When I met up with Travis Sigley on the streets of San Francisco, the first thing I noticed was his impressive set of dimples. My eyes traveled to his shoulder length brown hair, and then to the blue, satin pants that clung to his muscular legs. He embraced me immediately, and I felt his rippling abs press hard against my stomach. As we made eye contact, my thighs began to tingle. Oops, I thought. Lady boner. He motioned for me to follow him, and I was happy to oblige. My goal was to get Sigley into bed...
For a totally innocent cuddle sesh.
Sigley is the founder of Cuddle Therapy: a San Francisco-based cuddling service where people can experience platonic, intimate connection. He got the idea for the service while working at a strip club a few years ago. Despite the fact that people showed up to watch him take off his clothes, some clients would ask him to leave them on — wanting to cuddle and talk. It was during this time that he had a revelation about a new hole that needed filling... in people’s hearts. A few years have passed since then, and business is still going strong. Sigley sees clients regularly for cuddle sessions, much like the one I’d signed up for.
Before I arrived, I'd mulled over the idea of getting into bed with a dude and just cuddling. For a sexually-charged chick like me, it was kind of unfathomable. I almost didn’t believe it could work. But I was willing to try it.
Sigley led me into his cuddle studio: a small, softly lit room with a bed in the middle. I slipped off my shoes and dropped my backpack onto the floor.
"Would you like to sit on the pillow?" he pointed at a pillow on the floor, "or the throne?" He gestured to a short chair with a bunch of cushions stacked on it.
I plopped my ass upon the throne.
I’d worn a form fitting dress that made it difficult to sit on a tiny chair. Every time I tugged the taut cloth down over my crotch, it seemed to snap back up like a window shade. After a lot of uncomfortable shifting, I gave up, letting my rainbow-colored undies hang out. Sigley kept his eyes above my collar bone (although I wished he wouldn’t).
He set a tiny blue teapot on a tray in the center of the floor, then handed me a cup and seated himself across from me. He explained that this was the part of the session where we could get to know each other. He asked me what kind of day I was having, and if there were any feelings I’d like to share. He seemed nice enough and I was feeling kind of stressed, so I just started talking.
I explained how I’d woken up with a bunch of pimples on my butt, how I hadn’t had an orgasm in a week and it sucked, how I’d spent the first six hours of my day writing and had no idea whether I was a hack or not, how I couldn’t look in the mirror anymore without hating myself, and how I’d managed to pull a muscle in my calf just from walking on the beach.
Sigley kept his eyes locked with mine, let me finish my rambling, and then asked me what I wanted to get out of the session.
My vagina was telling me to request orgasms, but instead I said: "I wanna feel better, I guess."
He grinned. There were those dimples again.
Sigley explained that the cuddle session would be completely PG; he wasn’t going to try anything sexual and he expected the same from me. He told me that I could ask him for specific things, like to have my head scratched or my arm stroked. He said I could talk about whatever I wanted, or I could just lie silently with him. I had total freedom as long as my requests and actions stayed within the virginal, clothes-on boundaries of the cuddle borders.
It was the first time a guy ever told me to keep it kosher, and it made me oddly uncomfortable. Regardless of the fact that I knew this session was supposed to be sexless, I was still fighting off insecure thoughts. Was I no longer foxy? I didn't smell, did I? Was it the rainbow undies?
Sigley was professional and there was nothing I could do about it.
He asked me whether I’d prefer to lie silently, or if I would like some music. I requested Get The Funk Out Ma Face by the Brothers Johnson. He ignored my suggestion and put on some soft, hippie tunes instead.
We sat up in bed together and he led me through a short breathing session. He took my hand and told me to close my eyes. Each time I inhaled, he told me to slow down my breathing and be in the moment. It would have been really relaxing had I not been worried about whether my breath reeked or how loud my exhalation was. After about two minutes of this, during which Sigley entered a zen state and I battled my insecurities, it was time to lie down.
He asked me how I would like to cuddle, so I grabbed his right arm, tucked it under my neck, and wiggled my butt into his crotch to commence spooning. He wrapped his arms around me. I tried to grind my ba-donk into his hips. He laughed politely and moved away.
I asked if he could run his hands over my body. He said that would be okay, as long as he didn’t touch any erogenous zones. We wouldn’t want to fuck with the platonic connection, now would we? (I would).
"Would you consider the butt an erogenous zone?" I asked.
"Yes," he laughed.
We switched positions a few times — lying on our backs, then our sides. Sometimes I’d rest my head on his chest. His body was warm and I put my cold feet on him. I commanded that he scratch my head and he did so. He rubbed my neck and buried his face into my hair. I attempted to flirt with him a few more times; he was amused and entertained, but still unaffected.
A timer went off, alerting us that the cuddles would be ending in 10 minutes. He asked me if there was anything else I’d like to do to close the session. Knowing cunnilingus wasn’t an option, I spooned him until the end. Afterwards, he got up and left me alone in the bed for a few minutes, giving me time to reflect and get my crotch back in check.
While he was away, I thought about how it was stupid to assume that cuddling had to end in fucking. I probably would have enjoyed the whole thing a lot more had I not been so weighed down by my sexpectations. Maybe next time I'll be less insecure and appreciate a snuggle...or maybe I'm just a horny 20-something who has problems with non-erotic connection. Either way, it made for an interesting experiment.
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