REiD Mihalko is a bi-coastal sex and romance coach currently based on the island of Manhattan. His mission is to teach men and women how to create safe space for themselves and one another in order to be more fully self-expressed, sexually self-expressed, intimate, related and playful. His intention in creating the Cuddle Parties, along with his workshops, lectures, films and books, is to create a safe environment for men and women where they can touch, receive touch, love and communicate with one another in healthy and nutritious ways.
Reid's journey began at the tender age of 8, when his mother, Martie, caught him and his brother sneaking looks at his dad's Playboys. Ignoring her sons' mortification, Martie explained that it was natural and healthy for them to be curious about women's bodies and sex, but that it was important to respect and honor women as human beings as well. Young Reid took this message to heart and, as a result, treated girls differently than many of the other boys. Reid would grow up as the guy with eighty female friends and only one or two male friends.
Reid wouldn't really begin exploring his romantic relationships with those eighty female friends until after quitting the Brown University football team his sophomore year of college and getting a job as a bouncer/bartender to support his Ivy League-sized school loans. Checking I.D.'s and pouring drinks, Reid began what was to be a long and fulfilling career in talking to strangers. The most common topics? Sex and relationships. After amassing thousands of conversations with men and women on the subject, Reid graduated and moved to New York City in 1992.
Reid's New York relationships and urban sexcapades would cover a much larger range than his New Hampshire upbringing had prepared him for. Through his work as a writer, actor and producer, Reid continued to explore the nature of communication, relationships, romance and sex. Meanwhile, his years of studying and teaching Isshinryu Karate, Tae Kwon Do and street combat turned into an exploration of healing people rather than hurting them. Reid began learning massage and studying yoga. Over 14 years of experience as an intuitive masseuse led him to begin exploring his calling as a healer.
In 2002, Reid began an extended period of self-discovery, training and meditation culminating in an intensive six-month coaching and leadership training program at Landmark Education. With a penchant for humor and an ability to make people feel safe and get them to open up, Reid is using his unique gifts to empower and heal people in their relationships, sexuality, and self-expression.
Reid has lectured and led discussion groups on romance to Columbia University's School of Journalism, has written for City magazine, and has been featured in Time Out New York.
In 2003, Reid created a romance workshop for men entitled Malekind 2.0 aimed at teaching men how to be more romantic for the women in their lives. A female counterpart to Malekind, a workshop designed to empower women in understanding men and creating safe space for men where they can express their needs, is in development.
* Photo by Ron Rinaldi
Marcia Baczynski is a New York-based relationship and communication coach and writer. Her mission? To empower people world-wide to define and build creative, rational, joyous lives on their own terms by providing tools and resources that encourage curiosity, experimentation and self-reflection.
To that end, Marcia developed the Passion Project, an exploration of the choices people made in their lives, in 2001. This project led to coaching clients individually, and since then, Marcia has developed workshops on reasoning and arguing, risk-taking, and sexuality. In 2003, she began running women's sexuality forums, round-table discussions covering all aspects of female sexuality, and her coaching began to focus more exclusively on relationships and communication.
Most recently, Marcia joined forces with sex and romance coach Reid Mihalko to create Cuddle Parties, a safe space for adults to be affectionate with one another without becoming sexual. This allowed her to add "professional cuddler" to her resume, which amused her to no end.
Marcia took a certificate in women's studies from University of Georgia, where she received her degree in public relations. She has formally and informally been a sex educator for nearly 10 years, taking classes, engaging with people and devouring books on every aspect of human sexuality. She is a registered Barbara Sher Success Team leader and a member of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association and the Coachville community of coaches. From 1998-2000, Marcia served on the board of the Sagan Society, an organization dedicated to promoting rationalism and critical thinking.
Prior to her work as a coach and workshop facilitator, Marcia managed and edited websites for About.com, covering such topics as philosophy, history, education, religion, sexuality, and health. She has also worked in public relations, freelance writing, editing, and web design.
When she's not cuddling, talking, thinking, writing or teaching professionally, Marcia enjoys doing these things for fun. She is also an avid reader, a computer tinkerer, an intrepid traveler, a frequent swimmer, and an endlessly curious human being.
You can learn more about Marcia's workshops, roundtable discussions, and coaching at www.destiny-lab.com