'Professional Cuddling' a Growing Industry Because...Trump!
American liberals never cease to amaze. As juvenile as their behavior can be, they now appear to have regressed to the infantile.
There is a booming business in (naturally) California that has taken anti-Trump hysteria to heights never seen. Indeed, Donald Trump has so incapacitated some people that only the "healing touch" of a good cuddle can help them deal with their angst.
Yeah, you read that right — "a good cuddle." Now don't get me wrong. Cuddling with a loved one can be comforting, emotionally satisfying, even arousing if you're doing it right.
But how about with a total stranger? I guess as long as you both have had your life ruined by Trump's election, a good cuddle will temporarily blot out your hysteria and give you peace.
The reasons one seeks out a professional cuddling experience range from average adults seeking connection, those on the autistic spectrum, those healing from sexual trauma, adults dealing with sexual dysfunction or for older virgins to practice touch in a safe environment. The elephant in the room during some of these sessions, though, is the current state of the country's affairs. Since November – and the election of Donald Trump – professional cuddling services have seen a spike in client interest.
"The holiday season was the first time that since Trump won the election that a lot of people were seeing their family," says Adam Lippin, co-founder and CEO of Cuddlist, which provides training services to professional cuddlers and allows clients to search listings of "Cuddlists" nearby. "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."
But what makes the organized effort of being held, a service that comes with a cost (Cuddlist sessions go for $80 an hour), something that aids in relieving the fear and discomfort that has come with Trump's presidency?
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, has seen her already established clientele base reacting to the election. Many of them, she says, feel triggered by Trump's actions, history of sexual abuse allegations and manipulative behaviors.
"The work is actually political now," Baczynski says. "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?"
A significant number of those seeking professional cuddling services have experienced abuse, and some see in Trump qualities that remind them of past trauma. Three days after the election, Anastasia Allington, a professional cuddler in Austin, Texas, had a session with a client who was bereft and frequently broke into tears. Another scheduled a cuddle session on Election Day in order to alleviate the anxiety he was already experiencing around the campaign.