflicts. A couple of comments, if I might …

I can’t say there are no predators at Cuddle Parties, and beyond a personal conversation with everyone who said they wanted to come, there was no background checks. That said, it IS a very safe environment that is being closely monitored by 2 people, with a set of rules that makes it very difficult to exhibit bad behavior. The objective is an environment where it feels safe and IS safe, and where it is easy and encouraged to say “No, thank you.”

Compare that with almost any other environment (club, bar) where one might go to meet new friends, and it becomes clear that a Cuddle Party is probably the safest place to go to avoid predatory behavior. It’s also stressed that it’s ok to leave at any time, although I can’t think of anyone who ever did that because they were uncomfortable.

There is a lot more information on my web site, http://www.oc-cuddle.com for anyone who wants to learn more. The Cuddle Party founders’ site is also very good: http://www.cuddleparty.com.

I’m guessing your ex- wanted to go because he really wanted to go to a swing party, and figured this would have been close. He would have been very disappointed, and I am certain you would have a very different opinion if you had gone with him.

Righteous…

Ever here the saying “come and see my etchings?”

I am still feeling ill. I hope no one falls for this BS.

And all contempt is meant, clear and my intent.

Hi fellow Bloggers,

I just want to remind you that there are a lot of people that stumble upon the site, quite by accident. And do not understand from where our opinion’s are derived.

We all talk about not living our life on the defensive…but with caution.

I saw a cuddle party on “Scott Baio is 45 and single” . They are a psychological tool that some people use to build/understand intimacy and trust. It may not be for us at this stage in our lives, but I have to say:

Everyone on the internet is not a N/S/P.
Everyone in a bar is not….
Everyone walking their dog is not….
Everyone at the gym is not….
Everyone at work is not….

Bitterness is not the intent of this site…I know it is not. Learning from our experiences and sharing and healing from mutual understanding is. DougL is another person who was quick to form an opinion without knowing what the site was about….Please remember that when you begin to blog in defense that, even I, as a reader/blogger, can hear the contempt in the words…and, these people who blog on accident are innocent…they are surprised and shocked..because they DON’T KNOW. We all know better…We should do better.

I amnot condemning the majority of normal men. I have a great husband, I adore him.

This is not therapeutic- I cannot fathom how it could be- there’s no therapist, just some guy getting a party together.

If this was therapy—taking a HUGE leap of my imagination– these folks would meet regularly and know their therapists.

This is an anonymous get-together meant to act as a shield for swingers. Psychos would love this as “cover.”

Lets hug. Barf again.

ps

I know seduction. It’s called I’ll be there when you are sick, insane, lost and impoverished.

I wonder if women are looking for the trappings, they miss the real presents. My husband for one is not suave or flirtaeous. He’s damn interesting, good looking, but not interested in BS. Never has been- I recall on our first dat- I opened the door, he was facing the wall.

But yeah- even I forget he is the present. I fall for the charm, and think why can’t he be like that. I call sexy going to buy me tampons and making me food at 1am. 🙂

Righteous- I am sorry, we aregoing to disagree here, I see these parties as totally lecherous.

That’s the thing, all the people that want to share their etchings, their music, their lifestyle, a meal, are not predators. Seduction in and of itself, is still part of Human Nature, and desired by the majority of people. It is knowing better that is important to avoid falling into the pitfalls. One Can not condemn the majority. That is like men saying in general that women are looking for a meal ticket in a man, and are good for laying on and not much else. As a woman who is still alive, Who has desires and needs that are perfectly normal, I won’t live like that. It is very sad for me to see attacks on innocent bloggers who stumble upon the site.

It is actually recommended by psychologists for people with intimacy issues. I looked at the site DOUGL referred to and it is nationwide. I know on the surface it sounds unseemly…It is just not your thing…Not mine either…but you couldn’t tell that by the way I was writing. My point was to not attack unknowing visitors to the site….not the cuddle parties.

Disagree…No…We just have different perspectives…I see yours, but I am not able to convey to you mine. I am open to all kinds of perspectives all the time…whether I chose to go along is a different story. I can guarantee you that I always do it with taste and class.

Best regards,

RW

Wow – I looked up that cuddle party thing – that does give me the creeps. I have not even heard of those yet!

Tho I do agree too with righteous woman – we should be a little more sensitive to the one time visitors that pop in here – we dont want them logging off thinking we are all a bunch of man-bashers. I think we are likely the opposite – we have so much patience, hope, love, warmth and the desire to make relationships work that we forgot all about our boundries and got hurt.

As for the Internet Dating – I tried it two different times in life.. and both were pathetic. I couldnt really tell you with a label, the types of men I met for coffee – but it would be safe to say all 5 or 6 of them I met – seemed online to be the “best of the bunch”.. but upon meeting – I sat there as the red flags were beating me up right and left! I’m done with that method of meeting men. I do have a friend who married a woman from online, and they are relatively happy 5 years now, but that is a rare lucky case.

Its tough to meet men to date – Sometimes I cant even picture it happening again. I know thats probably not true but since my 2 years with my S – I feel like my world has gotten so much smaller. I did buy a ticket for a nice concert at the concert hall in Seattle this weekend ~ at least its getting out and doing something. Going alone tho, which is hard after being so wined and dined by my S the last two years. I have a few girlfriends locally but they are pretty tied up with husband/kids/pregnancy….etc. Seems like alot of self time is on my horizon.

“Cuddle parties?”

