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Rob Gould

Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002). Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).

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Posted: September 22, 2014

Cuddlr | It’s like Tinder for cuddling | Hug it out!

Written by: Rob Gould
Image Credit: bustle.com

Image Credit: bustle.com

Do you daydream about snuggling? Ever feel like spooning a random stranger? Well, have I got an app for you! I mean, c’mon, admit it. We all crave a hug every once in a while. Now you can get one without all those bothersome strings attached, like actually having to get to know someone. Who has the time for that? I don’t know about you, but I’m a very busy guy. VERY BUSY.

So, if cuddling with strangers is your bag, this is your lucky day. Cuddlr, the free location-based app for cuddling debuted on iTunes late last week.  The app allows you to “find people near you who are up for a cuddle … No pressure.” Awwwww. Now, no pressure presumably means “NO SEX,” which is kind of boring. But, whatever, you can’t have everything. I’ll take any physical contact I can get these days. Spooning my cat simply doesn’t cut it. It’s just not the same as clutching onto someone whose name I don’t know.

Anyway, I found out about Cuddlr last Friday after reading a post on New York Magazine‘s site:

For all those stranger-hug urges that are occasionally frowned upon, there’s a new app that Salon hails as the “Tinder of cuddles.” Cuddlr is a location-based app that helps you find a person in walking distance who also wants a hug. It’s simple: You select a person based on their first name, picture, and cuddle rating. You agree to meet, snuggle, and go your separate ways. You can even post a photo of your snug sesh, if you so choose!

What’s not to love about that? I just had to try it. So, I set out to give Cuddlr a test-drive over the weekend. I felt warm and fuzzy (and slightly embarrassed — DON’T TELL ANYONE!) as soon as I downloaded the app. It was definitely a rush.

Image Credit: nymag.com

Image Credit: nymag.com

Unfortunately, that rush has been the high point of my experience with Cuddlr. By far. First of all, Cuddlr hasn’t exactly had a lot of joiners in Portland, Maine. Yet. Minus this one super-creepy guy. I mean, creeeeeeeeeeeepy. He just kept sending me the same message — “Hug?” “Hug?” “Hug?” — like, 14 times. I don’t think you’re supposed to be able to do that. Stupid Cuddlr. I should have known when he didn’t have a “cuddle rating.” Anyway, I decided to pass on the hug. Call me a prude, but it just didn’t seem like a limb I wanted to go out on.

And, that is the extent of my experience with Cuddlr. It certainly has potential and maybe I’ll even try it out again later this week after people read this post and the app catches on like wildfire in Portland. As if.

My big question about Cuddlr is, what is going to stop people from using it to seek out more than a cuddle (ahem, sex)? Cuddlr’s creator, Charlie Williams, addresses that concern, along with our culture’s squeamishness about using an app for cuddling, but not for sex, in a long essay on Medium. In it, he makes a clear distinction between touch and sex.

“Will some people cuddle, and then decide they want more? Absolutely,” Williams writes. “Just like everything else people do together: rugby, pizza delivery, surgery, graduate degrees — some of the participants in these activities will decide they need to get it on together. So long as everyone stays communicative and respectful, this is great. Will a few people try to ‘upgrade’ their cuddle mid-flight? As much as we might wish it were otherwise: Yes, they probably will. For this reason, it’s possible to report someone who cuddles inappropriately, and we encourage first-time pairs to do their cuddling in a public place.”

So, listen up people … cuddle in a public place! Did you hear that? Sounds like a new trend to me. I can already see it going down in Monument Square. Hug it out!

 

For more news on the Cuddlr app, check out this article in the International Business Times.

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