Apparently, privileged lefties are so shaken by the election of President Trump that they are seeking out professional “cuddling services.”  For $80/hour they sit in their jammies and “safely” touch and cuddle like-minded strangers.

Rolling Stone reports:

On a Saturday night in Venice, California, light spills from an open door on an otherwise dark street. The space appears to be an art gallery or studio: blank walls, cubbies for shoes and personal items and cushioned mats and pillows lining half of the room’s hardwood floor.

Twelve individuals filter into the room – dressed in pajamas, yoga attire, sweatpants – some more confidently than others. There are a handful who remove their shoes immediately and find a place on the floor, blanket in tow, presumably preparing for some grand slumber party or group nap. Each visitor is greeted by a woman wielding an iPad. “Would you like a hug?” she asks.

. . . . 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.

Apparently these “cuddle groups” have been taking place for years, but they’ve seen a spike since President Trump’s election.

Rolling Stone continues:

But what makes the organized effort of being held, a service that comes with a cost (Cuddlist sessions go for $80 an hour), something that aids in relieving the fear and discomfort that has come with Trump’s presidency?

Professional cuddling is one of the latest iterations of self-care and wellness, focusing on touch therapy. Since the early 2000s, the field of professional cuddling as a therapeutic tool has transitioned from stigmatized field with pay-for-sex undertones to a legitimate service for healing with proven health benefits.

. . . .  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?”

Not up for cuddling? No worries, you can also spend your time in the “cuddle sanctuary” coloring in coloring books.  There was no mention of Play-doh in the article, but if you ask nicely, I’m sure you can bring your own.

Watch a 2014 (i.e. pre-Trump) report on “cuddle parties”: