***Despite the semi-suggestive title, this article is not Trump related. The topic is both loving and progressive, so clearly there is no intersection between that man and this blog.***
quite a few just a couple of guilty pleasures. The one I’m willing to admit to at this point in time is my weird addiction to Elite Daily and Buzzfeed videos. I can get roped into video holes for hours. Hours. Yes, its shameful and yes, it’s a waste of my time… but that’s not the point.
The point is, yesterday during one of my Elite Daily binges I came across a video about a professional cuddler; a man who made a living by snuggling with strangers. As much as possible, I try to be all peace and love. My philosophy is ‘do whatever floats your boat.’ But I’ve got to say, my attempt at not making a snap judgement on this one wasn’t so successful. My creepy radar was whirring and dinging and doing all the things I imagine a creepy radar would do.
I had all of these questions. Why would you want a stranger to rub up on you? That’s always been my least favorite part of riding the subway. Then I thought, there has to be some sort of sexual undertone during all this cuddling, right? And most importantly, how could the cuddler or the cuddlee possibly feel safe after matching with a stranger on the internet under the shared interest of exchanging money for a snug sesh? (Told you the non-judgemental thing wasn’t so successful.)
But just a couple minutes into the four minute video, my mind was entirely changed. This guy, this professional cuddler, was offering a pretty genuine form of new-age therapy. He made his apartment into an oasis, a safe place — one that promoted a sense of calm and of wellness. He invited his clients into this lovely little world he had created in the middle of Chinatown and then he just went ahead and snuggled the crap out of them!
And it was truly beautiful.
His client told him what she wanted: To be spooned, to be rubbed, to hold and to be held… and he obliged. He touched her with affection and with purpose. He paid attention to her. Sexuality had no place in it. It was one human being connecting with another human being through physical touch. It was about being present, about fulfilling a basic need. It was about making her feel like she was at the center of someone’s universe — if only for an hour.
At the end of the video his client said what the therapy made her feel:
“I feel like I matter — Cuddling can do that. It can make you feel like you’re a human being. Especially when you feel invisible to the world.”
It’s a weighty statement for an activity involving so many pillows, but my god does it say a lot about our society. We can be so self-involved, so disconnected from one another that we begin to feel less than human– like we don’t matter. We sit behind screens, feeding into social media while our souls starve. We make our page a place people want to visit rather than our homes. We fuck but we don’t hold hands and we get more physical contact from the shoving on the subway than we do from hugging our friends.
Depression and anxiety is an absolute epidemic in our society. Detachment is emotionally crippling our youth.
And now imagine all of that could go away if we just took a little more time to cuddle?