The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1788

Authorities in WI capital seek to outlaw professional cuddlers

SnugglingNeed a hug? Then Madison, Wis., is where you should head, but you better make it snappy. The gendarmes are cracking down on fee-for-service hugging, cuddling, spooning, and snuggling.

The Associated Press explains:

Wisconsin’s ultra-liberal capital city is a place where just about anything goes, from street parties to naked bike rides. But city officials say a business is pushing even Madison’s boundaries by offering, of all things, hugs.

For $60, customers at the Snuggle House can spend an hour hugging, cuddling and spooning with professional snugglers.

Snuggle House’s cuddling professionals (or Tactile Comfort Engineers, as I prefer to think of them) claim that touching helps relieve stress, but Madison officials aren’t buying it. They suspect the business is a front for prostitution and, even if it’s not, fear that snuggling is a “gateway” drug that could lead to sexual assault.

Police have begun speaking openly about conducting a sting operation, and city attorneys are drafting a new ordinance to regulate getting up close and personal with a TCE. Assistant city attorney Jennifer Zilavy told the AP, “There’s no way that [sexual assault] will not happen. No offense to men, but I don’t know any man who wants to just snuggle.”

Hey! Offense taken, Jennifer!

Tim Casper, an attorney for Snuggle House’s reticent owner Matthew Hurtado, submits that “the concept is obviously a novel one and you can see where they [the city] might be a little skeptical. Could something happen? Yeah, I suppose. But they’re taking every precaution.”

On second, thought, no offense taken.

A Cuddle Party cuddle party

A Cuddle Party cuddle party

Madison is not the only city that offers a hug. Rochester, N.Y., has The Snuggery, which offers overnight cuddle sessions, while Boulder, Colo., offers downcast locals Be The Love You Are. San Francisco’s Cuddle Therapy, meanwhile, offers packages that “focus directly with your current needs around connection, intimacy and touch,” according to its website.

There is even a nonprofit organization called Cuddle Party that boasts having trained some 100 cuddle coaches across five continents to run group snuggle sessions. To keep the snuggling kosher, Cuddle Party participants must keep their clothes on and go through a pre-session workshop on how to say “no.”

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Howard Portnoy has written for HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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  • teejk

    Wisconsin’s ultra-liberal capital city

    What comes to the left of “ultra-liberal”? And then what comes to the left of that? Take a few more steps to the left and you will have defined Madison. If somebody wants to see the perfect example of Proggie thinking, go to Madison. One is allowed to do whatever they want to as long as it involves something the Proggie does or approves of.

    And just to continue my mini-rant, I’ll note that Madison was the origin of the “progressive” movement and is the home of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. A former governor once described it as 10 square miles surrounded by reality.

    • Howard Portnoy

      I thought of you as I was writing this. Meantime, the article went live at 12:57. Your comment came at 1:42. You’re under an hour, which is good, but I’d like to see your time running the 40 come down a bit.

      • teejk

        Sorry Howard…the contract specifying the timing of my posts is supposedly coming with the check from your accounting department for the value of my wisdom. :)

        AlGore’s global warming will be making me a house rat (our predicted high for Wednesday is -3F…in December…really looking forward to January and February).

        But back to my mini-rant, I grew up in the shadows of the capital city. Madison should be a case study on what happens to the proggie vision of utopia. Disney North I think.

      • Gal Spunes

        Don’t forget Detroit

      • Howard Portnoy

        No, Gal, you’re mistaking cudgeling with cuddling. It’s an honest mistake. I do it myself all the time. My wife is really beginning to resent it.

      • teejk

        Detroit is a little different. Their problems are related to industry and trade unions. Madison never had much industry since they hosted UW Madison and the state capital and didn’t need it (during the latest recession I think their unemployment rate only dipped to 4%).

        They rule the state with no clue about the “masses”. Feel free to substitute Washington DC for Madison.