…Snuggling!

Customers at Madison’s new Snuggle House can snuggle with professional cuddlers for $60 an hour. Supporters say the business helps people relax through non-sexual touch. But city officials suspect the Snuggle House may be a thinly veiled brothel and cuddling will lead to sexual assault. Hurtado’s past is raising red flags; he has filed for bankruptcy twice, written a book about a sex addict meeting a supernatural being and according to city attorneys has worked as a stripper.

Matthew Hurtado, owner of The Snuggle House in Madison, WI. -AP Photo

 

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 touching helps relieve stress. But Madison officials suspect the business is a front for prostitution and, if it’s not, fear 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 at the business, and city attorneys 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.”

Snuggle House owner Matthew Hurtado hasn’t responded to multiple requests for an interview. His attorney, Tim Casper, said in an interview last month the business is legitimate and Hurtado has put precautions in place to protect clients and employees from each other.

Read more at No hugs allowed? Madison targets pro cuddlers

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