When I started college, I had a strict “No Touching” policy. Then I got friends who yelled at me for not hugging them enough, so I started opening up my arms to them more. Then my mom started squeezing me a lot when I visited home, squealing, “Oh, Nix, I missed you so much!” So I started to get used to that. And now…well, I have to admit, I’m a big fan of cuddling. I don’t care if I’m big spoon or little spoon (though everyone knows little spoon rocks way harder) or if it’s one-on-one or with a big group lying on the floor singing “Goodbye, My Lover.” I accept cuddling in all forms.

I heard about Cuddle Parties recently, though, and was a bit weirded out. Grown men and women just hanging out in their pajamas, holding each other? Strangers taking comfort in each others’ arms and sharing their stories just because? Yes, say Cuddle Party creators Reid and Marcia. They say that adults need to be hugged, touched and coddled just the same way kids do, and a cuddle party provides a safe place for adults to bond together. They are not a cover for an orgy party; Cuddle Parties are a strictly no-sex event.

Of course some people will get erections. Awkward. But since Cuddle Parties are safe spaces, people are encouraged to neither shun erections nor act on them. Instead, Cuddle Monsters (as the cuddle party attendants are called) are encouraged to develop “coordination” around it. I’m not sure what that means, but if I’m cuddling with a guy and his little bugger pokes me in the back, you bet I’m going to be a bit awkward. Maybe go take a quick bathroom break, buddy.

Okay, aside from the potentially awkward factor, I’m curious about the Cuddle Party. I checked out events in California, but they all cost, like, $30 per person! What does the money go to? Aren’t we all just cuddling? Isn’t that free?