Friday, February 17, 2012

Poly Living Conference Part Four: Negotiating a Three Person Snuggle Experience

The next part of the snuggle party seemed especially daunting, because I’ve never been particularly fond of group projects. We were to choose two people to work with and negotiate how we would like to spend a five minute snuggle experience. I picked M, the nice woman from the body workshop who’d told me goddesshood is immanent, and R, a very warm-seeming beardy guy who was decidedly belle of the Poly Living ball.

M was wearing fuzzy bright blue pajamas with little polar bears on them and R had on a fancy shirt and MAGENTA VELVETEEN stretch pants. There should be an award for best pants worn to a snuggle party. Kamala told us to sit as close together as we felt comfortable and we sat in a cute knees-touching triangle. After we’d Namaste-ed each other, she told us to close our eyes and direct our attention to the person on the right. We were supposed to get a sense of the person this way and think of the best way to enjoy ourselves with them. M was to my right. She was very comfy and cozy to be next to and I imagined her petting my hair. Next we had to focus on the person to our left. I felt leery of R because he was so popular and I was worried I would get attached—when I’m not going for complete hermits, I tend to go for the social butterfly type, one extreme or the other. Anyway, my reticence was overcome by the awesomeness of his pants, so I decided I would like to pet them. On the shin, no higher.

Next we were instructed to open our eyes and each go in turn saying what we wanted to do with our five minutes. It was pretty easy to arrive at a pants-petting consensus, since we all had on very soft PJs. We spent a couple of minutes doing this and it felt exceedingly pleasant. I no longer felt any reservations about either of them, or anything else, for that matter. It was very platonic pants-petting, I feel like I should point out.

R’s a fan of rubbing feet, so he asked if I would like a foot rub. M offered to pet my hair while he did that. I wondered it they’d felt my energy or whatever and felt like I needed some help and care, but whatever the reason, I was happy they’d asked. As I settled between them, M asked if there’s a special way I like my hair petted. Nobody’s ever asked me that before! I felt so special! R asked how I like my feet rubbed and I said firmer than not. Those few minutes of just being cared for so sweetly and generously felt soooo nice. Both of these strangers felt so warm and safe, it was amazing. I was leaning on M and could feel her heart behind me. She said I had such beautiful hair.

Because I never do stop yammering, we got to chatting while the snuggling was happening and I learned that she is a professional domina. She must be really good at her job. When time was called I told her I hoped she could give me some advice about finding a dom. She volunteered for the job and I kind of felt like a jerk for saying I’m looking for a guy.

In snuggle parties as in life, I had a hard time moving on. I didn’t want to move away from M and R ever, but everyone was instructed to form a new triad. I thanked M and R and raised my hand until I found a new pair of people. I didn’t feel as drawn to these two, and I probably should have sat the next part out. It was a frustrating negotiation for me. I wanted to talk to them more than touch them, so when the negotiation started, I said “I just want to hear your hopes and dreams.” but they kept mistaking that for a request to reiterate physical wishes, and it kept looping around in a sort of who’s-on-first situation.

This is a frustration I’ve been having in my body-focused adventures. I do want to live in my body more, to entertain it more, but I feel like people often want to skip over the other parts of being human. Granted, this is the opposite of the just-friends problem I’ve been having for most of my adult life. Maybe people just take the I-like-you-as-a-person stuff as a given, I don’t know.

Anyway, we settled on rubbing each other’s backs in a row, like people used to do at raves. The guy called me the best masseuse ever, but I told him I was worried my energy was too bad for that. (Jeez, this is the most I’ve used the word energy in that James Redfield way since the early Nineties!) He said, “That’s okay, I’ll just be your only client.” The lady of the group said she’s too much of a giver to get a massage without giving one. That kind of pissed me off, I don’t know why.

After that, it was time for “free play.” Kamala ushered in the free snuggle portion of the evening by instructing everyone to get on their knees and pretend to be kitty cats. Um, NO. This was where I drew the line. There’s a whole bunch of things I’ll do, but grown people pretending to be little fuzzy animals is just...no. I decided it was time for a pee-break so I found my shoes and crept out of the room.

Next time: of COURSE I cried at the snuggle party.

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