Swedes extend warm embrace to ‘cuddle party’ movement

Swedes are often partial to picking up on trends from "over there" with the latest offering a new way to socialize American-style - introducing... the "cuddle party".

Swedes extend warm embrace to 'cuddle party' movement

The cuddle party has been in existence since 2004 and has been offering a comforting human touch to a legion of followers from the US to Canada, Australia, the UK and the Netherlands ever since.

It is now Sweden’s turn to hop on the cuddle bandwagon and explore “a playful social event designed for adults to explore communication, boundaries and affection.”

“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,” Oskar Palmenfelt at cuddle party organizer told The Local.

The ambitious Swedish model will however differ somewhat from the more relaxed US cuddle party, Palmenfelt says.

“A US cuddle party is more a pleasant evening when people cuddling in a non-sexual way. In Sweden we see boundary-setting when practising cuddling as an important skill to be learned and developed,” he explained.

Swedish participants will participate in an 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, Palmenfelt told The Local.

Palmenfelt said that the integrity and boundary-setting which cuddle parties afford are necessary in a society which imposes such heavy demands on its members and agues that the methods are applicable even outside their intimate setting.

“It is about learning to build and trust your own personal integrity, drawing limits and also asking for help in everyday situations,” he said.

While the movement has established itself, the cuddle party is not short of detractors with many apparently wondering if it is not just a precursor to an orgy. But with clear rules and the supervision of a Cuddle Lifeguard or Cuddle Caddy, the events are kept strictly above board.

“The facilitator or their assistant is always on hand to ensure that the rules are followed and any questions can be answered,” Oskar Palmenfelt told The Local. plans to expand its operations this year with April courses in Stockholm and May courses in Gothenburg. There are also plans to extend the cuddle party to youth groups and others in need of the warmth of the human touch.

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