Business selling snuggles raises suspicion in Madison, Wis.
By Todd Richmond
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin’s ultra-liberal capital city is a place where just about anything goes, from street parties to naked bike rides. But city officials say a business is pushing even Madison’s boundaries by offering, of all things, hugs.
For $60, customers at the Snuggle House can spend an hour hugging, cuddling and spooning with professional snugglers.
Snugglers contend that touching helps relieve stress. But Madison officials suspect that the business is a front for prostitution and, if it’s not, fear that snuggling could lead to sexual assault. Not buying the message that the business is all warm and fuzzy, police have talked openly about conducting a sting operation, and city lawyers are drafting a new ordinance to regulate snuggling.
“There’s no way that [sexual assault] will not happen,” Assistant City Attorney Jennifer Zilavy said. “No offense to men, but I don’t know any man who wants to just snuggle.”