Okay, I’m going to try and not sink to the level my mind is taking me to on this story but I can’t make any promises. Call me skeptical if you like but in this part of the country what they’re doing in Portland would be considered highly suspicious by those who work the streets outside the LIncoln tunnel. (See, I couldn’t even get past the first paragraph. It’s like my fingers won’t listen to my mind. Or maybe they are.)
If you haven’t heard already, the so-called “Hipster” city of Portland Oregon is home to a new business called “Cuddle Up To Me.” The shop will provide guests a one on one platonic cuddling session for 60.00 an hour. (You have no idea how I’m trying not to laugh right now and digress into something less family friendly.)
Apparently the owner and three other trained “cuddlers” will customize your individual sessions based on what your comfort level might be. Now I don’t know how you train cuddlers but apparently there is a 40 hour training session on “platonic touching” that one must participate in before…..you know…..you understand how to cuddle and stuff. (I’m beginning to lose my internal battle here.) The shop has four rooms with cameras so the sessions can be recorded and the guests feel safe. (So you’re telling me I’m coming in to be cuddled and soothed in some way but there might be a safety issue? Well, now, that puts a whole new spin on things.)
Now this is not a new concept. There was a shop that opened in California earlier this year called Cuddle Connections that has hour and half hour sessions by appointment. (Hmmmmm) Back in 2012 a cuddle cafe opened in Japan but it was strictly for male customers who paid for platonic female time. I guess that was somehow different than this.
So as I understand this, you go into a private room with a female cuddler and they can hug you for an hour, or lay down next to you and cuddle you platonically because the owner wants people to feel loved and accepted for who they are. At 60.00 an hour. They have a different name for that line of work in this part of the country.
Oh, did I mention that she claims to have received more than 10,000 emails from people interested in cuddling?
Let me write it out so there is no mistake with the zeros. That was ten thousand emails. I guess there are lots of people out there who need……ummmm…..hugs. So in the spirit of giving and saving all of you money while satisfying your need for platonic touching, here’s my alternative offer. I’ll be on the corner of Broadway and 42nd street in New York tomorrow starting at 10:00AM. The first 5,000 people will get a 30 second platonic hug from me for 5.00. After that, the rate jumps to 10.00. There are no private rooms or beds but hey, you’re in New York City. If you want to pretend you’re in Portland or California, I’m sure there will be plenty of professional “cuddlers” who will be more than happy to make you feel loved and accepted.
I can’t wait until someone walks into a landlords office on the east coast and says, “Excuse me but I’d like to rent your building. I have a business concept involving cuddling that I think will be very profitable.” The landlord will smile, they’ll sign a contract and then he’ll tell her what her vig will be in order to operate.
That’s how the world of cuddling operates, east coast style.