Dear Tell All: You asked for readers' opinions of the Snuggle House ("I Won't Pay to Be Touched," 10/24/2013). The business wants to sell Madison on "touch therapy," in which professional snugglers cuddle with clients for $60 an hour in a supposedly nonsexual way. I don't exactly find this gross, like your letter writer "Hands Off." And I certainly don't find it appealing the way you do, Tell All. To me, the Snuggle House is just sad, in a number of ways.
It's sad to think people would need to pay to be comforted through touch. I don't blame them for not having a real friend or relative to provide it for free; if they don't, they don't. But how could comfort provided by a "professional" be anything but inauthentic?
It's also sad to think that a business would try exploit the people who are seeking comfort. Sixty bucks an hour for the illusion that somebody cares...that's quite a racket. I'd prefer that somebody steal $60 from my wallet rather than hoodwink me in this way.
Amazed as Usual
Dear Tell All: I have an easy way to solve the philosophical question you posed: Snuggle House good or Snuggle House bad? Try thinking of it like this: If you patronized the Snuggle House for anything other than a lark (that is, if you were really in the market for professional cuddling), would you be proud to tell others you did so, or embarrassed?
Just as I thought: embarrassed. There's your answer.
Dear Tell All: I'm tired of Madison wringing its hands over the Snuggle House. We've fretted over it so much that we're starting to look ridiculous. Just let the damn business open and get on with your life. You want to pay for cuddling? Be my guest. You want to cuddle with your partner instead? Fine. How about we all just do what we want and instead obsess over something that really matters. May I suggest Obamacare?
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