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“You could think of us more as a touch-deprived culture potentially if you don’t have a romantic relationship or close friendships where you’re engaging in that kind of touch,” says Brittany Jakubiak, author of .
Because of that, she says she understands why people might turn to the cuddling business. Because marriage rates and number of children per household continue to decline, more and more people live alone in social isolation, leading to a decrease in overall health.
Even though a growing number of cuddling services exist today, the first cuddle party parties date back to almost a century ago, when they exploded in the 1920s.
Then called “petting parties,” “spooning,” and “snugglepupping,” these gatherings earned a more scandalous reputation.
A full-figured woman with tattoos and a shaven head clutches her teddy bear.
A burly veteran, clad in blue flannel pajama pants, shares that he is open to talking about his struggles with mild PTSD.
Spoonr, a Tinder-esque app for cuddling that shut down in January 2017, allowed users to meet up with strangers around them for a cuddling session.
A few years later, the cuddle phenomena stretched across the country to New York with the founding of Cuddle Party in 2004.
Despite common misconceptions, the modern cuddling business still struggles to eliminate the sexual connotations associated with those original cuddle parties of the 1920s.
The AARP Loneliness Study, which surveyed a sample of more than 3,000 adults age 45 or older in 2010, also gives some insight into the effects this lack of touch has on the general population and where the cuddling business might offer some relief. Lippin founded Cuddlist because of this lack of touch in people’s lives, and because he saw this missing as an option to help people live happier and healthier. And in order to contribute something to the greater good, Lippin left behind his life as an owner of Atomic Wings to become the CEO and co-founder of Cuddlist, a cuddler-for-hire business, in January 2016 as a way to provide people with the one thing therapists can’t do: touch.
The survey found that 35 percent of people living in the United States suffer from loneliness — up from the 20 percent reported in 1980. In fact, “therapy,” “medicinal,” and “holistic healing” are all words that come up frequently within the cuddling community.
’” It is a reminder that an event like this still remains misunderstood to the majority of the public.