Excuse me, pardon me. Can we cuddle again?

October 2, 2005


This guy I cuddled with recently has an LJ account. Sure, I’d heard about LJ over the years, but had never once checked it out. And now, after having been inspired by post-cuddling euphoria, I have a journal of my very own. Woo.

But back to cuddling…

Hopefully most of us in this world have experienced some good cuddling in our lives. Maybe it was when we were kids in a parent’s arms. Maybe it was with someone we dated, or married. Maybe it was with a good friend. Mayhap it was with a cat, dog, stuffed animal, or a big-ass pillow. Regardless, a good cuddle is one of the more satisfying (and intimate) experiences we have in this life.

I’ve had a few cuddles in my time. The I’ve-had-a-horrible-day-can-we-please-spoon-and-forget-the-world-exists cuddle. The I’m-going-to-use-cuddling-as-a-pretext-to-grope-you-and-hopefully-get-some-good-sex cuddle. The classic I-want-to-go-to-sleep-now-and-my-arm’s-numb-so-I’ll-roll-away-and-just-touch-your-leg-with-mine cuddle.


Somewhat recently, I spent the night on a friend’s sailboat. Don’t get excited, it’s small and doesn’t have a bathroom. There’s only one berth for sleeping, and neither of us are large people, so we fit well. I’m beginning to fall asleep on my side of the berth when all of a sudden boat-guy rolls over… reaches over… and SPOONS ME. Now. I’m not interested in boat-guy romantically or sexually. We’ve known each other for three years and we dance together often, thereby constantly invading each other’s space. It’s not like this guy’s never held me in his arms. But to just roll over and SPOON ME? It’s an effrontery not to be borne. Except that I realize he’s utterly asleep (really). He has absolutely no clue that he’s pressed up against my back with his arm around me, and that his hand is dangerously close to cupping my breast. This is where it gets silly. I have no idea how to react to this. If I move, he may wake up and then we’ll both be embarrassed. And while I’m not interested in him, I’m also not interested in his shocked recoil that is bound to happen. So, for a while, I lie there trapped in this un-asked-for cuddle. It feels like an eternity. In the end I can’t stand it any more. I lift his arm off of my weirded-out self and roll away. He doesn’t wake up and I’m so relieved. I go to sleep. And I wake. IN HIS ARMS. He did it again! Only this time I was asleep and wasn’t able to defend myself. He begins to wake too, and luckily releases me and rolls away just before he really hits consciousness. Embarrassment avoided. *whew*


A little more recently, I spent the night at a friend’s house after partying. This friend is someone whom I suspected, at the time, could be more than just a friend. The animal attraction was insane. I think it was about pheromones… I would walk past him and smell his cologne (and presumably some undefinable man-scent) and my knees would buckle. But I digress. We’re both incredibly drunk, and given that state of affairs, it was obvious that we were tired and should go to bed. Together. Heh. There’s the requisite borrowing of sleeping-attire and then we’re under the covers and the cuddling begins. And the cuddling continues… and continues… and my hormones are RAGING. But he’s not making a move. And I’m not feeling that brave at the moment. I can tell he’s turned on, too. His heart is beating way too fast, his breathing a bit shallow. We’re both taut–senses attenuated, and for that matter, attuned. Attuned to the smallest movement of the other party in this exceedingly sexual-tension-heavy embrace. Eventually I think we both slept–cuddled. And woke, cuddled, and procrastinated getting out of bed to cuddle more–to wallow more in our inability to shake the taint of sexuality that had pervaded our night.


And now we come to the actual reason for this post. The Best Cuddle I’ve Ever Experienced. There’s this guy. Let’s call him, um, Guy. And I’d like to be able to introduce Guy as a friend, but I’m afraid to make that presumption. Let’s classify this relationship for now as one where (up until recently) he and I interact with each other many times a week without saying much of import. We have done this for about two years or so I think. He is attractive, intelligent, and has walls miles high. I’m guessing the walls must be why I’ve been drawn to him since we met–or maybe it’s those pesky pheromones again.

