In case you missed it here is the link to a fascinating article about professional cuddling in a recent edition of oregonlive.com. Yes, evidently professional cuddling is a thing. Here is the article in a nutshell: There is a woman in Portland who gets paid to cuddle with people with clothes on and non-sexually. I had a ton of questions about the world of professional cuddling, but one of the questions was how have we become so disconnected as a society that there is a market for professional cuddlers?
I grew up with brothers. We watched pro wrestling from time to time if it wasn’t too “nasty” as my mom called it. We wrestled a lot, just like every group of brothers since the dawn of time. Sometimes the battles would occur on the carpet, sometimes on the grass. Sometimes they were planned, sometimes spontaneous. There were times when my knees and elbows had more rug burned skin than normal skin. I was ok with that. We had a blast and it wasn’t because my brothers and I were violent kids. I’m not sure exactly why boys wrestle but I have a theory. The older I get, the more I see that wrestling served an important purpose for us.
Boys don’t hug it out too often. As boys get older the body slam turns into arm wrestling which is replaced by the handshake at board meetings. Part of this is good because if 50 year old men exchanged body slams they would be seriously injured. If you have video of such an interaction I would love to see that. Another reason is that physical affection is socialized out of boys. Hugs aren’t usually associated with toughness. Fortunately boys are smart. Their bodies understand the need for connection. Physical touch produces a chemical in our brains called oxytocin. Oxytocin helps us feel connection and trust. It also helps us be generous and less anxious in social environments. So what happens when boys don’t wrestle? What happens when we become disconnected from one another? We find a way to get what we need. Enter Professional Cuddling.
What is your answer to my question? Why is there a market for professional cuddlers? I would love to hear from you.