Does that mean that you go somewhere and you “cuddle” with a total stranger(s)?

Why would ANYONE want to cuddle with someone they have just been introduced to?

I agree that some people may fear intimacy, but does “cuddling” with total strangers get you “therapy” for that?

Where are the boundaries?

I am a very huggy person and I love to hug those that I am close to, but hugging or cuddling with total strangers sounds to me like some how outside of a reasonable boundary.

I have friends who go to nudist outings and they tell me that I am “inhibited” because I don’t want to walk nude around a bunch of strangers. I know others who thought (this is years ago) that I was some kind of up-tight prude because I didn’t want to be part of a bunch of “swingers” (partner swapping parties for sex). As far as I know none of this is illegal, but it does not fit within my boundaries of what is appropriate behavior for me to engage in. If someone thinks that makes me uptight, prudish, or fearful of intimacy, so be it. The rationales sound sort of P-ish to me. Just my opinion for what it is worth.

Cuddle Parties. YECH!!!

Of course, not all people who attend something like this are Psychos. Perhaps these parties are designed to help people with intimacy issues.. but I do agree that this is the perfect avenue for Sociopaths to position themselves as senstive fellows who just need a cuddle. Call them: Sensitive New Age Psycho.

Imagine the akwardness of turning down the poor guy that no one wants to cuddle… imagine that after awhile, you start to cave to the pressure of the group… because who wants to be a prude… and now you are “cuddling” with some man you really don’t want to.. and you are feeling his enjoyment on your backside. NO THANK YOU.

And how will you feel about yourself in the morning?

this cuddle conversations is very funny to me cause when i first met my ex s path n at work he used to come in and say i need a hug, and hed lunge at me and hug real tight at this stage we didnt know each other outside of work i found it totally weird and i thought as though he was just pressing up against my breasts. it was like he used this to break down the physical bariers woman have a bout a guy touching them he made it seem so innocent like a friend hugging me but we didnt know eachother that well it was a well thought out ploy i bet he uses all the time to get close to someone he wants to know, he probably still uses it. every shift we worked togethr he would say i need a hug and you just sort of get caught . after a while i saw thru it and noticed he did this with a lot of females he knew. wish i had stopped getting to know him then and there. i wont be going to any cuddle parties i think that is something for good friends lovers and family and i think s paths use this sort of thing all the time its like once they break you physically its easier to do the rest of the conning cause you trust them what a nice guy hugging people!!!!!!!!!! wrong . love to you all .

FREE; THAT IS EXACTLY HOW HE DID IT TILT HIS HEAD I NEED A HUG LIKE OH POOR ME. AND AFTER WE BROKE UP TOO. HUGS ALL ROUND. HE EVEN LIFTED ME OFF THE GROUND AND HUGGED I AM PRETTY SAMLL, LIKE I AM THE BIG STRONG GUY AND YOUR THE LITTLE FEMALE I CAN DO ANY THING WITH. WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP. THEY COULD BE TWINS BY THE SOUNDS OF IT. BY THE WAY IM IN AUS TOO.

free; hell i think he might hold his own cuddle party. i might have a cuddle party for all the nice woman who have been done over by s paths and ns what do you say about that. we need it more than them all the cuddles in the world would not take away the pain they inflict on us. cheers. mine wa s almost addicted to affection and felt ripped off if he didnt get that sort of attention. something seriously wrong with that.

FREE,

You said, “I am glad that I have been questioning people’s agenda, because I was brought up to accept everyone without question and I was very naive because of it.”

Sometimes I am guilty of implying what I mean but you pointed it out here. We are being trained by our Culture… at least in the US, to be open and non-judgemental. We think if we reject something it means we are “judging” something and that reflects negatively on us. I found a definition of the word “judge.”

to judge: To form an opinion or estimation of after careful consideration

Right… after CAREFUL consideration.

Don’t we all need a cuddle? I do! Being cuddled is one of our earliest comforts and these parties are designed to tap into that sweet space in our psyche. This is why it is a perfect place for people to cross eachother’s boundaries. It makes things blurry. If you felt a little strange about someone, and let’s say you never had an encounter with a Sociopath, wouldn’t you struggle a little in this environment? You would want to go along with what was happening in the name of being “open” and if you did have boundaries come up… well, isn’t this Cuddle Party supposed to help you with that? Maybe you are having intimacy issues? So, you are in the right place. Do you get me?

I can imagine easily that this is the “coaching” one might recieve from the facilitator. This is why I think Cuddle Parties and things like that are not safe. They are a MAGNET for people who want to be a place with unclear boundaries. Doesn’t this sound a lot like what happened to many of us? Endless arguing and looping about the instincts that popped up to tell us something wasn’t right and then being talked out of these instincts… and being punished for having them.

When I was with the Bad Man, every time my good judgement kicked in, I was talked out of it. It was easy too. All he had to do was call me “uptight” and “Church Lady.” This would cause me to waiver because I considered myself to be open… and a Christian… but an OPEN Christian. I did not want to be associated with any Bible thumping.

I remember a conversation around drugs. He was into taking some kind of VERY strong hullucinagenic herb, “guided” in a ceremony by an Amazonian tribal guy that visited Maui a few times a year. I was not interested. The Bad Man got mad at me because I didn’t want to do this. I remember saying, “Are we actually arguing over the fact that I am not interested in doing drugs of any kind and you have a problem with this?!”

This “ceremony”, I was told, involved people babbling incoherrantly and vomiting. That was why the special Amazonian guy was there… to protect you.

