August 11, 2004


Cuddling Strangers Latest Craze for Singles (Herbert Lash, 8/09/04, Reuters)

It's not about sex and all about the touchy-feely experience of snuggling up to perfect strangers wearing pajamas.

The grab fests are called cuddle parties, and since they started in New York in February, hundreds of people have paid $30 each to touch and embrace others in intimate gatherings.

Everyone needs to be cuddled, especially in lonely New York, say creators Reid Mihalko and Marcia Baczynski who say it's a good way to meet new and interesting people.

But the rules are clear. The PJs stay on the whole time and participants are reminded of Rule No. 7: "No dry humping!"

Doesn't anyone use a Dutch Wife anymore?

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 11, 2004 9:11 AM

That quaint old custom went out about the same time as sailing ships of the line, and using lemons as a remedy for scurvy.

Posted by: tictoc at August 11, 2004 12:16 PM

Really? I've had mine since I was five.

Posted by: oj at August 11, 2004 12:28 PM

I don't mean to be indelicate about this, but we may not be speaking of the same thing...

Posted by: tictoc at August 11, 2004 12:39 PM

You're not actually supposed to have sex with it, you know?

Posted by: oj at August 11, 2004 12:53 PM

A block of wood with a round hole drilled through it? What do five-year olds do with it?

Posted by: tictoc at August 11, 2004 2:39 PM

'Dutch Wife' describes a rattan bolster used in hot, humid countries to keep a sleeper's limbs suspended away from their sticky sheets, "called thus because it was round, fat and just lay there."

Posted by: oj at August 11, 2004 2:56 PM

OJ, how can such a thing substitute for cuddling?

Posted by: Robert Duquette at August 11, 2004 5:21 PM

Is this still a family weblog?

Mr. Judd, please delete if appropriate:

In English, expressions containing the word “Dutch” are invariably negative. “Dutch” treat, comfort, courage, concert or nightingale are better avoided; one of the worst expressions, fortunately not generally known, is “Dutch wife”, used by English sailors for a wooden board with a hole in it.

"For reasons unknown, a blow up doll in Japan is called a Dutch wife."

Posted by: tictoc at August 11, 2004 7:56 PM

On board ship you've got cabin boys to bugger--who needs a board?

Anyway, the etymology becomes far clearer when you realize it was a devise used by Dutch planters in Borneo, Indonesia and the like to keep a minimal portion of the body in contact with the bed.

Posted by: oj at August 11, 2004 8:03 PM

The cabin boy was shared with the rabble of sailors ?

I thought only the officers got the attentions of the cabin boys.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 11, 2004 8:16 PM

But, to address the original post, "cuddle parties" seem like a good idea, for emotional and psychological reasons, if, if, the rules are always respected and strictly enforced.

Might even be a good time, an adult slumber party/college bull session.


Where were you, when you were five, that you needed a "Dutch Wife" to sleep in comfort ?
Not New England, surely.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 11, 2004 9:31 PM


Well, I do find temperatures over 50 unbearable...

Posted by: oj at August 11, 2004 10:49 PM