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Ireland’s sex-festival organiser to sell cuddles for €60

TrendingBy Geraldine Comiskey
Beth Wallace
Beth Wallace

The organiser of a controversial sex-fest urged revellers to get together again last weekend for more close encounters – of the cuddly kind!

Former sex counsellor Beth Wallace’s supporters held a “cuddle party” on Saturday night to raise funds to cover the legal costs and losses incurred due to the furore over last August’s Bliss Festival.

The raunchy festival, which was held in the grounds of Narrow Water Castle, on Carlingford Lough, Co. Down, outraged locals, including UKIP councillor Henry Reilly.

It emerged that there would be stalls selling sex toys, hands-on workshops, talks by prostitutes and sex therapists as well as on-site hot tubs, massages and “sexual awareness rituals”.

Wallace, who has been organising the annual festival at various venues in Ireland since 2012, was forced to deny that the festival would involve orgies, nudity and satanic rituals.

Now the Dubliner says she is €24,500 out of pocket as a result of the controversy, which resulted in lost ticket sales and a legal battle against a High Court injunction.

“This is too much money for one person to bear the cost of – in fact, it has entirely wiped out my disposable income for the foreseeable future,” she said this week.

The adults-only cuddle party, which is one of several events organised by her friends, started yesterday afternoon and went on until 2am this morning at a venue in Killiney, south County Dublin.

Men and women paid €60 to snuggle up to strangers and take part in “erotic party games” and workshops on sexual themes including “orgasmic yoga”.

Beth Wallace

And luckily there was “zero controversy” from locals in the leafy suburb, Wallace told the Sunday World.

The cuddle party has been organised by her friend Grainne Carr and two other volunteers.

“It’s a clothes-on, no-sexual-touch event,” said Wallace.

The sex therapist, who has worked with the Belfast Rape Crisis Centre, is also planning to hold sex-themed workshops for women in West Cork, Dingle, Dublin and Belfast.

And she intends to find a new venue for next year’s Bliss Festival – south of the Border.

Despite the protests, the August festival attracted 400 people, who travelled from as far away as Australia and the US.

“For the vast majority who attended it was a life-changing experience,” Wallace added.