Needing human contact and touch isn’t exactly breaking news. Babies need it to become more balanced adults and adults need it to become more balanced adults. So much so that pre-app days (henceforth known as PAD), there was a service available for the untouched human called Cuddle Therapy by Travis Sigley. For a fee Travis would come around and give you a good ol’ cuddle – non-sexual of course. It appeared that a lot of people were in need of a good holding.
So it comes as no surprise that this service would now move on to the interwebz, where it can reach and involve a whole lot more people. Enter Cuddlr, the app version of Cuddle Therapy (no affiliation with Travis Sigley).
First off, my internal grinch did rear its ugly head when I first heard about the app and my first thought was, “Pfffft! Yeah right! I’m sure people are going to use it as a sex app!” But then I read a little more about the idea behind the app in an article on Medium by founder Charlie Williams and my cold, cold heart started melting.
I love how Williams brings up the issue of how many people confuse “touch” with “sex” and how we need to address that. Perhaps because we get so little touch in our lives – especially when we’re single and the awkwardness of touching friends can sometimes leave us touch-less for months and even years – and on the occasion that we do touch it usually is a prelude to sex and perhaps that is how this association is made.
The app itself is simple to use. You need to log in with Facebook and you’ll be shown a list of cuddlers nearby. If you feel like cuddling anyone in particular just send them a request, which they’ll have 15 minutes to accept. If they accept, then you both can set a location and meet up to cuddle – either in public or in private. Each user will show a tally of how many successful cuddles he/she has had.
As for whether or not people will respect each other’s boundaries, Williams talks to Salon about this issue:
“Cuddling takes communication, respect for boundaries, and self-control. Some people will, of course, want to do more than cuddle. What we state in the app’s “Rules of the Road” is that you wait until the end of the cuddle, ask nicely, and be prepared to take either “yes” or “no” as an answer. Keep your cuddle a cuddle, don’t try to “change gears” midway through. And certainly don’t use this app to pick people up. Sex is a great thing too, but there are other apps for that. Use those ones if that’s what you’re looking for. Use Cuddlr when you want to hold and be held, to feel like all is right with the world, and to have a simple connection without expectation.”
Well for now it sounds idealistic and lovely, but certainly something to look into. Whether or not it will pick up in the long run, who’s to know, but I certainly think that we could use a little non-sexual contact in our lives. So here’s hoping!