”Professional cuddlers” charge for physical contact

Earlier this year, RealStars reported about the homepage Miss Travel, where attractive women could have the pleasure of being travel companions for rich men with all expenses paid. RealStars made a video response to Miss Travel to show how closely related buying human contact and its commercialization is to paying for sexual services, prostitution, trafficking and having a mentality which permits human trade.

Soon after, we wrote an article about the dating site “What’s Your Price“, where members put bids and pay for a date, again to note the commercialization of human contact.

Thoughts and reflections regarding the commercialization of human contact rose once again after we read an article in Aftonbladet in November. The article was about an alternative and unusual way to earn money; being a professional cuddler. A woman in Rochester, New York, earns about 2000 SEK every day by cuddling with different men and women who claim to need human contact. According to the woman, many of her victims have lost loved ones and need to experience physical contact again.

It also states that the woman has been accused of being a prostitute. An exaggerated statement that doesn’t really reflect the real world. We can ponder however, how common it is for people to “buy” each other for a short while. As a travel companion, a date or for physical intimacy. How does this affect our view on purchasing sexual services? Will we get used to the idea that other people and their bodies are for sale? Do we somehow become desensitized about the fact that millions of women and children are sold and smuggled around the world with the purpose having their bodies sold to people who pay for sexual services and support the commercialization of human goods?

Elin Weiss & Hennie Weiss for RealStars