Would Jesus Snuggle?

The other day one of my friends posted a link on facebook that just stopped me.  I wasn’t even sure exactly what to do with it – it’s just dumbfounding.  And yet . . . it’s not.  Which is why she posted it.

There is a new place called The Snuggery.  Basically the idea is that we all need physical touch and intimacy.  It brings healing and comfort.  But sense most people don’t have it, this lady has started a business.  I’m not making this up.  For $50 you can have a 45 minute snuggling session.  There are two professional snugglers.  You can snuggle with both for $100.  Again, I’m not kidding.

It’s not to be sexual and it must be fully clothed (pajamas are ok though).  Just wear what you are comfortable in.  You can talk or not talk.  Whatever you want.  You just snuggle. You get to be touched.

I’m literally not sure whether to laugh or cry.  Seriously.  In a way it breaks my heart.  This is where we are at as a society.  We are this alone.

Now I guarantee there are some married people who haven’t snuggled at home in a while, which is tragic.  But as a single person this is a huge issue.

I mentioned this in one of my first blogs.  One of the absolutely hardest things as a single is the lack of touch.  And the older you get, the more this is true. What these ladies have right is that touch matters.  Under the heading of WHY SNUGGLE they list out the benefits of intimate, nonsexual touch.  They aren’t wrong about any of it.  And as their lead sentence says, “Why Snuggle? Quite simply because it makes us feel good.”

But if you are single what do you do with this?  If it is true that we need touch, what do we do?

The problem is exasperated by several things.  First off we have had a lot of bad physical touch in our culture.  Over the course of their lifetime 28% of kids age 14-17 have been sexually violated in some way.  This doesn’t even begin to include physical abuse or physical neglect.  That is the world we are growing up in.

Secondly, we have a much more isolated world.  We are way more likely to work alone, and 28% of us live alone. (Now if half of us are married that means that 50% of single people live by themselves.)  That does not lead to good touch.  It leads to isolation.

Finally, partly in response to all of the above and the sexually immoral culture that we live in, the Church has told us not to touch anyone.  Kiss dating goodbye.  Don’t touch or it could lead to sex.  I get it, I really do, but man, if we don’t touch at all, that can’t be good.  We can’t live in fear and call it religion.

I can speak from personal experience here.  I went 10 years without kissing anyone (age 25-35).  Most of that was spent with very little touch.  There were lots of reasons.  But to be honest as I turned the corner of 30 I was messed up, and I’d say lack of touch contributed to that.  I remember feeling awkward even hugging sometimes.

I’ll be honest and say I’m not sure how to fix all this.  I’m not suggesting the Church start establishing Christian Snuggeries.  But I know that we need an answer.  We need something different than “don’t have sex” and “don’t go to far”.  Why should two women be addressing this while we stand on the sidelines?

Appropriate touch is vital.  I can’t remember where I saw it but there is a video of nuns in a poor country taking in dying children.  You know the first thing they did?  They hugged them and held them for extended periods.

In Mark 2 a leper approaches Jesus.  Back then, lepers were separated out and seen as unclean.  They were to avoid contact with the “clean” people at all costs.  In fact there was a six foot rule that said no one was supposed to be within six feet of them.

But as this guy approaches Jesus, he doesn’t move out of the way.  Now Jesus could have said the word and this man would have been healed of leprosy.  But he still would have been untouched, and maybe people would have wondered, “is he really well?”

In one of the most simple, powerful moments in Jesus’ ministry, he reached out and touched the man.  He knew he needed more than a physical healing – he needed to know he was touchable.

Somehow we have to rescue this.  We have to know that not only are we “Christian” or “Saved” but that we are touchable.  Whatever message we send the single person, that has to be part of it.

Have you ever suffered from lack of touch? Where do you go for appropriate touch?

12 thoughts on “Would Jesus Snuggle?

