Almie Rose
April 22, 2013 8:00 am

Cuddle parties are one of the many unusual things to do in this great big world we’re living in. From weird cafes and restaurants to non-traditional movie theaters, here are 10 things to do, places to eat and things to experience.

10. The real life Friends cafe

Kids of the ’90s, this one is practically made for you. Du Xin, 30, is a huge fan of Friends. ““I’m crazy about Friends. For me, it’s like a religion. It’s my life,” he told NPR. So naturally he opened his own Central Perk, the cafe where the 6 friends always hung out to talk about how frustrated they were with their lives that were totally sweet lives, but whatever.

Aaaaaand it’s in Beijing, China. Sorry about that, everyone else in the world who isn’t there.

Image and quotes via Oddity Central

9. The Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball

Labyrinth is one of those beloved childhood films that combines muppets with David Bowie, and that’s really all you need in a film. Now imagine a place where you’re in a ballroom and everyone is dressed in their groin-grabbing finest. That’s the “Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball”. But you don’t have to be a Labyrinth fan. You can dress as anything from the fantasy world, from faeries to the Mad Hatter. “This Masquerade is one of the few classical events open to ANYONE who has dreamed of a surrealistic fantasy fading into a single night of dance and revelry.” If you peruse their photo gallery you’ll see that people really get into it. It’s like Eyes Wide Shut meets Comic-Con. It’s about time those two met.

The ball takes place in Los Angeles in July (of 2013). For more info, check out their website.

Images via Fancydresscostumes.co.uk

8. Mahika Mano, the hammock cafe

Here’s a cafe that Hank Scorpio would love. Mahika Mano, located in Tokyo, is a place that solves the dilemma of really wanting to lie in a hammock but also really wanting to eat in public. The website is in Japanese, so I used Google translate and figured out that there is a 2 hour maximum time limit for “hanging out” in a hammock for some sweet, sweet hammocking. They also note, “Because it is very dangerous, please enjoy Please be quiet please.” And guess what? They’re hiring! What better reason to move to Japan?

Image and info Mahikamano.com

7. Brokechella

The Coachella Music Festival has come and gone and where were you? Sitting at home because you couldn’t afford it? Don’t make the same mistake next year. Go to Brokechella instead! It’s held annually by cARTel in a warehouse in downtown Los Angeles during the 2nd week of Coachella. It features a lineup of smaller bands, but they’re fantastic, just waiting to be discovered, when they are you can say, “Psh, this band is hardly new, I saw them at Brokechella like two years ago.” There’s lots of food and goodies and it’s only $10. And of course, hipster bragging rights are included.

Image and info at their website.

6. The Robot Restaurant

If you don’t mind the idea of robots taking over, then you need to go to the Robot Restaurant in Harbin, China. There are 18 robots that do a variety of things, from serving food to cooking it. Oddity Central has more info.

I think ALL hosts should greet restaurant patrons with, “Earth Person, hello. Welcome.”

Images via Chinadaily.com

5. Hot Tub Cinema

Hot Tub Cinema is pretty much what it sounds like. It’s an organization that combines hot tubs with movie-going. They set up different locations, usually on rooftops, pick a film, and sweet hot tubbyness ensues. And it’s totally legit! It seems like most of their screenings take place somewhere in the UK, but their site says they go international as well. AND THERE’S A BAR!

Image and info via their website.

4. Disaster Café

Living in Los Angeles, California, I feel no need to experience a 7.8 earthquake while I eat, but someone in Lloret de Mar, Spain thinks it’s a great idea. And thus, the Disaster Café, a restaurant where you eat and experience large (simulated) earthquakes. I don’t understand how this place isn’t throttled with lawsuits. Maybe you have to sign a wavier. Zazenlife addresses the whole “how do people not get seriously hurt every day” issue:

You’re probably thinking, oh come on, there’s no way they simulate an actual giant earthquake. It’s probably just a little shaking. No. Watch this video of the restaurant in quake mode.

It’s kind of the perfect place to go to breakup with someone, on so many levels.

3. Toilet Restaurant

Okay. Up until now I’ve been skeptical of certain things but I haven’t outright said, “This is stupid and awful.”

The Toilet Restaurant is stupid and awful.

Guests dine on toilets and eat food out of smaller toilets. This restaurant concept was so popular in Taiwan, they made another one in China. That means that there was a huge demand for eating toilet themed food on toilets.

Qin Min, the manager, explained why this exists:

Well, okay, that’s cool. I like that it makes people happy. I don’t think I could ever see myself being relaxed and comfortable here, but that doesn’t mean no one else could. Go, have fun, just don’t invite me.

Images via YouTube and Oddity Central.

2. Cuddle Parties

Speaking of things that make me uncomfortable, here’s another. I don’t like cuddling. Cuddling is not my thing. I would especially not want to be cuddled by strangers. So this is another thing that is not for me. I won’t judge you if it’s for you. You go cuddle your face off. You go cuddle like a hardcore damn cute cuddly koala bear.

The cuddle party people make it very clear that cuddle parties are not about sex. They are about “compassion, affection, and touch.”

What happens at a Cuddle Party? Here’s what they say on their website:

They say that after the event, people find themselves in “a state of cuddle intoxication.”

And yes. Yes, I will answer the question we’re all thinking: arousal happens. “Our agreement is to not act on it. It goes away, really it does.”

For more info on where to find one, check their website. They host them around the world.

Image via Cuddleparties.com

1. Pheromone Parties

How do you get even more intimate than a Cuddle Party? How about cuddling up with someone’s sweaty t-shirt? On purpose! Unlike Cuddle Parties, Pheromone Parties are about setting people up for romantic endeavors. But it’s matchmaking through scent. What exactly does this mean, and how does it work? Here’s how they explain it:

  1. Guests sleep in a clean, white, cotton tshirt for 3 nights in a row to capture their odor print and bring this in a ziplock bag to the party.
  2. Bags are labeled pink for girl, blue for boy. Each bag is assigned a number. Only the guest knows what their shirt’s number is.
  3. Bags are placed on a table. Guests smell the bags at their leisure throughout the party.
  4. If a guest finds the smell attractive, they take a picture with the bag at a photographer station. These pictures are projected as a slide show on the wall at the party.
  5. If you see a picture of a guest you find attractive holding your number, this is the greenlight to talk to them. Haaaay.
  6. At the end of the party, a facebook album is created and all of the pictures are tagged – so if you missed your match at the party, you can still contact them.

Last year they were held in Los Angeles, California; two years before, in Brooklyn, NY (lol I know, stop, it’s too easy.) If I wasn’t already terrified of human interaction without smelling well-worn t-shirts, I would attend, because it’s way too interesting to avoid.

Image via LA Weekly. For more info, go to Pheromoneparties.com.

So whenever you think you’ve seen it all and there’s nothing unusual, weird, or interesting left for you to do, you’re wrong, for better or worse.

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