NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Everybody Needs a Hug

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After its launch was delayed for a month by the Madison, Wis., city attorney, Snuggle House was cleared and scheduled to open on Nov. 15 to provide in-bed, pajama-clad "intimate, non-sexual touch[ing]" for $60 an hour. "So many people," assistant manager Emily Noon said, "don't have a significant other in their lives" and "just need to be held" (including, she said, the elderly and hospice patients, among the target clientele). The city's delay was, a spokesman said, to assure that Snuggle House had protocols for dealing with "risky" situations in which a customer refuses to take "no sex" for an answer. The staff has panic buttons and prominent surveillance cameras are installed.

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