I was a little perplexed by this recent article in the Wall Street Journal. It seems that a cuddle deficit is sweeping the nation and thus cuddle centers are opening nationwide. I certainly understand both the need and the power of contact. I have seen all the research on the power of touch and the power of attachment. I have read about how the touch of a partner or a pet can drastically and quickly calm someone’s nervous system, but a stranger? That part is pretty interesting!
Can a stranger’s touch calm us in the same way as a loved one’s? I think not. I remember a photographer study a few years ago that set up random New Yorkers in intimate poses. The individuals that were photographed said they felt close to the stranger they were posed with just because they were in intimate poses. But is it really the same to be touched by a stranger? These centers are not claiming that it is. It just brings the question up for me and I throw it out to all of you. When you long for touch is it with someone who know you well or will any hugger do?