Japan’s Cuddle Cafe: Where you can pay to sleep with a stranger

ImageTokyo now has a “co-sleeping specialty shop” where you can pay to sleep with an attractive young woman. Admission is about 3,000 yen, or $40. From there, you can choose the duration of your cuddle time – 20 minutes ($40) to 10 hours ($645). Does that last one include a bathroom break?! Extras are going to cost you. If you want to sleep in the girl’s arms, pet her on the head or get a foot massage, three minutes will cost $13. Giving her a foot massage is double – $26. Giving her a foot rub costs more than getting one. Obviously, Japan is a land of enthusiastic foot rubbers.

Crazy as it might sound, the cafe may be on to something. Urbanization reduces meaningful human contact, turning everyone into their own islands. But human touch is critical to our health. Cuddling releases oxytocin which reduces stress, social anxiety and pain, and lowers one’s risk of heart disease. It releases hormones that boost your immune system and dopamine which increases sexual desire.

ImageCan’t make it to Tokyo? New York has a professional cuddler whose business is so robust she’s hired more cuddlers. A 45 minute snuggle session will set you back $50, add another cuddler and that’s $100. LA offers a cuddle service with both men and women cuddlers. And a New York company is in its 11th year of offering pajama cuddle parties. It looks like there’s a market hungry for no-strings-attached cuddling.

If someone offers fresh chocolate chip cookies, an hour of Netflix and the guarantee they’ll play with my hair, this scientist is signing up!

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