Why don’t YOU PROTECT YOU?

Being niave and “open” and trying my very best to be non-judgemental cost me a lot. Now, I stand firm in what I know and what my instincts tell me and I listen to my judgement because “judgement” is a good thing.

Let us heed the warning: “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”

BTW.. about Puppy Eyes. The Bad Man had an adorable look that swept across his face as well. Over time, I learned that when I saw this face, I was in DEEP TROUBLE. For me, this was when something I said was being twisted in his mind and an attack was soon to follow.

Free

“By the way LilOrphan, my ex was tall, dark and handsome with gray eyes. Sound like your last online date?”

Hahaha. No. But they all sound like that on “paper” or screen, right?

And anyway, he poofed after a short period of time. So I figure that staying on that trajectory would mean meeting a whole lot of different people who would do that, and that’s too much like revolving door dating to me. I don’t want to share myself with the entire world. Just one special person, and am willing to wait for that person until I’m sure they want to actually become part of someone’s life – not just jump in and then out again.

On to cuddle parties — I have no ideas about them. One thing, though, did jump out at me: in the five years I spent between dating the Wolf and then re-dating the Wolf, there was a point I was so starved for physical, non-sexual touching that it actually HURT. That was even with having a snuggly child who was very hands-on. I’m very hands on, and I felt the absence of having someone adult and male to hold and be held by. So maybe I guess I get it, a little, those parties, but still think it’d be too much for me, personally, to do with strangers.

The politically correct concept of not being “judgmental” has I think kind of thrown the baby out with the bath water.

Does it mean that if I want to sacrifice my child on an altar to Baal, that no one can “judge” my religious beliefs? That I should be allowed to do this?

How about female circumcision? Which is a horrible mutilation of the little girl’s genetalia if that is my “culture”?

How about if I only believe in “faith healing” and my child is sick with diabetes and I refuse to give them insulin?

How about the “Man boy love association” who believe that we are depriving young boys from being loved by adult males? Can we “judge them”?

“Judging” someone has become a BAD thing today it seems, but how else can we have any moral or legal codes by which society works?

As a SOCIETY we have decied that “judging” someone because of their skin color or religion is not OK, or to refuse to give them a job because of that, or their gender is not okay? But does that mean that you cannot form any opinons about any kind of behavior?

We all should have the same HUMAN rights, from the “bag lady” or the “wino” on the street to the president of the US, but each of us by the way we dress and by the way we act set ourselves up to be part of a “group”—there are so many people on the face of the earth that none of us can know them individually so we use these external appearances to form some kind of idea about these people. If I dressed up in old clothes and pushed a filled shopping cart down the street like a homeless person would you be wrong for thinking I was a homeless person? No you wouldn’t be wrong for that because that is the way I potrayed myself. BUT you would be wrong if you treated me mean just because you thought you could treat a “worthless” homeless old woman mean.

I don’t think the 3-little Pigs were wrong in “racially profiling” the wolves—they were using common sense. This absolute and totally not “judging” (by politically correct nonsense) is absolutely absurd.

I’m in agreement that you should be able to pray to any god you want to, or none. That you should be able to dress to “express your individuality” or your “culture” but you still are not allowed to walk down the street naked if that is your “culture” and you are still not allowed to sacrifice your children as a blood sacrifice to your god, or to mutilate your daughters in this country.

There must be some mutually agreed upon societal rules that are appropriate and enforced…it is just the personal and petty stuff that we shouldn’t “judge” people on and treat them with contempt because of it.

I think Benjamin Franklin was the one who said “Sin is not bad for you because it is labeled sin, it is labeled sin because it is bad for you.”

The things that we as a culture and society and a country label “sin” (crime) are the things that we as a country have decided are “bad for people.” That does not cover ALL the things that are bad for you though, and there are many things that are not illegal that are “bad” for us as a people and a culture and also as individuals. Most of the things our Ns and Ps have done to us are NOT “illegal” yet we know that these things are BAD and cause devestation to lives.

It isn’t illegal to get falling down drunk every night of the year. That is still not good for you or your family if you have one. It is illegal to smoke marijuana ever.

alohatraveler and OxDrover, great posts as usual:)

I slid a little backwards today. I went to my counselors and she said that there must have been something there that he stayed so long and he loved me for awhile( as much as a N can). I explained to her that he stayed because he had nowhere to go. He couldn’t hold a job. When my money was gone so was he. If he would have found a $#%^& (gf name) earlier he would have been gone sooner. Then she said well you stayed because you had nowhere else to go too. I’m not sure where she’s trying to go with this. Just when I think I’m seeing things clearly, I get confused again.

I’ve really been able to see my role in letting him do everything he’s done. I have accepted my responsibility for it. I know he thinks a certain way and has never thought any other way. He thinks everyone thinks the way he does and that’s how the world works. ( I do have trouble with the last one because why does he pretend to be a “good person” if he thinks they don’t exist?)

I’m sorry that I’m rambling. It just took me so long to come to terms with the fact I was the same as a toaster to him, that her saying he must have felt something for me upsets me.

Please excuse me if Im a little behind the topic of cuddle parties – whatever they are, but you have all been busy and I have alot of reading to catch up on.

