Craving for human touch? Join cuddle club in Vienna

By Hector Pascua, ABS-CBN Europe News

Posted at May 16 2012 02:19 PM | Updated as of May 16 2012 10:47 PM

Andrea Riss, organizer of the cuddle club in Austria
VIENNA, Austria - Need a cuddle? A unique club in Vienna is extending a comforting human touch to its members.

The cuddle club is a playful social event designed for adults to explore communication, boundaries and affection. People who join the club are those who miss physical contact that they don't get from social media like Facebook and Twitter.

"A cuddle party is a concept where people meet and and practice touching within clear boundaries and learn to set limits, this is important in several fields in society. It is about building integrity," Andrea Riss, cuddle club organizer said.

A cuddle meeting or party opens with a "welcome circle", where participants can introduce themselves in a playful manner as they try to get comfortable with each other. Communication and boundary skills are being taught in ways that are lighthearted and fun.

Those who participate in a cuddle party should give the others the assurance that they just want a good cuddle and not anything sexual. They should also convince other members about their motivations to join the club.

After the introductions, the club opens up for cuddling. Participants lie around on mattresses cuddling each other, and get a feeling of "closeness" which they don't get in modern society.

"It is about learning by heart to develop and trust your own personal integrity, drawing limits and also asking for help in everyday situations," a cuddle party participant said.

"We live in a world where there is an awful lot of single people and although people can get closeness through sexual encounters – sometimes people want to simply feel close without any of that. It's no longer all or nothing – now what we offer is an in between station with the feeling of connection, more innocent level. Cuddling and stroking someone especially if they are stranger is regarded as a taboo in society, that's especially true for men. Now we offer people the chance to spend their time not alone but in the warmth and comfort of others," Riss told the Austrian Times.

Aside from the cuddle parties being held regularly, the club organizer also offers after-cuddle workshop, where a specific pedagogic method will be applied to expand the understanding of the value of boundary-setting to personal well-being.

For more about the cuddle club in Austria –