FAQ

Touch and Be Touched

What are your terms & conditions?

You can find those here.

Why Cuddle Workshops International?

Cuddle Workshops International has been founded by Wilrieke Sophia. Years ago, she and her former partner Sebastian were the first and only ones to give Cuddle Workshops in the Netherlands. Nowadays these Cuddle Workshops and sessions have become more or less commonplace. But are all of these workshops and sessions of high quality? How well is the participant taken care of? After the whole #metoo-affair it feels even more important, certainly when dealing with intimacy, to keep an eye out for the rules, knowledge, trust and a system whereby facilitators also check each other.

The goal of Cuddle Workshops Internationalis to become a trustworthy, safe starting point for Cuddle Workshops in the world. A quality label. An obvious place to go to when you have a question, or a complaint.

What is cuddling?

Cuddling is to lovingly touch and to be touched. This can be done with a hug, but also by caressing each other, by lying next to each other, or in many other ways. Cuddling is a non-sexual act which can be performed by anybody, inside and outside a relationship. Basically, everybody loves cuddling, even though sometimes some walls need to be torn down. What is perceived as enjoyable is different for everybody and that’s why coordination is so important.

Why is cuddling so important?

Cuddling makes us feel better and happier. We also become more social and allow people to come closer to us. Through cuddling you will improve the connections with the people around you and you will feel more unity. Many people think cuddling is scary, which prevents them from doing it as often as they would like. A Cuddle Workshop may help to bridge the gap and to learn to become more relaxed while cuddling.

What is oxytocin?

Cuddling releases substances in your body, like oxytocin. This hormone makes us behave more socially, makes us feel better, relieves stress, lowers blood pressure and enhances digestion. Many people live lives full of stress. Cuddling can be a good way to lower that stress. The production of oxytocin also enhances the production of other substances like serotonin.    

What is a Cuddle Workshop?

A Cuddle Workshop is a structured workshop aimed at loving touches. We do this with the help of exercises, and by making deliberate contact with ourselves and others. We start of slowly, without touching each other, and will slowly build up intensity, allowing everybody to keep up and ensuring the workshop won’t move ahead to fast for anybody. Also see: What & Why?

What are you doing during a Cuddle Workshop?

During a Cuddle Workshop we cuddle, though this is never obligatory. During a workshop there is ample space to lovingly touched and to be touched. We start with a moment to get back to our senses and leave all the everyday stress behind us. From there we will use exercises to get into touch with ourselves and with others. by caressing each other’s hands for example. If you don’t want to do something, you don’t have to. We usually end in a puppy pile, with everybody laying under and over each other. You decide how much contact you want, by laying in the middle or at the sides.

Is every Cuddle Workshop the same?

No, basically every Cuddle Workshop is different, and every facilitator’s style is different. The structure is always the same, but the exercises are different each workshop. Sometimes the emphasis is on dancing, on meeting, on letting go of thoughts by being blindfolded. Every workshop, we try to find the right balance of exercises fitting the moment and the group.

Why are you organizing Cuddle Workshops?

We love to cuddle and would like others to experience how awesome it is to touch each other without any specific purpose or fear. We aim to create a space where people who love to cuddly may do that in all safety, as well as a space to practice for people who still find it a bit scary. We also like to see everybody relaxing and enjoying themselves. Those are the things that make it worthwhile to organize Cuddle Workshops.  

Why should I attend a Cuddle Workshop?

Most people visit a Cuddle Workshop because they love to cuddle and can go all out during the workshops. More means better in this case :). People who find cuddling a bit scary are also attending. Attending a Cuddle Workshop is a good way to get more relaxed and allow cuddling into your life. We see people turn more soft, open and loving once they start attending more Cuddle Workshops.

What kind of people are going to a Cuddle Workshop?

The workshops are attending by warm, open people. Some are very open to be touched, while others still find it a bit scary. But in the end, everybody comes to the workshops to be cuddled. The workshops are aimed at people who want to lovingly gather. There is no place for people who only want to take, or people who can’t show any respect. Are workshops suitable for all ages and everybody is welcome. Sometimes we organize workshops for a specific group, like youngsters or experienced cuddlers; this will be specified on the event calendar.

How much does a Cuddle Workshop cost?

The price may very per workshop and depends on the length and location of the workshop. See the calendar with planned events and the event page on Facebook for more information about the price.  

Why should I have to pay to cuddle?

You don’t have to pay to cuddle. The cuddling is free. You are paying for our time and effort, for the location and other costs we incur in order to be able to organize these workshops. We put a lot of time and energy in setting up and giving these Cuddle Workshops, and we ask for a contribution to cover that.

Most of us are professionals who make a living with providing you with something we feel is important. Most of us also spent many years and lots of resources into our education to become a high quality facilitator.

What should I wear during a Cuddle Workshop?

The best is to wear soft and comfortable clothing in which you can move freely. A skirt or dress is fine, perhaps with a legging underneath it. Wear layers of clothing, as it often gets warm. Make sure you are clean and don’t wear a strong scent, parfum or aftershave.

What are the rules during a Cuddle Workshop?  

Rules are important during a Cuddle Workshop? That’s why we made a special page about it.

What happens if I, or someone else, gets aroused during a workshop?

It may happen that during or after an exercise some arousal might occur. We ask the participants to not act on it and to let it pass. Usually the arousal will wane off. Not that sexuality is something bad, but during the Cuddle Workshops we want to provide a safe space with room for loving touches, without the participants having to be afraid that those have consequences.  

What if someone doesn’t stick to the rules?

Usually, the Cuddle Workshops are attended by warm and loving people in an open and safe atmosphere. We do the best we can to keep this atmosphere throughout the workshop. Most facilitators work with a team of trusted assistants. When someone doesn’t stick to the rules and disturbs the workshop, we will remove this person from the workshop and deny that person access to any other future workshops.

What happens if I don’t want to do something?

You just don’t do it. During a Cuddle Workshop all exercises are optional. We encourage participants to do things they think are a bit scary. This will result in personal growth. But always guard your own limits and don’t do anything you don’t like or feel unsafe with. You are always allowed to express this feeling, to us or to the person you are doing the exercise with. Perhaps we can find a better alternative for you. You can always get out of the exercise by making the namaste hand gesture. You won’t need to explain yourself.

What if I don’t want to cuddle with someone?

You are not obliged to cuddle with anyone. When there are exercises you need to do with someone, you are free to choose someone with whom you’d like to do it. Sometimes it might be someone else you would have preferred. But that can be interesting as well. When you still don’t feel good about it, when you need space, or when you met someone and you feel you are done? You can always get out of the exercise by making the namaste hand gesture. You won’t need to explain yourself.

What if I get emotional?

It regularly happens that people get emotional during a Cuddle Workshop and there’s nothing wrong with it. That’s allowed. Sometimes sadness will show up, or old pain or anger. In these moments, try to feel what you need: support from one of us or someone else, or maybe space. If someone gets emotional, we always try to assess what that person might need. We’ll provide support when we have the feeling it could be beneficial.

Are you afraid you’ll become emotional? Don’t worry. There’s no problem when it might happen. The people getting emotional during a workshop usually gain a lot from them, because they have place where they can go to and where they get loving support.  

How should I behave during a Cuddle Workshop?

During a Cuddle Workshop it is important to act responsibly and respectfully. Guard your own limits and those of others. When you do something, think about what the other need and try to give it to them. How more you are giving from an open heart, the more you will receive in return. When you act greedy and you’re not sensing other people’s limits properly, or when you’re not treating them with respect, you’ll notice many people will close you off. Hands that only take don’t feel good, hands that give something do. The more you’re able to relax and enjoy the moment, the better your evening will be.

How does the team behave during a workshop? What is your Code of Ethics?

Our behavior is fully transparent and open. Team members can freely change roles from organizer, helper, assistant and participant. The rules of consent are the same for everybody at any moment. Team members won’t meet people privately whom they’ve met at a workshop, there’s no sexual contact in any way, shape or form (see the rules of the Cuddle Workshops). If we happen to think that we met the love of our life in a workshop setting, we’ll discuss this within the team and will talk about possible power dynamics, blind spots and what the most honest approach would be.   

Within the team there’s constant consultation regarding integrity, there’s intervision and supervision, and there’s a way to file a complaint, if desired anonymously (see below).

You can read our full Code of Ethics here.

When is the next workshop?

We are planning new Cuddle Workshops regularly, see our calendar, or you can subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with upcoming events.

What did other people think about the workshops?

Basically everybody liked them afterwards and pretty much everybody comes back. Some already for years! You can read reviews from people who attended a Cuddle Workshop.

How will I know about upcoming events?

You can subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with upcoming events.

I have a complaint.

Something unpleasant unforeseenly happened during a Cuddle Workshop or session? Please do tell us and we’ll get in contact with the facilitator and will take measures when necessary.

Who is the face behind Cuddle Workshops International?

The founder of Cuddle Workshops International is Wilrieke Sophia. You can find out more about Wilrieke on her website, Facebook, or Instagram pages.

Can I become a certified facilitator?

Yes, you can! There is a Facilitator Training with Wilrieke Sophia once or twice a year in The Netherlands. Keep an eye on this page to learn more.