Do snowflakes melt when they cuddle?
Let’s find out. In Venice, California, adults who have been reduced to puddles of anxiety by Donald Trump’s presidency get together to cuddle their anxieties away.
Dressed in pajamas, yoga attire, and sweatpants, sans shoes, the supposed adults are greeted by a woman at a place called The Love Dome, which hosts “Cuddle Sanctuary.” The woman asks, “Would you like a hug?”
Fei Wyatt, Cuddle Sanctuary’s Chief People Officer, is a “professional cuddler,” according to Rolling Stone. She informs participants, “This is a G-rated event. Touch stays outside the bikini area.” She explains that saying “no” is okay, adding, “That is the thing that changes the most lives. Take the whole touch thing away, teaching people that they have choice over their body, they’ve never seen it before, they’ve never experienced it.”
Rolling Stone writes, “Since November — and the election of Donald Trump — professional cuddling services have seen a spike in client interest.”
Adam Lippin, co-founder and CEO of Cuddlist, adds, “The holiday season was the first time that since Trump won the election that a lot of people were seeing their family. People with different political views were going to be in the same place with relatives. That was the first hit of people having to confront it in a significant way. We saw an uptick around that.”
Jean Franzblau, who created Cuddle Sanctuary in 2014, said she discovered her own touch needs on a business trip: “I found myself isolated and lonely. I basically hijacked this guy’s evening and I pushed for a sexual experience because I really wanted to spoon. I invested four hours in dinner, hanging out and the bottom of it was ‘Let’s spoon’ and he’s like, ‘I won’t do that.’ It was humiliating, actually.”
If you want to be a certified Cuddlist, participating in one of the various cuddle groups, you must enroll in an online course, attend a Cuddle Party group session, and pass a video or in-person evaluation.
Samantha Hess, owner and professional cuddler at Cuddle Up To Me, burbled, “What this means is that we will feel more connected, empathetic, content, [have] lower stress, anxiety and depression. We will sleep better, have higher metabolic function, increase our immune response, and even decrease our impulse behavior — like drinking because the world is doomed.”
Rolling Stone writes, “As executive orders, cabinet appointments, abuse of power, protests and other signs of political unrest sweep the nation, there’s a sense of unease brewing in many. They are turning to alternative forms of care to alleviate these fears.”
Marcia Baczynski, co-founder of Cuddle Party, says her clients feel triggered by Trump. She asserts, “The work is actually political now. It used to be the case that you talked about cuddle parties because these are important skills for life — everyone’s navigating boundaries. And now we need to have boundaries with our government. How the fuck do you do that? How do you conceptualize having a leader who is essentially an abusive asshole?”
Rolling Stone adds, “A significant number of those seeking professional cuddling services have experienced abuse, and some see in Trump qualities that remind them of past trauma.”
Franzblau concluded, “In regards to the Trump administration, this practice is really inoculating me from the drama and trauma that I’m witnessing on Facebook. I’m getting the boost that I need on a regular basis that helps me feel like a human instead of a panic machine.”