Snuggling With Strangers

Cuddling and controversy go hand in hand with this touch therapy center.

There’s no doubt a good cuddle session with a loved one can brighten your spirits, but what about cuddling with a complete stranger?

For $60 an hour you can enjoy a cuddle session with a “professional snuggler” at The Snuggle House in Madison, Wisc. They cite the benefits of Touch Therapy as the foundation for the project on their website. Owner Matthew David Hurtado says that human touch releases Oxytocin, which gives you feelings of safety, security and trust.

Hurtado says, “Humans today in our modern, digital world starve for it [touch]. Cuddling is safe, fun and is proven by science to produce these benefits.”

The city and others in the neighborhood have confronted the Snuggle House with concerns of it becoming something like a brothel in the future.

Despite the adverse reaction from some, Hurtado says that they have received an equal sense of support. He expresses that there are precautions set in place to make sure the line between cuddling and sexual activity is made clear. For example, both snuggler and customer must be fully clothed and no sexual language or touch is allowed. Hurtado also said that each snuggler much undergo a certification course that involves 15 hours of online coursework and “in session” training.

No matter the amount of precautions or training, this business is destined for controversy. Hurtado believes this is a result of a culture that does not embrace more primitive forms of stress-relief or other illnesses.

“Yet it is truly our culture that is in question here, as we have made it obvious what we are providing … and this causes a huge stir," says Hurtado. "If you go to other countries you can experience a much different culture where non-sexual touch is embraced, celebrated and practiced as the ‘norm’”.


If snuggling isn’t your thing, try downloading a free smartphone app to help you stay motivated and accomplish your goals. Or try running a charity race to do your body and mind good, and maybe add a few grounded yoga poses into your routine to keep you feeling your best. 

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