Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-05-13
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Hug/cuddle group for gay single men arrives in Chicago
by Dwight Okita

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

I have a body pillow that I love to cuddle at night. Its gray fabric is covered with white stars. But there are some nights the body pillow alone just doesn't cut it.

I recently decided to start a Meetup group for single, gay men that focuses on hugging and cuddling. Most of the cuddle groups I'd heard of were for men and women, and I wasn't sure how a gay man might fit into such an equation. Truth is, I've been single longer than I've been plural and missed having someone to snuggle. I was looking for my tribe. One of our group guidelines is: "All humans deserve to be cuddled, whether partnered or not." I also knew that cuddling helps release oxytocin, a powerful hormone that gives a person a sense of connectedness and reduces anxiety. Oxytocin is released 20 seconds into a hug—but the problem is most hugs only last two to four seconds!

Our first man-hug Meetup took place at Center on Halsted in November, and was a nurturing mix of diverse music, a safe space and 13 men in search of tenderness and intimacy in a platonic setting. I recruited Charles Gamble as my co-organizer to help plan things because I could see he shared a similar passion. His Meetup experience had been with a lucid dreaming group; my Meetup experience had been with an anxiety support group. He's African-American; I'm Asian-American. I liked the diversity of all that.

Said one member, Edward, of our hug-centric November event: "I thought it was a great meetup. It was well organized and the guys were very nice. I thought it was a great way to bond and share energy. I felt happy and relaxed when I left." For the record, cuddle parties seem to have started in New York by two relationship coaches in 2004. And from that beginning, a kind of cuddle movement has sprung up over the past decade.

Dec. 12 cuddle event

The next event is Saturday, Dec. 12, 2-4 p.m., and will focus on cuddling. Charles and I are diving head-first into planning the event. This time, we will be in the North Center neighborhood at the lovely Rast Dance Studio. Attendees will wear clothes they can cuddle in, a blanket and a pillow, if desired. One must RSVP and pay $10 online in advance, rather than just show up.

Music will be played from my Bose bluetooth speaker connected to my iPod, which allows me to create unique playlists—from an orchestral piece called "Intro," by Camera Obscura, to Elton John's classic song of inter-galactic yearning ,"Rocket Man." With the blankets laid out on the wooden floor and the music playing, it may seem like a kind of slumber party for grown-ups. The $10 fee helps cover costs of space rental, music downloading, etc. Don't miss out on the Dec. 12 event or you'll have to wait a long winter month for our next gathering.

From our first event, we've seen how an hour and a half of human touch can give new meaning to the term "contact high." I tell people to think of this as "communal touch" rather than romantic touch ( though they may feel similar at times ). But if you're looking for a "happy ending," you will be disappointed.

Some other cuddle activities of interest

On Sunday, Dec. 6, our sister group Truthful Touch Cuddle Party will hold a screening in Rogers Park of a new documentary on the growth of the cuddle movement at 12:30-5 p.m. The event includes both the film and a shortened cuddle party, with men and women of various orientations. The fee to attend the whole event is $35.

Also there is a new startup website called . They have certified cuddlers in Chicago and New York. The program is geared for those who seek one-on-one cuddling rather than a group. The cuddlists listed on the website come from various backgrounds and professions, including social workers, artists, yoga teachers and many more.

So, dear readers: We look forward to seeing your shining faces in just more than a week. You must be at least 18 years of age, and a single gay man. No drama or sexual harassment allowed. Big hugs and cuddles to you all.

For more information, visit . Dwight Okita is the meetup organizer of the Hug & Cuddle Group for Single Gay Men, and is the author of The Prospect of My Arrival, as well as Crossing with the Light.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Preckwinkle releasing social-distancing photos 2020-05-18 - Recently, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle shared the first in a series of photos to illustrate and promote the need for physical ...

Gay News

Federal court orders social distancing at Cook County jail 2020-04-27 - CHICAGO - A federal judge today ordered Sheriff Thomas Dart to implement social distancing measures for people incarcerated in Cook County Jail. With ...

Gay News

PFLAG to launch TransKids, SoFierce social media campaign on March 31 2020-03-27 - WASHINGTON, DC—Beginning Tuesday, March 31, PFLAG invites allies, family, and friends of transgender kids ( trans kids ) to join a an uplifting ...

Gay News

Howard Brown Health implementing social distancing practices 2020-03-16 - In order to prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus ( COVID-19 ) and in the interest of patient and staff safety, Howard ...

Gay News

SAVOR MAD Social; Labriola 2020-03-03 - Few Chicago restaurants capitalize on a thoroughfare like MAD Social ( 1140 W. Madison St.; ), which incorporates Madison Street into everything ...

Gay News

Darrow ceremony, symposium to mark 125th anniversary of speech on social justice 2020-02-27 - CHICAGO — With its mission of bringing the spirit of famed attorney and social justice advocate Clarence Darrow to bear on contemporary issues, ...

Gay News

SocialWorks' Black History Month Film Festival through March 1 2020-02-19 - SocialWorks' 3rd Annual Black History Month Film Festival will run at Showplace Icon Theater, 1011 S. Delano Ct., through March 1. Throughout February, ...

Gay News

Judge rules for same-sex partners in Social Security case 2020-01-31 - On Jan. 31, federal magistrate judge recommended striking down as unconstitutional the U.S. Social Security Administration's ( SSA's ) denial of survivor's benefits ...

Gay News

SocialWorks' Black History Month Film Festival until March 1 2020-01-30 - SocialWorks' 3rd Annual Black History Month Film Festival will run at Showplace Icon Theater, 1011 S. Delano Ct., through March 1. Throughout February, ...

Gay News

Social-impact investing is focus of Out in Finance discussion 2020-01-27 - The emerging world of environmental, social and governance ( ESG ) investing was the focus of an Out in Finance panel discussion Jan. ...


Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.