I’m friends with Townhall’s Matt Vespa. I am. But sometimes, his intrepid blogging clues me in to things I didn’t want to know. Things that make me want to stop the planet and hop off, because the sheer stupidity of everything has become too much to take. And I hate it.
Like this: apparently, there’s an honest-to-God place of business in California where people still upset about Donald Trump’s presidency can pay $80 an hour to be professionally cuddled.
It all came out in a piece by Rolling Stone magazine, entitled, "Why Professional Cuddling Is Booming Under Trump," which describes a room in Venice filled with pillows and yoga mats where pajama-clad adults can show up, sign a waiver, and literally hug one another for an hour to deal with the fact that Hillary Clinton isn't sitting on the Iron Throne.
I'm assuming the writer was high when she wrote this story, because she sure seems to take cuddling as a serious form of post-election therapy for the emotionally distraught. Here's an excerpt:
This room is called The Love Dome and hosts events including yoga, dance and private parties. Every Wednesday and Saturday night, The Love Dome is host to Cuddle Sanctuary, an organization that leads group cuddle events, professional cuddling and training for professionals. This is one of their group cuddle sanctuaries.
…The reasons one seeks out a professional cuddling experience range from average adults seeking connection, those on the autistic spectrum, those healing from sexual trauma, adults dealing with sexual dysfunction or for older virgins to practice touch in a safe environment. The elephant in the room during some of these sessions, though, is the current state of the country's affairs. Since November – and the election of Donald Trump – professional cuddling services have seen a spike in client interest.
Oh, just you wait. It gets worse.
Marcia Baczynski, co-founder of Cuddle Party, has seen her already established clientele base reacting to the election. Many of them, she says, feel triggered by Trump's actions, history of sexual abuse allegations and manipulative behaviors.
"The work is actually political now," Baczynski says. "It used to be the case that you talked about cuddle parties because these are important skills for life – everyone's navigating boundaries. And now we need to have boundaries with our government. How the fuck do you do that? How do you conceptualize having a leader who is essentially an abusive asshole?"
A significant number of those seeking professional cuddling services have experienced abuse, and some see in Trump qualities that remind them of past trauma. Three days after the election, Anastasia Allington, a professional cuddler in Austin, Texas, had a session with a client who was bereft and frequently broke into tears. Another scheduled a cuddle session on Election Day in order to alleviate the anxiety he was already experiencing around the campaign.
Now, this is usually the part in a blog where I say something snarky, or point out some particularly profound detail in the hopes of making sense of whatever I just told you.
But dear lord, if you can’t figure out on your own why having to pay a stranger $80 to hold you while you sob into your blankie because an election held nine months ago didn’t go your way is the newly discovered height of absurdity, there’s nothing I can say to address that level of stupid.
So thanks a lot, Matt. I’m going to go bury my head in the sand now and just pray Jesus comes back soon.