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?