Reflections on “Snuggle House”

snuggle_1_1381833036479_1098792_ver1.0_320_240Snuggle House is a business where clients pay $60 to snuggle. This is the next step of a trend that is ultimately destructive. Let’s assume its not just a mask for prostitution. Although it might be. Apparently the owner of “Snuggle House” is Matthew Hurtado, the author of a biography of a sex-addict turned millionaire and allegedly owes Wisconsin $10,000 in back taxes. So there’s reason to suspect something shady. Intimate touch in general easily and often serves as foreplay and leads to sex. We are sexual creatures.

But lets assume it is what it says it is, snuggling and hugs with a stranger to give touch comfort for only sixty bucks a pop. Its not sexual prostitution, its cuddle prostitution.

Snuggle House manager Hanna told,’Even just a hug for a couple of seconds can release the oxytocin in your body, in your brain, which has powerful effects to reduce stress.’ This is, in fact, true. However, the idea that we can trigger hormones as a balm for the absence of love and relationship. That the touch of a stranger can soothe one is the same thing as taking a drug. In fact maybe they should just inject oxytocin, the love drug for this millennium.

And if it were prostitution one could make the claim that this is even better than cuddling – First cuddling to give Oxytocin and then sex to relieve all that pent up sexual tension. No harm, no foul, consensual cuddling, consensual sex.

Here’s the problem. Hormones, whether oxytocin or Serotonin are involved as the body’s neuronal, hormonal biochemical messengers who mediate the mechanisms of life in the brain-body. They serve the life that is lived in relationship, in activity, and in private pursuits. They establish the pathways of consciousness itself. They are not stand alone designer drugs to make us feel certain ways. We feel certain ways as a result of the life we lead. To live well is really the answer. To deal with what interferes with living well is the question. Whether it is cuddle prostitution, sexual prostitution (and all its hidden connections to sexual abuse), friends with privileges ( and all its disrespect and violation of the core of the person), Serotonin drugs, or Oxytocin drugs, these substitute the part for the whole. Good things happen in relationship and in human scale. These substitutes are loveless, illusion creating, and addictive. They remove us from our ability to be at our human best with all its intrinsic difficulties, and to fulfill the best of our natures.

I address these issues in the book, including specific references to the potential illusions we are subject to from both touch and sexual touch.

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