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Cuddle Cafe Steams Up Tokyo

Update Date: Oct 06, 2012 01:58 PM EDT

Life is hard. That is the plain and simple truth. As you get older, life becomes more complicated; Relationship troubles, money troubles, job pressures, family matters and just basic depression can trouble most of us.  Many people seek to alleviate stress in various ways. 

And while some of our stress relievers are harmful and some are benign, some are just plain strange.

The Japanese have come up with yet another novel way of dealing with too many people confined on an island---If you can't get any privacy or space, might as well let go of your inhibitions; Enter the Cuddle Café.
Cuddle Cafés known as Soineya (literally "sleep together shop") in Japanese, costs about 3,000 yen or $38 USD. The café gives customers the choice of the standard or optional cuddle session. The standard session is 3,000 yen ($38 USD) for 20 minutes of cuddling, while the optional session is 50,000 ($635 USD) for 10-hour sleeping/cuddling combo. All "co-sleeping" activities exclude sex or any other funny business.

There's also other options with extra fees like sleeping in the lady's arms, foot massages, and feeling the lady's hair. The cuddle employees are paid 3,500 yen ($44 USD) an hour.

Here in the U.S., a Penfield, New York woman named Jacqueline Samuel has opened a similar business offering the same service known as the "The Snuggery".  Which she runs out of her upstate NY cottage.

The 29-year-old said the non-sexual sessions vary, but she has a list of rules that customers must follow, including showering before appointments and no nudity.

Ms. Samuel stated, "I actually have very straightforward policies about where is okay to touch and where is not okay to touch."

Male and female customers, who so far have ranged in age from 21 to 84, can also fork over $50 for a 45-minute session and $90 for a 90-minute session.

I suppose most of us just have a need for human contact, but security must be tight in these establishments since napping in such close quarters, people can tend to forget themselves pretty quickly.  Also, given Japan's tendency to create robots for most tasks, how long will it be become an animatronic female (or male) can take the place of a human spooner?

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