Atlas Spooned

A new phenomenon from New York has been attracting quite a bit of media attention lately. It?s called a Cuddle Party, and is described as a ?workshop/social event for adults to explore giving and receiving affectionate touch in a safe, non-sexual setting.?

As it turns out, the Cuddle Party?s creators, Reid Mihalko and Marcia Baczynski, consider themselves huge fans of Ayn Rand?s novels. So much so that they named their company “Atlas Spooned.” Asked what Atlas Shrugged means to them, the duo answers, ?It?s about integrity.?

When Atlasphere member and columnist Andrew Schwartz was introduced to Baczynski in September (through mutual friend Pete Lyons, yet another Atlasphere member) Schwartz found the concept so worthwhile that he decided to start hosting Cuddle Parties in Los Angeles.

?When I first heard about Cuddle Party on the internet, before meeting Marcia, I was pretty dismissive,? says Schwartz. ?I figured this was a way for immature adults to behave like immature college students.?

?But when I learned more about the structure of Cuddle Party, and subsequently attended an event myself, I became enthusiastically impressed with the way it teaches extremely mature communication and boundary-setting skills.?

And on the Rand connection? ?If you want to get Randian about it, Cuddle Party as a workshop is all about personal responsibility, self-assertion, and respect for others in the context of affectionate touch. It teaches unusually straightforward communication around asking for what one wants and saying ?no? clearly and plainly to what one doesn?t want.?

?Also,? Schwartz adds, ?it’s just plain fun.?

You can learn more about these events on the Los Angeles Cuddle Party site.