No wonder Islamic fundamentalists are confident that they are assured victory in the clash of civilizations. The West keeps providing them with abundant evidence that it is emasculated, dispirited, and has lost the will to do anything but curl up in the fetal position and surrender.
An article online at Rolling Stone reports on the trend of professional cuddling, which seems to be booming in the era of the Trump presidency because so many people are triggered by having a law-and-order defender of Western civilization in the Oval Office.
You read that right: professional cuddling. For adults. To cuddle.
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. Cuddle Party, founded by relationship coaches Reid Mihalko and Marcia Baczynski in 2004 in Manhattan, was one of the first organized groups for those looking to engage in facilitated touch workshops. Now, Cuddle Party trains group cuddle facilitators and hosts parties worldwide from Australia to Utah. Since their incorporation in 2016, Cuddlist has fielded over 5,000 client requests and has trained over 200 practitioners.
"What this means is that we will feel more connected, empathetic, content, [have] lower stress, anxiety and depression," says Samantha Hess, owner and professional cuddler at Cuddle Up To Me. "We will sleep better, have higher metabolic function, increase our immune response, and even decrease our impulse behavior – like drinking because the world is doomed."
There apparently are legitimate enough reasons why one might seek out a professional cuddling experience: adults who are on the autistic spectrum, those healing from sexual trauma, those dealing with sexual dysfunction, or older virgins practicing touch in a safe environment. Fair enough. But Rolling Stone (RS) reports that since the November election of Donald Trump, cuddling services have seen a spike in business:
"The holiday season was the first time that since Trump won the election that a lot of people were seeing their family," says Adam Lippin, co-founder and CEO of Cuddlist, which provides training services to professional cuddlers and allows clients to search listings of "Cuddlists" nearby. "People with different political views were going to be in the same place with relatives. That was the first hit of people having to confront it in a significant way. We saw an uptick around that."
...Jean Franzblau, who would go on to found Cuddle Sanctuary, created Cuddle Sanctuary in 2014, after attending her first group cuddle event, to help others realize their own touch needs. Since the election, Cuddle Sanctuary has seen 252 new clients beginning as early as the day following the election. The usual Wednesday night cuddle workshop following the decision was dubbed "Election Detox." Five of the 21 attendees were new.
RS explains further:
As executive orders, cabinet appointments, abuse of power, protests and other signs of political unrest sweep the nation, there's a sense of unease brewing in many. They are turning to alternative forms of care to alleviate these fears.
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?"
"When we have a figurehead who's dismissing those values and demonstrating that it's not important, it's an opportunity for the rest of us to say, 'This is who we are and this is what we want,' and to take more action around it," Madelon Guinazzo, co-founder of Cuddlist, says.
"The skills we're teaching in Cuddle Party are, 'What do I know to be true, right now in this moment?'" Baczynski adds. "When something's not right – or when something is right – let's listen to that. I think that's a really important counter when there's someone running the country who's acting like an out of control, abusive father."
"In regards to the Trump administration, this practice is really inoculating me from the drama and trauma that I'm witnessing on Facebook," Franzblau says. "I'm getting the boost that I need on a regular basis that helps me feel like a human instead of a panic machine."
Is it any wonder that Donald Trump won the election? Is it any wonder that ISIS believes we are weak and decadent?