The main two points that came to my mind were – P/N/S’s carry out their predatory behaviour with such aplomb that it is not detectable to start with. Secondly, even if a staff member could hold bad behaviour from guests in check, this would only delay the exhibiting of that behaviour which would then not be in a controlled environment. I was on online dating and apart from loads of guys who seemed to want to collect my picture, it really isnt worth the effort. Someone commented on another thread (I will have to go back and find it) – that they are realising that romance is not to be contained in a box, like everyone going after that illusive box. My horoscope said that if we compartmentalise romance, we are setting ourselves up to be let down and I think we have all learnt that lesson in the most extreme way possible. So why are we all trying the same actions and struggling with this, if it bought us pain the last time. Me – Im removing myself from all dating websites and Im gonna try and make a good life for myself and keep the bad stuff out.

Yea, thinking back, if I kissed him on the cheek he would look very affronted and demanded to be kissed on the mouth. When I found saw the womens phone numbers and turned my back on him in bed, he started telling me off, as though I was being the unreasonable one! Neat ploy eh!

I wouldnt give a cuddle to anyone, and I certainly am more ‘selective’ about what I give away to anyone – even if it is my time or a reply to their question. I am not going around mistrusting pepple, but I am more restrained until I am convinced or at ease.

Beverly, I can’t remember who said this (on another thread) and would give them credit if I did, but they said

“insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting DIFFERENT results”

Boy is that a one sentence mouthfull. That is what “victims” have done, is that even when we were uncomfortable and in pain, and we keep repeating being “reasonable” when it has NEVER ACCOMPLISHED the desired result. Why do we keep thinking if we keep doing more of it it will succeed?

Another animal training analogy is training a horse.

You put a bit in a horse’s mouth and you pull on the reins, which causes discomfort tothe horse. When the horse, in an effort to ease the discomfort turns his head to the right, you release the pressure and the discomfort goes away.

The horse learns that if he moves to release the discomfort that you do not apply more discomfort, so riding and guiding the horse starts out with discomfort and release of discomfort.

Before you get on that horse though and start the discomfort/release you feed him and pet him, and do comforting things to him to gain his trust first.

So essentially we are treating the animal we are training just as an N or P treats us, we are being “nicey” nicely” feeding him and petting him, making him trust us and then we start the pain/release, and in between times we give him another bite of feed so he thinks we are the “feed-god, the giver of all good things” but, we do require that he carry us on his back, and make him go the way WE want him to go, and if he decides he does not want to go that way, we INCREASE the pain until he does.

God forbid that he should decide to defend himself from us in the only way he knows by kicking or biting, or try to run away from us—we will chase him down and thoroughly “teach him he is not EVER to kick at us” and in the end, if he refuses to be compliant and nothing we do will make him compliant to our will entirely, then we send him off to be processed into dog food.

I also am realizing now that I passed on to my good-hearted son some of my enabling behavior—he met on the internet and married a woman from NY. She had a son in a wheel chair, and because my son had been brought up around people in wheel chairs he was “off-put” by this, in fact, I think his “caregiver” nature kicked in. Of course this was a big detriment to this woman finding a man who would “take care of her and support her and her son” as well as her out-of-control teenaged daughter.

She married my son and they moved her to the community here near us, but she had convinced my son that I was “trying to break up the romance” so he married her without really getting to know her—and she isolated him from us as much as she could. I knew from the beginning that the woman was “deceptive” but that was about all I could “intuit” because she was always “overly polite” to me, but my gut feeling was that she was deceptive.

My son, who was also taught that when you get married you are committed to that person, you don’t go behind their back and complain to others about how unhappy you are, you deal with the person you are unhappy with.

I knew something was “wrong” with my son, that he was depressed and unhappy (and cranky) but didn’t know what it all was, now that she is gone (after trying to kill him) he is opening up somewhat about how unhappy he was and why.

She had had multiple marriages with domestic violence and one ex in jail for a long term affair with her teenaged daughter. either of her kids had any manners and were quite rude, the daughter was a thief and had stolen things from my house, and made very inappropriate sexual advances to my adopted son which her mother was not willing to acknowledge or deal with…now I am finding out that this woman was violent toward my son, throwiing things pushing etc. and trying to percipitate a physically violent “fight” with him. He would not do that however, and would put his coat on and leave the house when she started this.

The Ex-convict that she had the affair with took pictures of her “in bondage” etc. which is apparently what she wanted, and he had a known history of sexual offenses, which she knew about but refused to acknowledge that they were with an 8, 11, and 14 yr old because he said that the girl was 17 and appeared older. She is out on probation, with a no contact order now, but still in contact with her BF who is in prison for some time yet…and still trying to manipulate, very carefully on the “line of being legal” to take financial advantage of my elderly mother.

Not only did I follow in my enabling mother’s footsteps, but I inadvertently taught my son to do so as well. I DO believe if you have trouble with your spouse you should work it out with your spouse and not “triangulate” everyone in the family into the “fight” or disagreement, but that like any good thing can be taken to extremes and allow your spouse to perpetrate horrible abuses upon you.

Fortunately, her trying to kill him was what crossed the RED LINE with my son…because even after he had discovered the affair, he was willing to go to counseling with her and try to salvage the marriage. I am just thankful to God that she showed her TRUE COLORS and that the law stepped in and arrested her and her BF. The nearly 7 months that she spent in jail and the 5 days afterwards while she was in a domestic violence shelter (during which time she decided that SHE was the victim of violence and abuse because my son kept a gun in their house) Of course the fact that she bought a gun for herself and her ex-convict boy friend was only for her “protection” and didn’t make her abusive. Boy can they put the spin on it.

