Cuddle for Pay
Watching television the other night, I was very surprised to learn that there is such a thing as a “certified cuddlist.” Apparently, one can hire someone who will cuddle with them for an hour or more. I fired up the computer and visited the web site of the business which claims to have 75 cuddle centers throughout the nation. One can book a cuddle session on line. The web site makes it clear that these sessions are “a therapeutic, non-sexual, cuddle session with a certified professional cuddlist.”
In fact, the group is advertising for people who want to become a professional certified cuddliest. There are three requirements: (1) Take the on-line cuddle course which costs $149.00. (2) Attend a cuddle party. (3) Have an evaluation session. There is also a $39.99 monthly fee to be listed on the organization’s web site. And all potential clients are screened presumably to weed out perverts and dangerous people. The cost to hire a cuddlist? A mere $80.00 per hour.
Dr. Daniel Yadegar, MD, FACC, who is listed at the Head of the organization’s Scientific Advisory Board, is quoted as saying, “There is something transcendent about cuddling, as it has the power to take energy from the outer world—human touch and intimacy—and influence our inner world, down to the molecular level. Cuddling can improve immunity, enhance mood, and server as an energetic elixir for all patients, especially for those with chronic medical conditions. I recommend everyone get their daily dose!” Of course a daily dose would add up to $2,400.00 per month or $28,800.00 a year. A little rich for my blood. Which make me wonder how much the doctor is paid for his advice to the organization.
What I conclude from this is that there must be a great number of lonely people out there—people who are willing to shell out eighty bucks for someone to hold and cuddle them. That doesn’t really surprise me. With the electronic gadgets and social media that abound, it’s a wonder that anyone has face-to-face contact and communication with anybody.
Some time ago, I was in a fast food restaurant where four teenagers were sitting at the same table, each glued to their cell phones. The entire time I was there, they never exchanged a word. A few weeks later I was in a more upscale restaurant and sat across the aisle from a family of four—a dad, mom, and a teenage son and daughter. They, too, were glued to their cell phones and, again, almost no exchange took place at the table.
Apparently, someone has found a need and is in the process of filling that need. This is all fine I suppose but it makes me wonder what the future of our society will look like. Already, there are Internet “churches” where people meet on line and never gather together in person. They may not even know the names of those in the group.
Little by little, piece by piece, community is disappearing from our world. We live in isolation, we often now work in isolation, we can study and become educated in isolation and, even in public, we can pull out our electronic device and take our meals in isolation. It’s no wonder that, in a world like this, people would pay $80.00 an hour for a human touch.
David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, GA (www.ctkcec.org). He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese which consists of Georgia and Tennessee (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at email@example.com