Cuddling could be good for your brain. Seriously. It could also be good for your immune system and your mental health. It boosts your general feeling of wellbeing and connection. And, if you don’t have someone in your life you can hire one to just cuddle with you. Yes, just cuddle. Yes, in South Africa.
Procuddling SA offers professional cuddling services in South Africa, 24/7, and their services include the LGBTQI+ community. One caveat, though: it’s just cuddling, no funny business.
Okay. Let’s rewind this a little bit because I totally get how outlandish this sounds. Hiring someone to just cuddle with you? What’s up with that? A lot. Let me explain.
The brain produces a chemical called oxytocin. It’s often called the “love hormone” or the “cuddle hormone” and it’s one of those brain chemicals that assist in helping you feel that all is right with the world. It’s called a neurotransmitter and it’s most commonly associated with childbirth and breastfeeding.
I know, I know. What does that have to do with queer folk? Stay with me here.
Every time we listen to music or experience a loving touch, have sex or, indeed, cuddle, the brain releases oxytocin which then makes us feel really good. That feel-good sensation leads to better mental health and wellness as well as a reduction in pain.
The thing is, not all of us have someone to cuddle with and boost our brain hormones. And, according to one anaesthesiologist, Gen Z is lonely – and it shows when they go under anaesthetic.
However, there are many of us who are in fact lonely and crave the close contact we can have with another human being. This is where hiring a pro-cuddler comes in. Just as you would hire someone to come in and paint your house, you can hire someone to come in and boost your brain chemicals.
Think of the pro-cuddler performing the same kind of service as a therapeutic masseuse.
The pro-cuddling trend started in the USA in 2016 with the advent of cuddle parties, allowing individuals to get their cuddle fix in a safe and supportive environment with like-minded people. This later involved into cuddle services, aimed at alleviating the powerful desire to be held and experience physical touch.
The cuddling “industry” is particularly popular in parts of Asia, Australia and the USA. Now, of course, you don’t have to be single and lonely to enjoy this service, although a lot of cuddle clients may be single. It’s definitely not a dating service. Think of the pro-cuddler performing the same kind of service as a therapeutic masseuse.
Procuddling SA offers cuddling services that range from 90 minutes to 12 hours, and they have been inundated with clients, as well as job seekers who are keen to become a professional cuddler.
According to Procuddling SA, the service involves embracing the client in a consensual, non-sexual manner for a set period of time. And, as I said earlier, they provide cuddling services to everyone, including the LGBTQI+ community.
Wayne Flemming, a Johannesburg-based sexoligist and relationship coach, also hosts a regular “cuddle club” for all queer male-bodied people; from gay, bi, questioning, trans, to hetero-curious and hetero-flexible men. He describes it as a safe space and “a haven where you can let your guard down and bask in the shared warmth of our community.”
Flemming says these cuddling events will boost your well-being and help you find a deep sense of belonging. “We laugh, cry, connect, and hold each other – creating personal confidence and intimacy through these unconventional and fully clothed techniques. And if you were wondering, I don’t have sex with my clients,” he adds.
Next time your curl up with your person in front of the TV, consider that they’re helping you to boost your immune system and improve your mental health. And you are doing the same for them. And, if he isn’t doing it right or you just don’t have a partner, you can always contact a pro!
Procuddling SA can be found at procuddlingsa.co.za and you can contact Wayne Flemming about his Cuddle Club at www.wayneflemming.com.