She went into my mom’s lock box and tore up the loan agreement where my mom had loaned her BF the money to purchase a vehicle with, and since SHE tore it up, (which of course she denies) therefore the truck is “not owed on” and so she is trying to get possession of the vehicle as her BF’s Power of Attorney—fortunately we weren’t born last night and have filed a lien against the vehicle for 8 months of storage and a small claims case for the money my mom loaned her BF so they will NOT be able to get the truck, but it isn’t because they didn’t try. That is to say nothing of the $2800 of the $24,000 that they stole from my mom that mom didn’t get back because they had spent it.

Geesh! They just don’t learn, they just don’t change their spots. But in a way I am glad that she is pulling this crap because I think it is making it easier for my son to accept the fact that there is NOTHING HE COULD HAVE DONE to have changed her from what she is—a parasite who picked him as a “meal ticket” for her and her children, and a personality disordered person who has used and will continue to use him and anyone else for her own purposes.

8 years ago when they first married I bet my best freind a $100 dinner that withiin 3 months of the death of her son (expected at some point) that she would be gone. He had only been dead about 6 weeks when she tried to kill my son, and had been having the affair as her son was dying.

She also uses “being depressed over the death of her son” as her reasons for the affiar, etc. yet, while he son was dying, my son took off from work to be there and hold his hand, while SHE was off screwing her boy friend, doing drugs and drinking like a fish—yea, like the typical psychopath, she “loved ” her son, but thought it was more important to be with her boyfriend than with her son as he was dying.

Dear OxDrover. I think we keep doing what doesnt work because as humans we do the best we can, with what we know at the time. As we get older, with the benefit of experience, wisdom, pain, we evolve into more dynamic persons. I realise looking back, that I had plenty of blind spots, which I was totally unaware of at the time, but equally frustrated by the influence of – then, when revealed, it makes sense.

I love your analogy of working with animals, I can so relate to that.

Wow, this is a very active discussion group, isn’t it?

To address a few of the questions and concerns that came up regarding my post on Cuddle Parties:

1) I didn’t really look at all at the material being discussed, nor did I realize until today that I might be the only male posting material. That said, I tried to keep my comments focused on the “don’t go to a CUDDLE PARTY … predators” comment.

2) holywatersalt says: “dumbdownded attempts to be FWB (friends with benefits)”. I doubt anyone who has ever attended a Cuddle Party would agree.

3) righteous woman says: “I saw a cuddle party on [TV] … They are a tool that some people use to build/understand intimacy and trust.” Bingo! A Cuddle Party is structured as a workshop dealing extensively with boundary-setting skills. About 45 – 55 minutes is spent in lecture and directed exercises, and the balance of the event provides an opportunity to try some of the stuff in a very safe and structured environment. Yes, many people come simply to meet other people, but other people come to work to work on personal issues.

4) holywatersalt says: “DougL is another person who was quick to form an opinion without knowing what the site was about” Uhhh, I’m not sure I really formed an opinion, beyond thinking Free was a bit harsh in her assessment of something about which I have strong feelings and about which she seemed to have no direct experience or have done much research.

5) holywatersalt says: “This is not therapeutic” That is correct, and never advertised as such. The FAQs very clearly say Cuddle Parties aren’t a substitute for therapy. But so what? Miniature golf isn’t therapy either, but that doesn’t make it inherently undesirable, does it?

6) I went to a Cuddle Party on Friday (my first since I stopped hosting my own), and in the welcome circle one woman said she was there on the recommendation of her therapist. (I never had anyone say that who came to my parties when I was hosting.)

7) holywatersalt says: “just some guy getting a party together” About half of the facilitators are women, and I think most of the people actively hosting parties are women. The party I attended on Friday was hosted by a guy with a female assistant, and I always had a female assistant when I was hosting parties. Parties in Alabama are co-hosted by a male and female.

Also, while anyone can throw any kind of party they want, being able to use the trademark “Cuddle Party” takes a lot of work (and money). The founders (REiD and Marcia) started hosting parties in New York about 4 years ago, but they didn’t begin training others until they had hosted almost 100 of their own and fine-tuned the format. The training training starts with a 3-day, 25-hour workshop. That is followed by conference calls and individual phone conversations. Cost is $1490. No one can host a party until they have submitted a tape of themselves going through the 45-minute format, and the criteria is that the facilitator-in-training must “own” the material, not just be reading it. I think it’s less than 50% who get past that hurdle on their first attempt. A Red Cross First Aid/CPR class is required, and then the person can host their first “review party.” Everyone attending is asked to complete a questionnaire that asks questions like “Did you feel safe?”, “Would you come again?”, “Would you recommend Cuddle Party to your friends?” Those go back to REiD and Marcia and are the basis for a telephone review. After a minimum of 3 review parties, if the two founders feel the person is really ready, they become officially certified and can use the trademark freely.

8 ) holywatersalt says: “This is an anonymous get-together meant to act as a shield for swingers.” That is a statement with absolutely no basis in fact, and I challenge holywatersalt, or anyone else who thinks that is true, to find one posting anywhere on the internet where someone WHO HAS ATTENDED A CUDDLE PARTY says they have anything to do with swinging.

At the beginning of the party people introduce themselves and say why they’ve come. At one of my parties we were working our way around the circle, and a couple announced “We’re swingers and we’re here to meet like-minded couples.” They may have been the only couple I didn’t thank for coming, and a couple of other people who had previously attended my parties politely told them they weren’t going to find that. After we went over the 15 rules that expand on the “No Sex”, “Pajamas stay on at all times” theme to really drive that home, they took the “if you think this isn’t an activity for you, then you are free to leave and get a full refund” option. No, Cuddle Parties have nothing whatsoever to do with swinging.