Every Wednesday after work I go drinking with a select group of friends. Sometimes we have one round and go home. Sometimes we pub-crawl until one of us pukes and we’re all having a tough time not calling into work sick the next day. It’s always a good time.

We’ve managed to coerce Guy into attending three times. Two Wednesdays ago Guy met up with us out and about in The City. As we moved from one venue to the next, attrition eventually left Guy and I tipsy and alone with each other in a drinking establishment a block away from my apartment. More drinking, actual conversation, and even some dancing ensued (mostly just me, though I think I have a hazy memory of getting him up once on the floor). I was pretty happy about the whole situation. At some point, Guy wisely decides that we have had enough to drink. However, neither of us is in any state to operate a motor vehicle and so we repair to my apartment to look at pictures of me in bygone times when I had my high-school figure and luscious long red hair.

I seat Guy on my couch, get my box of loose pictures, and sit cross-legged on the floor in front of him. Guy takes objection to me sitting on the floor and requests my presence on the couch. Right. I get to the couch, and before I know it, I’m snuggled into the crook of his arm with my box of pictures.

I don’t know how to explain this. Not his open arm, nor my unhesitating response. I don’t really know Guy and yet there I was cozied up with him and my silly pictures as if we’d already told each other our life stories and admitted all our bad habits. This was not the ooh-let’s-cuddle-on-the-couch-in-preparation-for-the-eventual-attempt-at-snogging cuddle. This was the comfortable-wow-I-feel-safe-and-happy cuddle.


Eventually we’ve exhausted the pictures and I’m beginning to fall asleep on Guy. “Don’t fall asleep on me,” he says. “But you’re such a good pillow,” I murmur. “That’s because you’re drunk,” he says. I don’t remember if I said, “No it’s not.” But I meant to. Sobriety is rearing its head and so it’s time for Guy to go. Unlike him, I have to be up for work the next morning. He leaves and I undress and get into bed.

My cellphone rings.

“You’ll never believe this.”
“My tire is flat. Completely and utterly flat.”
“Oh God, really?”
“I’m parked right across from your place.”

He asks if he can stay on my couch. And I agree and go down to the door to my apartment building to let him in. I respectfully witness his presentation of the flat tire. And it is only now, now that I’ve already said yes, that I realize that I have no clean blankets except for those on my bed.

“Um. OK. This is awkward. The thing is that I have no clean blankets. So you’re welcome to stay, if you’re ok with — you know, no funny stuff– sharing the bed.”


Yes, actually, that was my outside voice. And he says, “I’m OK with it if you are.” And up we go. The requisite borrowing of respectable sleeping attire commences, and I instruct him on which side of the bed is his. He climbs in, and I climb in, and we’re close but not touching and he says, “Well, if we’re doing this don’t be a stranger.” And the cuddling commences.

It’s as if I am a vessel and he is pouring what–affection? something else not quite describable?– into me. There is no tension. There is no awkwardness. There is only warmth and touch and nurturing. There are all-encompassing hugs, well-fitting spoons, the inescapably right feeling of his head cradled on my chest. And we’re chatting. And dozing. He’s running his fingers through my hair. It is bliss of a very quiet kind. There was a very particular void in me that I wasn’t really aware of, and he was both bringing that void to my attention, and helping me forget it again — because it was no longer there.

Morning comes and I’m up and need to get ready for work. He’s up and needs to change his flat tire. I don’t know how to say goodbye. I haven’t digested it all yet. I’m still in some sort of afterglow. His walls are coming back up in the sunlight — but before they close him off completely he pulls me in for a hug and touches my hair. He thanks me and leaves.


So here I am. Both filled and bereft. I don’t know how this changes the relationship I have with Guy. I know parts of him that I have no business knowing yet considering my lack of knowledge of his every-day-existence, his thoughts on underwater basket weaving, whether or not he’s ever flown a kite. And yet, in other ways Guy has become a very close friend indeed. My cuddling stranger close friend.

Guy, if you’re out there, can we please cuddle again?


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