Do you know how to ask for what you desire, embrace a “no”, and respect your own boundaries?
“I’m learning that to be a whole person and a happier person, I need to have conversations that are challenging all the time. Almost daily.”
Being a professional cuddler, the founder of “Cuddle Sanctuary”, as well as an intimacy professional for theatre, film, and TV, Jean Franzblau does not find it easy to explain what she does for a living.
In her role as “Cuddle Queen Jean”, she bridges the gap between the astonishingly prevalent notion that there is not much to be taught about cuddling and the striking deficits in our culture regarding voicing needs and acting with consent. Especially when it comes to sexuality and other forms of vulnerable human interaction.
Thus, Jean is on a mission to educate people on boundary-aware intimacy and to create safer environments for its exploration.
Those who dare, join Jean in Cuddle Sanctuary’s events in California to practice navigating boundaries and to invite the nurturing experiences they seek. Jean also trains people around the world to become facilitators of cuddle events themselves.
As an intimacy professional, Jean coordinates between actors, writers, directors and others involved, to ensure emotional safety during a scene that involves nudity, played sexuality or even sexual violence.
Jean’s message to you:
“I like for everyone to consider the idea that their bodies are sovereign. And that we deserve to make the choices that are right for our bodies.”
Thank you, Jean, for this deep and insightful conversation.
In short, we talk about this in the episode:
- What professional cuddling is and why it is valuable work.
- How cuddling events can teach you about boundary setting and navigating difficult situations.
- Why having an intimacy coordinator professional on set is an important asset in keeping actors and actresses safe throughout intimate scenes.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Buzzfeed Video: “People Spoon With Professional Cuddlers For The First Time”
- Movie: “We Need to Talk About Kevin” (Wikipedia)
- IFS – Internal Family Systems (Wikipedia)
- Book: Creating Consent Culture: A Handbook for Educators (von Marcia Baczynski (Author), Erica Scott (Author))
- Me Too Movement & Emily Meade
- Pioneer intimacy coordinator: Alicia Rodis
- YouTube yoga channel: “Yoga with Adriene”(& Benji)
Founder of Cuddle Sanctuary
photo courtesy of Jean Franzblau