I’ve Never Cuddled Brown Before

I always imagined that my great (Desi-)American (nonfiction) novel would take readers on the misadventures of a single desi girl, with the first chapter starting with The Cuddle Party. That’s right, a party where people cuddle. I have been borderline obsessed with this idea for the past few years, and thought it would be a perfect first misadventure. The parties are usually gender balanced, cost a small fee, and are moderated to take you on a journey through the power of touch. Not an orgy. Just of hugging and cuddling.

I never actually made it to a party, though I had every intention to. I thought I had missed my opportunity when I found out last month (through the Cuddle Party LA listserv – yes, I subscribe) that they had cuddled their last party. Never to fear, intrepid Current TV reporter and fellow brown girl Tania Rashid to the rescue. [via boingboing]

Three points of interest for me from the video:

  1. I love that Tania’s biggest fear before going into the party was exotification of the small brown girl by the big white slimy people. And her mocking quote, “I never had brown before.”
  2. I love that her source of empowerment from the experience was her ability to say “No.” May not have been the point of the cuddle parties, but hey, at least the brown homegirl got empowered.
  3. I love Current TV and their user generated five minute long shows. A voice like Tania’s (young, brown, female) would have been lost if it wasn’t for spaces like Current.

I think Tania and I could be fast friends. She definitely had more bravado than I would have in the same situation and I think I could use having a girl like her around as I go on single desi girl misadventures. Now, I wonder… do you think she’d be down to go with me to a Polyamorous Society meeting?

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About Taz

Taz is an activist, organizer and writer based in California. She is the founder of South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY), curates MutinousMindState.tumblr.com and blogs at TazzyStar.blogspot.com. Follow her at twitter.com/tazzystar

94 thoughts on “I’ve Never Cuddled Brown Before

  1. 50 · Puliogre in da USA said

    no biggie. its a really minor point.

    look puli, pardesi gori’s already been banned for going there. no reason to further these stereotypes, even if you can’t feel it.

  2. 54 · Puliogre in da USA said

    oh god….

    Puli, I realize SM is pleasure, but you don’t need to make it so explicit.

  3. when one is invited to these things, is it possible to return a ‘rain-check’ for when one’s endogenous testosterone production reaches a dangerously low level? I would hate to be impolite.

  4. Puliogre in da USA on November 25, 2008 05:45 PM · Direct link · “Quote”(?)

    oh god…

    Um Puli, if you are Hindu, you need to be more specific as to which God. We have a million odd and I’m inventing a few as we converse…

  5. This is such an awesome idea! I can’t wait to get my cuddle on! how about a SM cuddle party?

  6. 60 · Pawan said

    This is such an awesome idea! I can’t wait to get my cuddle on! how about a SM cuddle party?

    I have been saying this for years. YEARS I tell you.

    Once up with all the zingers? I leave to do work and return to 40 additional one liners to sort through…

  7. What a small-minded idiot she is to use “bald” as a pejorative. I can’t take her seriously.

  8. 61 · Taz said

    Once up with all the zingers? I leave to do work and return to 40 additional one liners to sort through…

    one-liners are the last refuge of the shallow

  9. 67 · Manju said

    61 · Taz said
    Once up with all the zingers? I leave to do work and return to 40 additional one liners to sort through…
    one-liners are the last refuge of the shallow

    and the first refuge of the witty.

  10. Just another way to pick up chicks. I guess us sensitive desi guys should try it. Sure beats the bar scene. Both of them. ;)

  11. Puli, I realize SM is pleasure, but you don’t need to make it so explicit.

    hey, at least he didn’t say “come on now” ;)

    puli – glad you had a good time at coffee (yes – that IS what the kids are calling it these days) but next time, no imposed hugs, i promise :)

  12. Who is Pardesi Gori and what wrong did she do?

    That Tania girl… she’s spunky! I would be too wound up to enjoy though in theory – strictly in theory – this sounds great.

  13. Tania strikes me as being a brown-hating brown girl. I would have loved to have seen her expression if she discovered that there were a couple of Indian guys there. She’d REALLY become uncomfortable. I’ve been in situations where I’m at a bar, and there would be an Indian girl with her white friends. And I’m convinced that my presence totally made her uncomfortable. I mean…it wasn’t as if I was spying on her or out to jump on her. Also, Tania Rashid must have been raised in a hyper-conservative environment, so she probably thinks that she’s liberalized now.

