But in this blog, I merely want to talk about cuddling in a platonic nature. Is it possible in theory? and, probably more importantly: in what situations will platonic cuddling be acceptable?
Cuddling is a purely physical act that is done for many reasons. Usually it is for comfort but it may be used as a falling action after climax (sex), or before sex as a form of rising action, most commonly known as foreplay. However it doesn't always have to deal directly with sex. Many times people cuddle just to be comfortable, and to feel a certain closeness. That closeness is what most people find non-platonic about cuddling.
However, it is my personal belief that platonic cuddling can be achieved without the closeness usually felt in cuddling. Another friend of mine disagrees. She believes that cuddling that is platonic in nature is not achievable, merely because the closeness, and emotional aspect of cuddling would overcome any friendly aspect of a relationship. Again I disagree. Cuddling is a physical act, while usually associated with emotion, and closeness, it does not necessarily need to be associated with them. If a close embrace, like a hello hug, need not be emotional, then why does cuddling need to be emotional? Especially when it is done merely for the physical comfort and not for any emotional comfort.
Some forms of cuddling are undoubtedly platonic, and include an emotional aspect, that one might call love. I think any type of cuddling between best friends, are platonic. Many times people feel a love for their best friend, that is non sexual, but one that is more reminiscent of love for a family member. A mothers embrace for a child is platonic, as well as embracing a friend to comfort them, such as when they are crying after an emotional day. Embracing a close friend and giving them a shoulder to cry on is an ultimate form of platonic love, and it includes cuddling.
But cuddling can also be done horizontally (like on a bed, floor or couch, where both parties are lying down), which may, to some, seem like something more. Many people might argue that horizontal platonic cuddling does not exist, but in theory, I can think of at least 3 situations in which it does. Accidental, Purposeful, and Group Cuddling can all be considered platonic forms of horizontal cuddling.
Accidental horizontal cuddling can best be explained by example. Lets assume we have two individuals, who happen to be friends without sexual, or physical desire for each other. These two individuals may be doing some mundane task, such as watching a boring movie, fox news, or homework. Lets now imagine that these two individuals fall asleep, and while unconscious move into a position that is comforting for them both. When one of them wakes up, they may find comfort in the other persons warmth. While this is a physical pleasure (much like the pleasure we all feel in the morning hours when we are warm under our blankets), it is very much platonic in nature.
Purposeful cuddling can also be a form of horizontal platonic cuddling. An example of this can be cuddling to prevent cold, cuddling to give a person a shoulder to cry on, or cuddling to fight some sort of political agenda (like cuddling for peace). This type of cuddling is also dangerous, and can easily be cheated by any one of the party. How many times have we not seen a movie or television show where two people are freezing and the male suggests to the female that they both get naked and cuddle since the best heat is body heat. Now you know it can be cheated, and you have been warned.
Cuddling in a group is one of the last ways cuddling can be platonic. Think it does not exhist? Here is proof!
Now, I don't know what you readers think, but these people look extremely comfortable! Peaceful, nonsexual group cuddling between friends, unfortunately, is something not often practiced here in the U.S. I believe this type of cuddling has a very calming effect on the human psyche. I also believe that if people cuddle more often in groups, we may care about each other more. Perhaps it is only when we feel each others warmth, when we look into each others eyes, and when we pay attention to the awareness within our friends, that we can really know the true value of a human life. Platonic cuddling may not be widely practiced, but used in this way, it has the power to prevent wars.
On a slightly different note, the reason this blog entry exists is a statement to the nature of the human condition in 2009. In my opinion nothing could be more beautiful than caring so much for another person that you decide to simply take some time out to pay attention to them. Paying attention to what someone is saying is gratifying to the person talking, but paying attention to a persons inner being, the awareness or presence within the human body is another level of communication in which words cannot describe. This type of comfort may make a person feel vulnerable, which is why so many of my friends object to the idea the platonic cuddling is possible.
In reality the vulnerability they feel is normal. How often do we have someone peer into our true being without having to go through words, race, class, gender, or sexual identity. Cuddling is a form of breaking bearers between people, and, by paying attention to another person (and not just the physical person, but the awareness which is in each of us now), then true closeness and clarity can be achieved.
The fear of vulnerability may not be the only reason my friends are afraid to admit platonic cuddling exists. It may actually be deeper, such as a fear of intimacy. How many times have we actually felt someone else's awareness and presence? How many times have we stopped to acknowledge someones existence, not through words, or showing compassion, but by just lying down and enjoying someone else's ability to share a moment, and a space with you? If this seems too intimate, then it is unfortunate. I firmly believe that acknowledging someones presence can easily be done with cuddling, and the awkward intimacy someone might feel comes from not being payed attention to enough.
People are always on the cell phones, or trying to be funny, or showing a persona that is not them true selves. I am not a word, or a personality, or an emotion. I am a human being. I go through ups and downs, and the only part of my being that is consistent is the being within me that is attentive. The one that is here now aware of my surroundings. The presence of a sentient organism. Perhaps those more spiritual than me may even go as far as to call it a soul. We have lost touch with each other, and perhaps noticing each others soul is the only way to reconnect. It may be the answer to all of our problems.
Platonic cuddling should not be shunned as impossible but should be sought after. Only through love can we end war, even if it is just the love of a friend, or the love of an embrace. It need not be sexual or embarrassing, or awkward. Love is simply this: the ability to notice another persons soul. The sun does it every morning, with it's warmth upon my face. I can honestly say, I have never felt more alive and present than when I am cuddling. Not sex, nor happiness, nor excitement can emulate the emotion of calm, warmth, and attention given to me when I am being embraced by a close friend or girlfriend. Cuddle away. Love each other. And please, for the love of one another, and to show respect, keep it platonic.