Wisconsin, the anti-snuggling, no 'cannibal sandwich' nanny-state state

Wisconsin, the anti-snuggling, no 'cannibal sandwich' nanny-state state
A not-uncommon sight in winter in Wisconsin. Is it any wonder some folks there might like a little snuggling, even if they have to pay for it? (Jeffrey Phelps / EPA)

Is there something in the (frozen) water in Wisconsin? First came news of the great "cannibal sandwich" crackdown, and now comes "The Snuggle House" hullabaloo.

If you don't know what a cannibal sandwich is (trust me, you aren't alone), you can go to my earlier post and read all about it (warning, you might not want to try it on a full stomach; just sayin').


But if you thought that issuing a warning about that peculiar culinary treat was another sign of encroachment by the nanny state, then you might be equally chagrined at the latest attack on civil liberties by the non-snuggling grinches of Madison.

The Snuggle House had come up with a seemingly ideal business model: For $60, a client could get one hour of snuggling with a professional, well, snuggler. (Probably you can get a degree in this, though I'm not sure at exactly which colleges: USC, maybe? Or Arizona State? Not Stanford or UC Berkeley, though, oh no.)

This seemed the perfect business for Madison. After all, who couldn't use a hug? And especially in Wisconsin, where the temperature at 2 p.m. on Monday was a not-so-balmy 10 degrees.

Anyway, here's what the other New York paper (the Daily News, the one with the interesting stories) reported:

"The benefits of touch therapy are proven by modern science," the Snuggle House's website states. "Increased oxytocin levels and a sense of well-being can last for days after a snuggling session."

Before its opening, the facility's manager, Hannah Rode, insisted in October that clients would be cut loose if they tried to turn the snuggling into something sexual.

"I just think it would be a world of a difference for so many people if they could come here and feel the support," Rode, who has a background in social work, told Channel 3000, a local CBS affiliate. "I'm totally ready for people to be against it or not understand, and I'm OK with it."

Of course she is; she's open-minded, and good for her. But not so the burghers of Madison, who apparently suspected that there was more than snuggling going on and had planned a "snuggle sting" to weed out this nefarious nonsense.

Oh, and just how did they know? Simple: female intuition.

"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."

To which I say, just a goldarn minute there, missy!

First of all, there's no place in today's world for that kind of sexist innuendo — and that "no offense to men" clause isn't a "get out of jail free" card either.

And second, I happen to know men — having actually, you know, been one for more years than I care to count — and we do too like to snuggle. Especially if we're forking over 60 bucks for it. We may be pigs, but we're also cheap.


OK, yes, it's true, we do on occasion prefer something, uh, more active: like snuggling and watching football, or snuggling and eating ("no cannibal sandwiches for me, please, I never mix cuddling and cannibalism"), or even snuggling and getting our backs rubbed after a hard day of shoveling ice and snow off frozen Wisconsin driveways.

And if we don't happen to have a snuggler of our own, why shouldn't we be able to spend a few of our hard-earned dollars for a professional?

I ask you, where will these assaults on our liberties end? They've already come for our raw-meat sandwiches. Now they've taken aim at paying for snuggling.

"On, Wisconsin!" indeed. They keep this up and before you know it, the rest of the state's going to be moving to California.

To which I say: Welcome, Wisconsin snugglers yearning to cuddle free; the Golden State lifts up its palm trees to you.

But not those cannibal sandwiches, OK?


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