New Trends of socializing – Cuddle Café !

R.D. Bhardwaj “Noorpuri”

Long long ago, a great writer and Greek philosopher, Aristotle, had said that man, by nature, is a social animal and he cannot and should not stay alone. Society is simply indispensable for his overall well-being. He likes the company of his friends, relatives, colleagues and other such people who generally provide him company on regular basis or after occasional internals. He needs to talk to them, discus things or problems with him or her which he finds somewhat ticklish and needs other people to provide some solution to the problems. Sometimes, he just wants to interact with them as he needs their company to release his emotions and sentiments and some other inner most thoughts which have remained smouldering in his mind or heart.

But as the times change, the needs of people grew many-fold and the people are required to work for long hours to earn huge money which they need to buy costly things and conveniences for themselves or for the good of their families. Today people also work in shift duties and their duties start either in morning, or in middle of the day or evening and sometimes even at night. More than 50 years ago, our senior people were often used to sermonize that days are made by God to work and nights are meant for taking rest and spending some quality time with our family members.

But nowadays, things have changed drastically and alarmingly and now it is not surprising to note if one listens to person who says his duty starts at 5.00 PM or 8.00 PM, as they are working in a company who have business relations with MNCs located either in USA, UK or even Australia. And working at such odd hours certainly puts the employees at some risk of uncomfortable office atmosphere and which often troubles his mind and body in an adverse manner as compared to those who work during day times only. It derives to him more physical and mental stress and fatigue.

When such uncalled for working hours or duty hours have become a routine these days, people have also invented new things for making them tension or stress free. Thus, Cafeterias or Cafes came into existence which provide you coffee / tea / snacks or some minor foods items any time of the day or night. When internet started in India in early nineties and computers were also costly for common people then, Cybre Cafes were opened to the public which made provisions for the people to go there and take the advantage of internet service of those shops by making payment on the basis of taking their service for number of hours.

Now this concept of providing services to people have extended much beyond one’s imagination and people are ready to provide services to other people in the domains unheard of just 5/6 years ago. Thus, the concept of “Cuddle Café” has now come into existence, where service providers not only talk sweetly and in a friendly manner with you, but also ready to sleep with you, to a limited level. You can go there and cuddle and hug those strangers and also with members of your opposite sex.

The purpose of providing this kind of service is to help the people release their tension, stress and fatigue in such a manner that they open up with you in a friendly manner. In other words, you can say that their cuddles or hugs are for hire which you can buy at some cost, and in lieu of it, the employees of the Cuddle Café hug you, massage your head, shoulders, foot and even backs in such a manner that when their cuddle session is over, you are enabled to go home free of tension / stress and bodily aches also, at least to some extent. They help you to get rid of your scolded and wrinkles forehead and bring smiles on your face.

I remember, around 5/6 years ago, I watched a Sanjay Dutt starrer movie (Munna Bhai MBBS) in which the hero Sanjay Dutt often hugs someone whom he finds in some trouble or tension and his hugs were called “Jadu Ki Japhi.” Even otherwise, if you ask some psychologist or psychiatrist, he will inform you what goes through your body and mind when you hug someone…….. Actually, a simple but strange science which functions on cuddling is that – the physical contact like hug produces a hormone known as Oxytoxin. Oxytoxin is produced in the human brain and it is secreted into the bloodstream by the posterior pituitary gland. Secretion depends on electrical activity of neurons in the hypothalamus – and it is released into the blood when these cells are excited or activated. This is also called “love hormone”, “chemical messenger” and “cuddle chemical”. This is the same hormone which helps the mothers to get rid of pains and also create a congenial bond between her and the infant when babies are born. Thus, the oxytoxin acid which gets released from your body on hugging, automatically stimulates to unload the burden of stress, anxiety, agony and tension and new smile starts playing on your lips.

The simple act of bodily contact inspires / provokes your brain to release low levels of oxytoxin — both in yourself and in the person you are touching. It is almost instantaneous way to establish confidence and trust with the person in distress. And remember, the effect of this molecule continues to linger on even afterward. There’s even evidence that simply gazing at some beautiful person will also do the trick — or even just thinking about them. And the good part of this harmone is that it is not limited to the human species only; it also helps to hug and play with your pets and other domestic animals.

This is also the simple reason and science we find working behind the psychology when we watch on TV that some Research Officer of Discovery Channel or National Geographic or Animal Planet slowly and steadily move closer to the beastly animals like lions, tigers, poisonous snakes, elephants and some other dangerous animals. And within a few minutes, those ferocious animals are also seen cuddling the research officers, as they also tend to develop a good rapport with the beasts, because the oxytoxin hormone gets activated in animals also which in turn, stimulates them to respond positively to the friendly contacts.

This harmone is also referred to as the “love molecule”; oxytoxin is typically associated with helping couples establish a greater sense of intimacy and involvement. Oxytoxin, along with dopamine and norepinephrine, are believed to be highly critical in human pair-bonding. And during the orgasm itself, the brain is flooded with oxytoxin — a possible explanation for why (some) couples like to cuddle even after. But oxytoxin isn’t just limited to helping couples come together — it’s an indispensable part of childbirth and mother-infant bonding. Oxytoxin also helps women get through labour and the mothers experience somewhat lesser degree of birth pangs. After birth, mothers can establish intimacy, oneness and trust with their babies through gentle touches and even a loving or longing gaze. In addition, mothers can pass on oxytoxin to their babies through breast feeding them.

Another big property of this hormone is its ability to break-down social barriers, induce feelings of optimism, increase self-esteem, and build trust and thus oxytoxin is increasingly being seen as something that can help people overcome their social and racial inhibitions and fears. Studies also show that it may be effective in treating debilitating shyness, aloofness or to help people with any form of anxieties and mood disorders. It is also believed that oxytoxin can help people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

Such Cuddle Cafes have started operating in Japan, UK, Singapore, USA and some other European countries as well. But it should be noted that these cuddling sessions strictly limit your cuddles to “non-sexual” things only and up to navel and below knees only, i.e. the area of our body between navel and knees is strictly prohibited. The customer are forbidden not to go beyond that level and these Cuddle Cafes have to first get licence from some government agency to start this kind of business. The service providers of cuddle cafés charge anything from $ 25 for a short session of 20 minutes up to $ 200 to $ 250 for a long session of four hours, depending upon the country and locality where you are getting this service.