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. Ahhh, you know this is the 1st step to full blown orgy where you dont even know who’s in your mouth Come on use your head! As a man it is impossible to just want to cuddle. I bet this happens at the end of every “Cuddle party”

    “Hey look gals, I have a cuddle boner! Anyone want to cuddle a litte harder? Please for the love of God just 5 more minutes”

    Key quote from the clip. “Find our boundries and possible expand.” Expand to what?

    Another thing is the obsession with feet in this video. Obsession with feet is a sexual thing and not some sweet thing a guy wants to do to you. Did you see how that guy sniffed his foot rag? I wanted to call the cops on that guy.

  2. 4 · Puliogre in da USA said

    cuddling with strangers seems inappropriate to me…

    i agree. sex is more appropriate

  3. “i agree. sex is more appropriate”

    I should have been born in a different era….

  4. 6 · Manju said

    4 · Puliogre in da USA said cuddling with strangers seems inappropriate to me… i agree. sex is more appropriate

    or try many other non-sexual actvities (including cuddling ;) ) through you local meetup group. I think this is amazing if you don’t want to indulge in your hobbies alone. I am myself an active member of some the groups.

  5. forget cuddle parties…i even think its messed up when poeple I just met (usually whyte grls) decide that hugging me is something appropriate (like they are that close to me after one meeting).

  6. I love that her source of empowerment from the experience … 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.

    (not a personal rant againt you Taz) all this is reminiscent of the Ms magazine founders and the ‘zipless fuck’ author. it’s funny watching these people turn their back on what they considered the ‘norm’, walk way and then go around the circle to be the very norm they loathed. in this case, these guys are disassembling social interaction to keep that which is the most physically gratifying…

    heck. i do understand the concept of touch. i’m a big hugger myself – it’s not purely a physical gratification though, but an expression of trust and of mutual affection. i see that missing here. this is physical stimulation. i’m not saying it’s morally wrong. if it rocks your boat – good for you – but my take it is that i dont really care to roll around with a pig. the pig enjoys it and i dont particularly care for pig valhalla

    p.s. the nicest thing about going to india or the old world is that one never wants for touch. the cuddlefest makes one long (almost) for that large belly pressing against your back in the bus.

  7. Why can’t these people cuddle at home? I can never get my head around this dichotomy in American culture. First they break off with their parents too early in life, then they crave for human contact. What’s wrong with cuddling with your mom?

  8. forget cuddle parties…i even think its messed up when poeple I just met (usually whyte grls) decide that hugging me is something appropriate (like they are that close to me after one meeting).

    i think it’s about context – complete strangers – yes, maybe. but e.g. friends of friends, i think it makes sense in some situations. and our very own ANNA hugged me when we met IRL – completely appropriate (and magnanimous) and not at all “messed up” ;)

  9. It is Oxytocin rave. Though I would suspect that the levels of release is lower in such parties, compared to a genuine hug of trust.

  10. Was John Malkovich there? Now that would be a messed up party. When VVS Laxman got a double century against the aussies a few years back, the pub we were in turned into a great big hug fest but that was euphoria. Reaction, are these people trying to find something within themselves? Whats the test?

  11. “i think it’s about context – complete strangers – yes, maybe. but e.g. friends of friends, i think it makes sense in some situations. and our very own ANNA hugged me when we met IRL – completely appropriate (and magnanimous) and not at all “messed up” ;)

    it feels slimy to me if all but a very few family members, really close ppl touch me.

  12. 26 · Puliogre in da USA said

    a very few family members, really close ppl touch me.

    that is illegal in many many states in da usa.

  13. “that is illegal in many many states in da usa.”

    I mean like hug me and stuff. basically just my rents and my girlfriend… Maybe a really close friend if their dog died or something.

  14. 30 · Puliogre in da USA said

    Maybe a really close friend if their dog died or something.

    what kind of friends do you have, who do such things with their dog?

  15. “what kind of friends do you have, who do such things with their dog?”

    sorry uncle (assuming your older than me), i meant if a close friend is feeling sad about something like their dog dying I would comfort them with a hug.

  16. 29 · Pink Sari Brigade said

    We really need to knock it down a notch or two in the ego dept.

    true. what makes me so attractive is my incredible humility

  17. Tania and the blonde are really attractive. the dudes made the whole party creepy. i think we should restirct the cuddling party to women and maybe men with female names.

  18. “puli: surely you have a hot chick exception, no?”

    the only hot chick that gets an exception is my girlfriend…

  19. 38 · Puliogre in da USA said

    the only hot chick that gets an exception is my girlfriend…

    damn, you’re good playa. you gonna get a lotta hug offers for that

  20. Sorry guys, it looks like Pardesi Gori attempted to make another return as Pink Sari Brigade. She’s been banned and no, she just doesn’t learn.

  21. 38 · SM Intern said

    Sorry guys, it looks like Pardesi Gori attempted to make another return as Pink Sari Brigade. She’s been banned and no, she just doesn’t learn

    oh, i thought it was prema. they all look alike.

  22. 37 · SM Intern said

    Sorry guys, it looks like Pardesi Gori attempted to make another return as Pink Sari Brigade. She’s been banned and no, she just doesn’t learn.

    Man, I was proud of my comment to. ;-)

    “Now, I wonder… do you think she’d be down to go with me to a Polyamorous Society meeting?”

    wonder how many desis are into this.

  23. It seems just inappropriate to me. I don’t even prefer a hug from a stranger. So this is simply ‘Ewwwww..’!

  24. i can’t believe dick morris was there

    Tell me about it. He kept mentioning National Republican Trust PAC for some reason.

  25. Eww from me too.

    I haven’t seen the whole thing but the toe-sucking is totally sexual. A lot of these men look like they’re using this party as an excuse to get some female contact.

  26. it feels slimy to me if all but a very few family members, really close ppl touch me.

    sorry, puli – i think i gave you a hug once after we met for coffee – sorry to have invaded your personal space.

  27. My friends incorporated a cuddle party with our fantasy football draft during the summer. It was delightful.

  28. “It seems just inappropriate to me. I don’t even prefer a hug from a stranger. So this is simply ‘Ewwwww..’!”

    ahh…so im not alone…

  29. “am i allowed to wear dhoti instead of pajama?”

    thats heading into orgy territory…

  30. 45 · ak said

    i think i gave you a hug once after we met for coffee

    Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

  31. “sorry, puli – i think i gave you a hug once after we met for coffee – sorry to have invaded your personal space.”

    no biggie. its a really minor point. no need to apologize. i liked meeting for coffee…