9) righteous woman says: “I know on the surface it sounds unseemly” Sadly, yes. That appearance, for those who have never attended, is the biggest challenge faced by Cuddle Party facilitators. (Especially the male facilitators.)

10) righteous woman says: “It is just not your thing. Not mine either” A fair statement. True for some people even after attending one.

11) holywatersalt says: “I see these parties as totally lecherous”. Please tell me how you can “see” something without using your eyes. I hate to sound defensive, but come on. Have you even spent some time looking at any of the Cuddle Party web sites, or is it just that something named “Cuddle Party” can’t be good? Again, I challenge you to find a single listing on the internet where someone WHO HAS ATTENDED A CUDDLE PARTY would use the word “lecherous” or anything similar to describe it. (Please look for yourself, but I can say that I’ve been looking at every Google Alert for “Cuddle Party” that’s come out in the last 2 years, and there haven’t been any negative postings by people who have attended.)

12) findingmyselfagain says: “I looked up that cuddle party thing – that does give me the creeps” That’s not an unusual feeling for people who have never attended. A few people who feel this way have decide to try one anyway, and they are always the most surprised to find how wrong their preconceptions were.

13) OxDrover says: “Does that mean that you go somewhere and you cuddle with a total stranger(s)?” Not really. A Cuddle Party provides an environment where that is possible if you want to try it, while making it incredibly easy to say also no, thanks.

14) OxDrover says: “Why would ANYONE want to cuddle with someone they have just been introduced to?” There can be lots of reasons why cuddling (or back rubs or foot rubs, which happen a lot at Cuddle Parties before people decide they want to cuddle) is attractive to some people. It isn’t for everyone, just like nudity may work for some of your friends and not others.

15) OxDrover says: “some people may fear intimacy, but does cuddling with total strangers get you “therapy” for that?” Some people, in some situations, may find the comfort and safety of a Cuddle Party an attractive place to experience non-sexual touch. I remember a woman who told the group she was a rape survivor and hadn’t allowed any man to touch her in several years. She felt a Cuddle Party was a good first step to start returning to normalcy (her word) because of the safety, structure and supervision.

16) OxDrover says: “Where are the boundaries?” There is a set of rules that set very clear boundaries, and they are discussed in great detail at the beginning of the party. They are published on most of the CP websites, and there is no ambiguity whatsoever when the welcome circle is complete. Probably the most important are: “Say no if you are a no” and “no touch at any time without a specific request and permission.”

17) alohatraveler says: “this is the perfect avenue for Sociopaths to position themselves as sensitive fellows who just need a cuddle.” That may be true, but what makes a Cuddle Party any worse for that than a bar or club or any place else to meet people?

18) alohatraveler says: “Imagine the awkwardness of turning down the poor guy that no one wants to cuddle” This is addressed extensively in the welcome circle. In fact, the very first thing that happens, even before introductions, is the “No Exercise”. “Turn to the person next to you. Pick an A and a B. A, it’s your job to ask B to kiss you, and B, it’s your job to unapologetically say no. Even if the person asking is the most beautiful human you’ve ever seen, you MUST say no. Do this a few times, then switch” A variation follows where the people turn to the person on their other side and do much the same thing. Again, the only answer is NO. Gets people used to saying and hearing NO. There is follow-up in the rules discussion emphasizing that no means no, and that it’s nothing personal. This is a relatively long (and very important) part of the Cuddle Party welcome format.

Part of the discussion covers people who come to say no to everyone (typically people who have trouble saying no to anyone). Strong emphasis on that being very, very ok. Even encouraged.

So about the poor guy — well, that’s directly addressed. Short version is, everyone remembers their high school dance when getting told NO was devastating, but think back to kindergarten when “no, thanks” wasn’t a big deal. It’s hard to give this justice in just a couple of sentences, but part of the magic of Cuddle Parties is that this almost never turns out to actually be an issue.

19) alohatraveler says: “cave to the pressure of the group” There is no group pressure. It just absolutely, positively doesn’t exist. Possibly because most of the people don’t know each other, so there aren’t any groups to do pressuring, but also the rules and welcome circle get severely in the way of pressure.

20) alohatraveler says: “now you are cuddling with some man you really don’t want to” Could happen, but the whole party is structured to keep this from happening. One of the rules is, “You don’t have to cuddle anyone at a Cuddle Party, ever.” Strongly emphasized, and fits in with the discussion about getting a “no, thanks” not meaning anything personal.

21) alohatraveler says: “you are feeling his enjoyment on your backside” As a CP facilitator, I can say that arousal happens far less often than you might expect, and it is addressed in the welcome circle. But let’s say it happens for sake of discussion. Exiting a cuddle quickly and easily and without guilt is covered in the welcome circle. For that matter, another rule says you can leave a Cuddle Party at any time for any reason. This is all part of the safety.

22) Free says: “I apologize.” 🙂 No problem. You gave me an opportunity to share some information. Not sure how many people here have changed their minds, but perhaps a few on the fence might be decide to look a little closer, and maybe even visit to see for themselves.

23) Free [talks about her ex, with words like, “dig the knife in further”] Jeez, what a sweetheart.

