Reading Alex Williams’ article in the Sunday New York Times – Pillow Talk with a Professional Cuddler – reminded me of Kent Haruf’s last novel, Our Souls At Night.
In the article, Williams interviewed a professional cuddler whose day job was managing a vegan restaurant. Cuddle parties, usually held at yoga studios are nonsexual and capitalize on the power of touch to promote positive effects both mentally and physically. National Institute of Health studies show that “touch increased levels of oxytocin, which lowered the levels of stress hormones in the body, reducing blood pressure, improving mood, increasing tolerance for pain and perhaps even speeding how fast wounds heal.”
In Haruf’s story, widow Addie asks her neighbor, a widower, to cuddle with her at night. Read my review here.
One of my book clubs is discussing Haruf’s book soon – an opportunity for hugs.