Why I dont “gender balance” events

I am no longer “gender balancing” (aiming for an equal number of male/female identified participants) my events. The goals of my cuddle events are to meet basic touch needs and increase emotional intimacy and connection among participants.

I’ve learned that the people who show up for an event organically almost always create a wonderfully diverse and dynamic group, therefore, I’m no longer going to spend time altering what is probably an excellent assortment of humans simply to meet the idea that there needs to be some sort of balance. “Gender balancing” is complex because it assumes that all people identify as either male or female. At most events, we have participants who are transgender, non-binary, gender fluid, and gender nonconforming. Also, we always have participants who are not heterosexual. I realize that in an an attempt to help cis gender heterosexual participants feel comfortable, I have unintentionally created discomfort for some people.

It is possible that there will be more people who identify as male, female, or neither at an event and this is okay. It has always worked out that participants find people to connect and snuggle with. Even when I spend hours trying to “balance” groups, if a few people no-show the numbers are off anyways. Often at events, participants break up into triads and larger groups and realize that a warm and friendly touch is welcoming and safe, and it might not matter who the touch is coming from.

I recognize that some participants may feel uncertain about attending an event where an “even distribution” of a specific gender or sexuality of people is not guaranteed. I invite you to step outside of your comfort zone and explore possibilities. Perhaps there will be more people who identify as the gender and sexuality that you are seeking to connect with! Perhaps you will discover that you enjoy safe connection with people of your gender or of a different gender. Also, as a reminder you never have to touch anyone at an event (regardless of gender).

My job is to create a safe space for you to explore, experience, learn and enjoy with whoever happens to show up. I hope this shift is understood as a positive change.

I am no longer “gender balancing” (aiming for an equal number of male/female identified participants) my events. The goals of my cuddle events are to meet basic touch needs and increase emotional intimacy and connection among participants.

I’ve learned that the people who show up for an event organically almost always create a wonderfully diverse and dynamic group, therefore, I’m no longer going to spend time altering what is probably an excellent assortment of humans simply to meet the idea that there needs to be some sort of balance. “Gender balancing” is complex because it assumes that all people identify as either male or female. At most events, we have participants who are transgender, non-binary, gender fluid, and gender nonconforming. Also, we always have participants who are not heterosexual. I realize that in an an attempt to help cis gender heterosexual participants feel comfortable, I have unintentionally created discomfort for some people.

It is possible that there will be more people who identify as male, female, or neither at an event and this is okay. It has always worked out that participants find people to connect and snuggle with. Even when I spend hours trying to “balance” groups, if a few people no-show the numbers are off anyways. Often at events, participants break up into triads and larger groups and realize that a warm and friendly touch is welcoming and safe, and it might not matter who the touch is coming from.

I recognize that some participants may feel uncertain about attending an event where an “even distribution” of a specific gender or sexuality of people is not guaranteed. I invite you to step outside of your comfort zone and explore possibilities. Perhaps there will be more people who identify as the gender and sexuality that you are seeking to connect with! Perhaps you will discover that you enjoy safe connection with people of your gender or of a different gender. Also, as a reminder you never have to touch anyone at an event (regardless of gender).

My job is to create a safe space for you to explore, experience, learn and enjoy with whoever happens to show up. I hope this shift is understood as a positive change.