A safe place to rediscover tenderness
When – 2021- running
Where – Milan
Key features – Totally nonsexual; adults-only cuddle workshops
Working every day with kink and eroticism as I do, I frequently notice one upsetting phenomenon: while for most people finding sexual partners and experiences isn’t especially difficult, reclaiming closeness and tenderness without ulterior motives appears to be extremely hard. It is as if people plainly forgot how to actually connect on a deeper human level – maybe because the discourse about fornication is much more pervasive than the one about just being nice to each other.
One powerful remedy I encountered during my worldwide explorations of fringe scenes were cuddle parties: safe spaces where more or less professional facilitators guided the participants through a series of exercises to reactivate said connection. In fact, I had been trying to bring this type of event to Italy for several years… with little success. Most people laughed at the idea, or were repelled by the generally bohemian overtones of it all.
Then the pandemic hit. Isolation and alienation became widespread issues, and what was simply a happy experiment in wellness turned into a much-needed opportunity to rebuild our social dimension. As soon as it was possible to organize gatherings again, everyone was suddenly very keen on the Coccoleria (roughly meaning ‘the Cuddle Factory’) concept! Polished into a little more urban form, the event keeps gaining fans and making people feel better. Isn’t this what I’ve always strived for, after all?