24) Free says, “A lot of people have trouble with that word [no]” One of the most rewarding experiences I ever had as a CP facilitator came at my second party. A woman there had gone to a lot of parties for swingers, and pretty much didn’t have “no” in her vocabulary. At one swing party in her recent past, she was with 2 other guys, and a third decided to just join without asking. She hated that she didn’t feel empowered to tell him to go away. Shortly after attending my Cuddle Party she called crying. For the first time in her life she had been able to say “No”. She had been at a weekend swinger’s convention and got hit on by the same guy who hadn’t asked. She told the guy to go away and leave her alone. She didn’t want to be with him that day or that weekend or ever again. And she said it was the No exercise that had given her the courage to do that. Your mileage may vary, but to have helped just that one woman be able to tell a predator to get away from her made the whole training and cost completely worthwhile for me.

The irony is that I had initially thought of the “no” exercise as an ice-breaker. A throw away, never realizing how hard it is for some people to say no. I never had anyone else crying from the emotional release, but several people (both men and women, often identifying themselves as having gone through sexual abuse as a child) said the no exercise was the most meaningful part of the workshop for them.

25) Free says, “there are a lot of people out there who do not respect boundaries”. Yes, and if the setup was simply, “Has everyone read the rules? Any questions? Ok, let’s cuddle and have fun.”, I think there would be massive problems with boundaries not being respected. For me, the greatest accomplishment of the Cuddle Party founders was to figure out how to structure a party where that doesn’t happen. It’s hard to condense a 45-minute discussion into a single paragraph, but it really does work. I’m sure that a substantial number of men came to my parties thinking they were going to get a little feel, but the reality is that out of roughly 100 men that came to my parties, I only had a problem with one guy. Unfortunately, he came from a part of the world where women are considered property, and where divorce requires simply saying “I divorce you” three times. He also had apparently spent much of the party talking about his contempt for America. Near the end he saw an opportunity and tried to put his hand under a woman’s blouse. What is interesting is that she still felt that the environment was safe — it was him, not the structure, and she returned many times (with no further problems). He, obviously, was never allowed to return to any of my parties, and I told the facilitator on the other side of LA about him as well. Truth be told, I suspect the odds of getting groped on a bus or crowded subway are much greater than getting groped at a Cuddle Party. Too much structure, and too much emphasis on personal integrity. Hmmm, maybe there is group pressure at a party, but if so, it is directed to staying within the rules.

26) Free asked about, “a party plan for people who know each other already?” I would have done private parties if asked, but never saw a demand. As far as I know, that is true for all of the other facilitators as well.

27) Free asked “do you think he’s been to one of yours?” [laughing] Fortunately, no.

28) Free, thank you for finding the quote that talks about the type of people who go to Cuddle Parties, “Normal People.” Yes, lots of variety, but few that seemed strange. I spent a lot of time at the party on Friday talking with a woman who has an engineering degree and has passed the bar. Two people met at one of my parties and dated for about a year. She was a librarian with a Master’s degree, and he was the communication manager for a bank chain. Artists. Engineers. Republicans (though not many). Democrats. Pretty, and not so pretty. White collar. Blue collar. (Don’t think I ever had any politicians, police or clergy, but I know other facilitators who did.)

29) alohatraveler says: “You would want to go along with what was happening in the name of being “open” The pressure to be “open” simply doesn’t exist. There’s far more emphasis (and practice) saying “no, thanks.”

30) alohatraveler also says: “I can imagine easily that this is the “coaching” one might receive from the facilitator. ” [referring to, participate if in doubt] Actually, no. The coaching would be to hang out in the kitchen where there’s just talking if a person is feeling any discomfort. Kitchen has food, not so much to feed people, but to provide an excuse to hang there and just talk.

31) alohatraveler says: “boundaries … isn’t this Cuddle Party supposed to help with that?” Yes. CP is about establishing boundaries and honoring them, rather than caving. One of the early activities involves pairing up and discussing the boundaries people have set for themselves before the party (which gets people thinking about and clearly expressing their boundaries). Cuddle Party isn’t about stretching boundaries, but about setting them and feeling empowered to not go further. And being able to say no, powerfully.

32) alohatraveler says: “They are a MAGNET for people who want to be a place with unclear boundaries.” Perhaps. Someone who is looking for unclear boundaries and didn’t read the web site, or read it and thought the rules would be winked at might indeed come to a Cuddle Party. They would quickly find, however, that they had come to the wrong place. Emphasis is on setting and honoring boundaries, not stretching them.

33) LilOrphan says: “there was a point I was so starved for physical, non-sexual touching” I have been dating a woman for almost 2 years who came to my Cuddle Party for just this reason. She was going through a divorce and was starved for touch. We had relatively little communication at the first two parties she attended, but we started an e-mail conversation after the second and found we had a lot in common. The relationship has been exclusive, by the way. I guess my point is that she was looking for exactly what you have described and did find it at her first Cuddle Party, then returned for more of the same.

34) Beverly says: “if a staff member could hold bad behavior from guests in check, this would only delay the exhibiting of that behavior which would then not be in a controlled environment.” True, but is there any way to meet people where this wouldn’t be true? Isn’t it a good idea to at least start in a safe environment, before agreeing to meet somewhere else?

———————–

Ok, I got way, way too wordy. But the truth is, I believe in Cuddle Party, and it’s hard for me to read stuff I know isn’t true without commenting.

A Cuddle Party isn’t for everyone, but they can work very well for many people. Thank you for letting me share these thoughts.

