Held in private: strangers to hug each other in Cuddle Group meeting


A SECRET hugging society has been set up for Scots in desperate need of physical affection.

At the Edinburgh cuddle fest on 18 April this year, the Cuddle Group says strangers can come and share ‘intimacy and affection.’

The location of the event is being kept under wraps to keep away from prying eyes, and organisers warn no sexual touching is allowed.

People turning up inappropriately dressed will not be welcomed with open arms, they add.

Strangers are encouraged to hug each other Pic: Handflapping


Scots seem to have embraced the idea, as another Cuddle Group branch has been set up in Glasgow.

Life coach Frank Shapiro, who founded the Cuddle Group, says the meetings are about bringing people together emotionally.

He said: “Sometimes you just need a hug, to be close to other people and feel the physical connection that can be missing.

“A hug with a family or friend is great but to hug with people and experience the cuddle connection gives a feeling of sharing that can’t often be described.

“It’s about sharing intimacy and affection with people you are connected to.

“It’s about putting what we learn about ourselves and our fellow humans into practice.

“Many humans lack a non-sexual intimate place to grow, share and communicate what they know lack a non-sexual intimate place to grow, share and communicate what they know, which is emotionally and physically safe.”

Participants are encouraged to wear loose-fitting clothes, with smocks being issued to those who forget.

Only first names are given and the location of cuddling sessions will only be given to those who sign up.

Would-be huggers who turn up on the night may be turned away, the group warns.

The first-timers are encouraged to come to the session, with a statement on the Group’s website saying: “Your may think you will feel awkward coming along to your first cuddle group but nothing could be further from the truth. Cuddle groups are designed to make everyone feel safe and comfortable in a non-sexual tactile environment.”

The Cuddle Group also offers to organise office ‘cuddle parties’ and house party cudding for groups of between 10 and 20 people.

Mr Shapiro said: “We hold cuddle groups open to the public in different venues but we also cater for people who would like to have their own private cuddle group for a group of friends, workmates or even a local activity group.”


  1. I once saw ‘cuddle parties’ on a documentary ‘Karl Pilkington’s MeanyGEing of Life’. I always thought it seemed to serve a very positive purpose. That was a fewo years ago and, although I am happily married with three teenage children, I don’t feel as much human warmth and comfort as I seek. This brought about a Google search that led me here.

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