  14. 72 · Itallcomesaround said

    Who is Pardesi Gori and what wrong did she do?

    she’s sorta like ashley todd, the mccain chick who said a big black man mugged her then drew a “B” on her face…but add a dash of vanilla ice then apply the scenario to indian men and you have pardesi gori. (except the indian men aren’t big)

  15. Sick, someone should tell that dude in the vid that there’s no sugar in “toe jam”. It’s just an expression.

  16. Taz make sure you let me know when you decide to go.

    A few points

    1. was that a ring on her hand she extended when she said “you can do it to my hand”
    2. Empowered by saying no? Isn’t “no” the word women say most anyway? All she has to do is walk into a party, or club and she’ll have the chance to reject all the guys her heart desires for one night.

    Do you need a cuddle party for that?

    “Tania strikes me as being a brown-hating brown girl. I would have loved to have seen her expression if she discovered that there were a couple of Indian guys there. She’d REALLY become uncomfortable.”

    I completely agree here, She coupled the “old slimy” with the “Ive never had brown before” but it was an AND condition, not an OR condition.

  17. 68 · suede said

    67 · Manju said
    61 · Taz said
    Once up with all the zingers? I leave to do work and return to 40 additional one liners to sort through…
    Is that why the bloggers and readers called as SMS-ers ? one-liners are the last refuge of the shallow and the first refuge of the witty.
  18. Tania strikes me as being a brown-hating brown girl.

    I don’t see where you get that she’s brown-hating. She didn’t say anything remotely anti-brown. Did I miss something?

  19. 79 · some guy said

    Empowered by saying no? Isn’t “no” the word women say most anyway? All she has to do is walk into a party, or club and she’ll have the chance to reject all the guys her heart desires for one night.

    Word. It’s like homegirl went there (expecting the worst) just to turn down / look down on people. Is that what the kids call “empowerment” these days?

  20. It’s called englowerment and that’s so cute how you act like you’ve gone to a club and have been looked down on and all…we know it ain’t so.

  21. “Word. It’s like homegirl went there (expecting the worst) just to turn down / look down on people. Is that what the kids call “empowerment” these days?”

    of course…she looks like your average rich snotty brown grl.

  22. does anyone else think strangers touching them is yucky (or am I the only one)?

    Puli, it’s a Tam-Brahm thing, and possibly shared by many other desis as well. Millions of us (ok, maybe only about a million) think like you. Trust me, its nothing abnormal or inhibited; don’t let these compulsive huggers tell you that you are different and weird for not wanting to be hugged. :)

    For example, I can’t think of anyone in my extended family hugging another adult, sibling, parent or otherwise. For people like me, hugging is something I, a TamBrahm, tolerate in order to survive socially in a multi-culti world. I’m serious.

  23. It seems so trite to still be commenting on cuddling while this whole tragedy is still going down in Mumbai. 87 killed so far. People being held hostage right now as I type this. Sepia needs to open up commenting for that. I’m sure it will after the shock and anger wears off and we can comment with cool heads.

    To anyone reading this from Mumbai or with loved ones in Mumbai – take all the empathy my heart can hold.

  24. “Puli, it’s a Tam-Brahm thing, and possibly shared by many other desis as well. Millions of us (ok, maybe only about a million) think like you. Trust me, its nothing abnormal or inhibited; don’t let these compulsive huggers tell you that you are different and weird for not wanting to be hugged. :)

    For example, I can’t think of anyone in my extended family hugging another adult, sibling, parent or otherwise. For people like me, hugging is something I, a TamBrahm, tolerate in order to survive socially in a multi-culti world. I’m serious.”

    interesting….yet another example of my culture making me stick out like a sore thumb.

  25. interesting….yet another example of my culture making me stick out like a sore thumb.

    puli, Idont like hugging either except as foreplay. But I might put my arm around someone sometimes as encouragement – sideways – no frontal contact though. Most of relos dont hug one another. And I am Mallu Xian, so it is not peculiar to TamB’s

  26. “I think Tania and I could be fast friends.” That Tania sounds like a total twit! Sorry Taz!

  27. “of course…she looks like your average rich snotty brown grl.”

    Um. Or not. You must be really bad at reading people… based on her background, the way she talks, the way she dresses, her hair, etc., she definitely isn’t the type who’s been raised with a silver spoon in her mouth. And even if she was, what makes the average ‘rich snotty brown grl’ any different from your average rich douchebag brown guy?

  28. Current TV is awesome. They also have a ton of other crap/pods/viewer generated content on the ongoings within India.