If you're feeling all snuggly-wuggly inside and there's no willing human around to to be your cuddle bear, you can always pay someone. No, seriously, there are people out there that actually dub themselves "professional snugglers."
Jackie Samuel, a New York woman, has started her own business, called The Snuggery. She provides "healing," non-sexual cuddling and touching sessions, which she says have numerous health benefits. Undiscussed, however, are the weird feelings that could possibly arise from getting all comfy-womfy with a stranger. Samuel says she tried to find a way to gain professional training (as a snugglist, we suppose?) but realized there was no certification in her field.
"I thought I need to kind of validate my position," she told WHAM. "I need some kind of certification or license to show I'm a qualified cuddler, but I couldn't find anybody else who was doing what I was doing."
The rise of the cuddler, both professional and amateur, is at best a move towards re-igniting basic human bonding techniques, and at worst an invitation for an uncomfortable lump of limbs that defy basic sets of boundaries. Cities around the country host Cuddle Parties, which are an actual thing people attend. Parties run through CuddleParty.com even promise an event "led by trained and certified Cuddle Party facilitators."
"Nurturing, welcome consensual touch is good for you," the site claims. "Good for your body, heart and spirit."
According to the Cuddle Therapy movement, cuddling isn't just about feeling warm and comfortable. It's about a "need of physical touch in a safe, loving, trusted environment." Proponents of flagrant cuddling say the non-sexual intimacy is something that is woefully absent from modern human relationships.
Would you ever pay someone to cuddle with you? Have you ever been to a "Cuddle Party?" Is the world "cuddle" starting to bother you? CuddleCuddleCuddleCuddle....