— Doug Lippincott

Doug, thank you for your rebuttals to our comments, I still stand by my own not wanting that sort of thing, and I still do not view it as healthy, and especially for a group of people such as is on this blog.

BTW, there are men here, it is that statisticly most people labeled “sociopaths” are male, so there are “more” victims who are female.

I believe anyone can do anything that they want to (consenting adults) but that doesn’t meant it is “good” or “healthy” for them or anyone else, but “different strokes for differnt folks.” as we used to say when I was a kid in the 60s.

This blog is not about cuddle parties, it is about surviving the terrible wounds from dealing with psychopaths.

It is perfectly okay with me for you to believe in “cuddle parties” or any other “pop psychology” you choose. I’ll not try to convince you they are bad or that you are wrong. It is simply a MATTER OF OPINON. You have yours and I have mine, and the other bloggers on here have theirs. I sincerely believe that none of them will change your mind, or that you are likely to change our minds. You have expessed your opinons and we have expressed ours, so as far as I am concerned the discussion is over, we agree to disagree. OK?

OxDrover, thanks for the opportunity to express my viewpoint. It wasn’t my intent to hijack your thread and make it a Cuddle Party discussion, and I apologize for perhaps getting carried away in my response.

I tried to acknowledge that while Cuddle Parties may work well and serve an important purpose for some people, they certainly aren’t for everyone. My goal in writing wasn’t to convince you or alohatraveler or anyone else that they should attend. Rather, I simply wanted to answer some of the (perhaps rhetorical) questions you and others had asked, and to correct what I think was well-intended but nevertheless erroneous information, presented as facts, that had been posted about Cuddle Parties.

And maybe, just maybe, someone who is on the fence might decide to see for themselves, or at least take up my challenge to try to find something negative written by an actual attendee. I can’t imagine anything that would be much better than a regular poster to attend and then write about her personal experience.

You wrote, “I still do not view it as healthy”, and I have no problem with that. That’s a personal viewpoint that allows room for other viewpoints.

And you wrote, “especially for a group of people such as is on this blog”. I am not a therapist, so I can’t speak authoritatively on that, but it’s my belief that some of my guests who had been in abusive situations got much value from their experiences at Cuddle Party. The woman who was finally able to say “no” to a predator and attributed that directly to Cuddle Party is my best example. We can have differing opinions, and I will acknowledge that I know very little about the specific needs of people who have escaped psychopathic relationships.

In return, is it fair to say that someone who knows nothing about Cuddle Parties beyond their name could be making assumptions that have no basis in reality? My time will have been well spent if someone seeing what I wrote does their own research.

And with that, I again think you for the opportunity to share my viewpoint. Yes, you and I can agree to disagree and consider our discussion to be complete. That said, if others ask questions that I can answer, I probably will, and if someone expresses what I believe is an erroneous opinion as an irrefutable fact, I may politely say that’s an opinion that likely wouldn’t be shared by anyone who had actually attended a Cuddle Party, but no more 34-point posts. Fair ‘nuf?

Wow you went to alot of work Doug, re-quoting all of us.
Well, I can agree what works for one, may not work for another. Thats why there are many options out there for people to use as resources.
I guess for me personally, I would not find it comforting, nurturing or therapeutic to have strangers in a room wishing to hug me or cuddle or put their arm around me. Sure, you can say no, but really that is what everyone is intending.
Not that I have a problem being touched but – it just seems empty. Like having sex with someone you just met. Ya, you are having sex, but what relationship, trust, caring and meaning is in that? It would seem cold and unnatural.
But I am glad you are there for those that find purpose in it and thank you for explaining your view.

Also many of us here are hurt, drained, disappointed and emotionally raw from someone who we let into our heart and we became emotionally and physically intimate with. I know you hope to re-introduce people to be open again, but for most I would think it takes more than a strangers hug to help us trust someone with those vulnerable areas again.

I also have a question on the pajamas. If its not a unspoken “sexual” party in any manner, why the pjs? I can imagine one persons version of pj’s is quite different than another’s. Would bet all the gals don’t show up in flannel nightgowns. I wouldnt choose to sit around with a bunch of cleavage and watch everyone enjoy the various modes of nightwear.

findingmyselfagain commented “you went to alot of work Doug”. 🙂 Probably a pretty fine line between what I did and obsessive/compulsive behavior, but thanks for noticing.

“Pajamas” does cover a pretty broad range of attire. What’s still on my website about this is: “Think comfort and ease, rather than sexy and high-fashion. Drawstrings, rather than lace. T-shirts and sweat pants work great too.” In the last 18 months, the “official” dress code has apparently been updated to also add “no shorts.”

In reality, sweats and t-shirts are the most common attire, and if someone arrived in something a little too revealing, I think most hosts would provide something to change into. (We all take extra PJ’s for people who show up in Levi’s or a 3-piece suit with nothing to change into.)

Thank you for saying that while a Cuddle Party probably wouldn’t work for you, that it might be ok for others. I have no problem at all agreeing with that viewpoint.

You also said, “I would think it takes more than a strangers hug to help us trust someone with those vulnerable areas again.” I’m sure that’s true for most people. I think the question is the extent to which Cuddle Party can be helpful. My belief is that, at the worst, they couldn’t hurt, but I acknowledge some readers here might disagree with that viewpoint, especially those who have made assumptions about who attends and what happens that might not be valid.

Thanks again for the opportunity to be heard.

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