Professional Cuddling Is a Thing, And We Have So Many Questions

by Christine Organ
Image via Quartz/Facebook

Cuddling with a stranger is every touched-out mom’s worst nightmare

In a world with lace shorts for men, the RompHim, and jeans with plastic knees, I suppose we shouldn’t be all that surprised by anything anymore. I mean, feather eyebrows and body hair swimsuits exist. What a time to be alive. But just when we think the world can’t get any more surprising, some new wildly weird thing will pop up and we’ll be saying WTF all over again.

Folks, brace yourselves: professional cuddling is a thing, and we don’t know what to think.

We have questions. So many questions. What? Huh? How does that even work? Is there a class one takes to become a professional cuddler? Does someone get certified in hand-holding? Is there a master hair fiddling course? A soft caresses seminar?

According to Business Insider, professional cuddling is like getting an “upgrade to the ‘free hugs’” you sometimes see in viral videos, except…well, it’s nothing like any “hug” we’ve ever gotten (upgraded or not). Instead, cuddlists – yes, they are actually called that – get paid an hourly rate to hold hands, caress, spoon, and basically touch their client in any PG-ish way they want. A cuddlist interviewed by Quartz characterized the relationship as more than a client, but not quite friends.

But the question we just can’t get over is: why? For the love of naps and quiet time, why would we parents want to be touched any more than we already are?

Look, we get the appeal of professional cuddling. Touch is a necessity, and loneliness can wreak havoc on one’s mental health. No doubt there a lot of people out there who, for a variety of reasons, benefit from professional cuddling. Kudos to them for making self-care a priority.

But for the masses of touched-out moms out there, this sounds like our worst nightmare. We are literally dripping in people — a baby on the boob, a whining toddler wrapped around our leg and a preschooler who just learned the “pull my finger” joke. It’s damn near impossible to go more than 15 seconds without being touched by someone. By the end of the day, we’re practically screaming, Enough already! Don’t touch me! And these are the people we love more than anything in the world. The thought of anyone — much less a stranger — cuddling, stroking, caressing or touching us in anyway is literally the worst idea, ever.

Not to mention that a session with a cuddlist will set you back about $100. For that kind of money, we’d rather get a hot stone massage with lavender oil, thankyouverymuch. Are we being just a teensy bit hypocritical? Maybe, but there is a line – we’re not sure exactly where that line is – and this is over it.

A nice scalp massage while we get our hair cut? Sure.

Spooning with our significant other in bed? Great! (But only for a few minutes, because then we need to sprawl out.)

And let’s be honest, a foot rub is basically the reason we get pedicures.

But this? Nope. Nuh-uh. All the nopes is the nope bucket.

Obviously, we’re fans of positive touching (consensual, of course), but a person can only handle so much of it, and we’re maxed the eff out. We’re up to our eyeballs in kid snuggles, clingy toddlers, and generally being pawed at all day. More touching? By a stranger? That’s a hard pass.

Now, a dark room with a sign that says “leave me the fuck alone” on the door, on the other hand, that’s something we could get behind.