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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Heard

A New Personal Service That’s Making God Very Mad

Did you know that professional cuddling is a thing? Like, all the single ladies can now dial-a-spoon and get a bearhug on demand, so long as they can cough up the dough. If you’re lonely, or just miss a little human touch but could never go as far as paying for sex, you can actually order a cuddle right to your door.

This shit ain’t for GM, even if I didn’t have my own cuddle fest going on at home, I don’t think I would ever pay for it. However, I recognize, unlike some godly folk, that not all people are like me and they are entitled to feel differently about professional cuddlers. And many do. It’s kind of taking off, with thousands of regular cuddle customers already. Plus, there’s an app! It’s called Cuddlr!

It appears that there’s a whole lot of cuddling going on. Sounds kinda nice, doesn’t it? I mean, next to the rest of the news we get, filled with terror attacks and murder and violence and hatred, hearing that people are goddamned cuddling, #NoHoly, is kinda… it’s sorta… well, it’s just fucking nice.

Enter the poo poo patrol! You just know the Oh-So-Moral-Christicles have something to say about this. I mean, it’s a pleasant, pleasurable, positive, happy thing to think about – that no person should have to go without cuddles – and pleasant, pleasurable, positive, happy things just don’t fly under Jeeby’s watch. So, Slippery Sammy Solo has been sent forth to shit all over it.

Samuel James is an Evangelical Patheos blogger who has his eyebrows in a bunch over for-profit cuddling. What could he possibly find wrong with pay-per-cuddle? Let’s let him tell us, in his own words:

It seems to me that the words “sex” and “sexual” have been redefined to exclude all but the most obvious, most legally potent acts. Take “non-sexual spooning,” for example. What is the difference between sexual and non-sexual here? Clothing? Simulated intercourse? Intercourse? The challenge is to understand why the mere presence of clothing or absence of coital motion renders a very intimate physical act “strictly platonic.” I don’t think it does or can.
Dog hug
According to Sam, this is bestiality.

Well, Sammy, obviously you don’t have children. You’ve never climbed into bed with your sick little one to comfort them or held them close to let them know they’re not alone. Are you saying that when I spoon with my son on Sunday mornings when he jumps into bed with us, that it’s not platonic? I resent that, Sam. I really do. You have a twisted, sick mind.

We live in a pornified culture, by which I mean a culture whose sexual values, expectations and beliefs are informed by pornography.

What? That’s like saying I know everything I know about Methamphetamines, car washes and Albuquerque from watching Breaking Bad, or that all my recipes are from the Swedish Chef… bork, bork, bork.

I don’t know about you, Mr. James, but my sexual values were instilled in me as a preteen when my parents discussed sex honestly with me. I also learned that some things are not real, like movies and TV and that sometimes, people act out their fantasies on film. My parents reiterated, “Honey, it’s not real.

When I did eventually come across porn for the first time, I remembered what my parents had said. These are fantasies. They are not real. They in no way indicate what real sex is like.

Now, I don’t know about you Sam-Bam-Thank-You-Ma'am, but when I did actually listen and pay attention to a bit of porn, there really wasn’t much to convince me that it was real and that it would have been a good place to extract my own personal expectations for what sex should be like. I mean, the plots – if you can call them that – are so unbelievable it’s almost like… well, they’re almost like… The Bible. Wait…

Sam, did you really think this scene was realistic and a good place to base your own expectations of real life:

If you like it then you need to rub some mustard on it.

“Howdy Ma’am, I’m here to fix your freezer and I seem to have forgotten my pants. By The way, I love your g-string.”

“Thank you! Not a problem, sir. Did you just have lunch?”

“Why do you ask, Ma’am?”

“Well, sir, you seem to have dripped some mustard on your… hoagie” *wink*

“Oh no! How will I get it off?”

“Oh, I’ll get it off, alright.”

I think you know what comes next, Sam. I’m almost positive you’ve got a good picture in your mind, already. I think you also knew without anyone having to tell you, that real sex never happens like that. I think you had an idea that no sex is ever initiated like that outside of porn before you ever even had your own first sexual encounter. I think you’re just being a dishonest, judgemental asshole.

Pornography’s great achievement is that it creates loneliness where none should logically exist.

Really? Can I see the data on that? Also, I’d like to know how to tell when no loneliness should “logically exist.” Especially from someone who buys the “logical” Bible hook, line and sinker.

I was taught that you can’t ever know what’s right for another person. I think my mom called it, “MYOB." I call it MYFB: mind your fucking business. If someone is lonely, it’s likely because they are lonely, not because they watch porn.

Did you know that the University of Montreal once had to cancel a study on the male perceptions of women? Mhmm. They wanted to see the difference in perception between men who watch porn and men who do not. It got cancelled because they couldn’t find any men who did not watch porn.

I live in reality. I know that there are desperate few men who totally abstain from watching porn. So, basically, what you’re saying, is that an overwhelming majority of men are lonely? What’s up with that, Sigmund?

Therefore, you have thousands of young adults spending hundreds of dollars on cuddle therapy when they could be spending it in social settings that could land them a free (and perhaps even permanent(!)) cuddle partner.

You’re assuming again, Sam. You’re assuming that every single one of these cuddle customers is desperate for a relationship. Some people are single and happy with it. Some men and women have careers that keep them far too busy to sustain a good relationship. Some people like the idea of never being tied down. These are conscious, adult choices that are being made. What you’re saying is that should these types of people want a simple cuddle; some human touch and closeness, that their only option should ever be to hop headfirst into a serious relationship? Why?

Armour mentions that scientists attribute the feelings of calm and warmth associated with human touch to the hormone oxytocin. She doesn’t mention that oxytocin is the same chemical that is released during sexual climax and helps to foment emotional bonds between lovers.

Did you know that it’s also the same chemical released during child labour? It’s also released when you commit acts of compassion. It’s released when you hug someone. Touching base with old friends over the phone or social media also releases oxytocin. Laughter releases oxytocin. Exercise releases oxytocin. Shooting a gun, feeling trusted, listening to music, watching your favourite TV show, eating well, meditation, breathing exercises and breastfeeding all also release oxytocin. Are you suggesting these activities are all sexual, too?

Simply because these sessions do not include sexual intercourse does not mean they aren’t sexual.

They may not be sexual to you, Sam-a-lam-a-ding-dong, but there are plenty of people out there who can cuddle, spoon and do other oxytocin releasing activities without blowing their load.

Let’s just give Sam the benefit of the doubt for a second though. Let’s give him that one point: cuddling is sexual. So what? Two consenting adults sharing human touch and exchanging money? Further, these people are perfect strangers to you. Why do you care? Do you not have anything better to think about, instead of imagining the arousal between two perfect strangers when they wrap their arms around each other? I mean, there are lots of other things to think about, and yet, you choose this.

Seems to me, Sam, it makes you uncomfortable because the very idea of ordering a hug-o-gram to your own door makes you want to rub your own hoagie down with mustard.

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