Social distancing nixed a calming practice based on physical touch, forcing practitioners and clients to find a virtual option. It was very intense and very dramatic. Professional cuddle organizations like Cuddle Sanctuary aim to provide clients with a sense of calm and bliss, thanks in part to the anxiety-reducing hormone oxytocin which is released in response to positive, social touch, like a hug from a friend or a nuzzle from a dog. First popularized in the early s, professional cuddling aimed to fulfill touch needs for a range of clients including survivors of post-traumatic stress disorder and sexual assault and adults on the autistic spectrum. As the pandemic presses on, clients regularly accustomed to getting their touch needs fulfilled by professional cuddlers struggle to find that relief. But professional cuddlers are finding a way to provide an approximate feelgood sensation from afar. Initially, Franzblau was staunchly against the notion of a virtual cuddle. Without skin-on-skin contact, there would be no way for oxytocin to flow.
I'm lying with my leg draped above a fellow cuddler, my head hidden on the collar of his blouse and his arm wrapped around me with his hand stroking my beard. There's another cuddler, a woman who, like me, had never been en route for a cuddle party, on his conflicting side in the exact same arrange as me. Her face is inches from mine across from our manly companion's chest. There were about seven clusters of platonic cuddlers in the space. Some were forming spoon drawers, where multiple people curl around all other in one direction. Some were forming puppy piles. Others laid along with their body nested in a different whose body was nested in a different and so on, as a attach, in a so-called human train.
A couple describing the depths of their love to each other just gets us every time. Not the adoration of butterflies and stomach knots—but add the blurring of self and the entanglement with another soul. Love is a word that is much also soft and used far too a lot to ever describe the fierce, boundless and blazing passion that I allow in my heart for you. You are a million dreams and a million prayers of a little child come true. You are kind. You are silly. You are intelligent.