  1. This is a very good post. You’re right, we can’t live in fear and call our selves free in Christ. I think churches have certainly had good reasons to warn us not to touch as it may lead to sex. On the other hand, we haven’t had the conversation about the lack of touch and what consequences may result. May we be a generation that would truly live out our convictions in the way your title alludes to….the good old “what would Jesus do”. Jesus would not make one more rule (about how to, when to touch etc). He would show love through touch, as He did to the leper.

  2. First, I love reading your posts. They are so…validating to me and make me feel less alone in my “aloneness” so thank you.

    Second, having a snuggle parlor is kind of a brilliant idea, almost like the ear cleaning parlors in Japan. It DOES beg the question, “For heaven’s sake why?!”

    I think women have it a little easier in terms of the “snuggle” business. I don’t feel to odd laying my head on my fathers shoulder, or my mothers lap when I visit them at their home. There are moments in time when I am starved for positive touch, and I count working in the nursery a blessing with unexpected hugs and little ones sitting on your lap, or a deep hug from a good friend.

    Hugs are so underrated.

    • This is true! Women in church can usually ask other women (and sometimes even men) for a hug whenever they want one, but men can’t really ask anyone for a hug without people thinking he is some odd, creepy, perv! Such is the world of men!

  3. What a great revelation about Jesus touching the leper! I’m blessed to have affectionate friends and usually I get at least one hug on Sundays after church but I’m sure I could use them more often. Not sure what the answer is…I’ll try to be more conscious about offering a hug myself.

  4. Pingback: Should We Touch Each Other? | More Than Don't Have Sex

  5. I thought this post was about Snuggles ,the Teddy bear, whom I hug 😉 . I always wonder if Jesus and the church would approve of this? I imagine him to be my child or pet. I am single, yearning for touch, I guess. I remember as a little girl I was hugged a lot, then as an adult the hugs stopped. In my family, my brothers were not to hug me. My dad stopped when I became an adult. In Asian families, it is taboo . So I grew up thinking Caucasians are more touchy feely in general and more open to touch.

  6. Thank you for this. I haven’t been asked out in a long time and this is what I miss the most…just simple, non sexual touch, hand holding, etc. I went on an overseas mission trip earlier this year and what I loved most about it was snuggling and holding the kids, I literally had kids jump up into my arms wanting me to cuddle them and hold them. Some would not even let me put them down! Needless to say touch is definitely my strongest ‘love language’. I do get hugs from my girlfriends and friends at church but it isn’t nearly enough of what I need. I am def lacking severely in my touch needs but not sure what to do about it..

  7. Thank you for posting this, I have been searching online for years, for someone to validate my experience. I figured I was the only one. I have had a touch deficit for years especially from the opposite sex. It is important for opp sex parents to show affection to their children so they will not be starving for it. Which is why there is such a great propensity for fatherless daughters to become promiscuous or sexually active early. I thank God I did not, i do get upset when people say let God “hold or hug” you, that’s great, but God put people here for a reason. We need actual physical touch and not only spiritual touch .So please let me know when there’s a healthy solution!

  8. I’ve had a severe touch deficit for a long time. I had a very huggy family, but I live several hours away now. To add to it, I don’t really have any friends outside of work. It makes me feel like a leper. Since I don’t really have anywhere to go for appropriate touch, I just try not to think about it.

  9. Pingback: We All Need Touch | More Than Don't Have Sex

  10. Gentle, non-threatening physical touch is so rare for me now…….I am kind of indifferent about it now. For awhile touch was almost “painful” to me and I actually began to actively avoid it by my late twenties, and for awhile in my thirties I found it almost repulsive…….when was it, 35 or so……I tried to “remember” when was the last time someone hugged me. It was when I was twenty three when I left home on the east coast for California (my parents). I realize now that I was so starved for touch that my body began to shut down to it, and resist it. When I led my Cub Scout Pack, I wasn’t “allowed” to hug the young boys so that wasn’t too bad…….on the rare occasion when a fellow church member gives me a light hand on the shoulder it really doesn’t do anything anymore (good or bad) and I guess that is okay now.

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