I have a confession to make.
I am an unauthorized cuddler. I haven’t trained, I haven’t certified, I haven’t been tested or vetted by any snuggling organizations. I’m just out here, being platonic, asking for consent, and seeing what happens like the heathen I am.
I’d like to train. I’d like to know 20 different cuddling positions and who they work best for. I’d love to hang up another diploma on my wall and be able to point to it to prove that I know what I’m doing. I put it off in 2019 thinking that other trainings were more important. Now, nearly a year into a global pandemic, my 2019 trainings are now all online and still running. Certified Cuddler trainings are trying to do the same but… it’s not the same.
Before Covid-19, there was already a cultural stigma against professional cuddlers here in the US. We were seen as a frivolous distraction at best. That’s if we weren’t being treated like sex workers, only spoken of in whispers and giggles. During Covid-19 our once innocent, silly parties have become less of a joke and more of a threat. We thought people were uncomfortable with cuddle parties and professional cuddling sessions before a potentially deadly virus showed up, now they’re just this side of terrified.
Now, we’ve moved our “cuddle parties” online. They aren’t the same, but they’re safe, and they’re fun, and the actual cuddling aspect has become less important than the emotional connection we create with each other. Still, cuddling is in my blood. At some point, we will be free to cuddle again, and when we are, my unauthorized arms, and heart, and presence will be right here helping people remember what it feels like to be held and accepted and, yes, loved.
In the future, professional cuddlers will be more in demand than ever before. I, for one, am here for it!