Hooking up is all well and good — but have you ever found yourself thinking, “Gee, I just kind of want to cuddle with someone right now”? If your answer is yes, good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called Cuddlr, and it’s essentially Tinder — except it’s for cuddling, instead of hooking up. Awwwww.
At its core, Cuddlr works pretty much the same way other location-based social meeting apps do: You browse profiles; when you find someone with whom you’d like to cuddle, you send a request; they have 15 minutes to reply to your request; and then the app gives you both directions to each other. And after your cuddle? You just head your separate ways. No pressure. No commitments. Just pure, unadulterated cuddling.
I’ll admit that my initial reaction to the idea was, “NO I DO NOT WANT TO BE HUGGED BY STRANGERS THANK YOU VERY MUCH”… but that’s my own issue, not Cuddlr’s. In fact, even though I’m not really down with the idea of cuddling with people I don’t know myself, I can still definitely appreciate the sentiment behind the app. It’s the same reason I’m a sucker for things like the Someone You Love project: It facilitates connections expressly in a gentler, non-hookup kind of way — a sort of intimacy I think we sometimes lose sight of in our fast and crazy world. Here, check out its delightful promo video (which, by the way, has an amazing soundtrack. Seriously. Beautiful stuff):
Although I’m sure Cuddlr will end up beginning more than a few actual relationships, one of the other things I dig about it is that it’s more inclusive than that: According to co-creator Charlie Williams, the app actively encourages people to cuddle with someone they might not date. That’s why there’s no age or gender indication on each profile beyond what you can see from someone’s photo. Said Williams in a recent interview with Salon:
“The set of people you’d be interested in dating is probably much more specific than the set of people you’d consider cuddling. Straight people might not go on a date with someone of the same gender, but may consider cuddling them. So there’s no gender indication. OkCupid did a study showing that straight men spend a disproportionate amount of time contacting the youngest women on the site, that’s one of the reasons why there’s no age indication — the app is rated 17-plus on the App Store, though. So the key pieces of information are: first name, one photo and the number of positive and negative cuddles you’ve had so far.”
It’s easy to imagine Cuddlr being appropriated for more nefarious purposes (and I kind of hate that we live in a world that requires my brain to start imagining all of the possibilities immediately); the same is true of Tinder and other apps like it, though, and at least Cuddlr has a few security measures in place. Says the app's FAQ:
“For potential cuddlers, you can see how many successful and unsuccessful cuddles they’ve had in the past. Users with a substantial portion of reports are unlikely to have their requests accepted, and we ban anyone who is consistently using it improperly. In addition, we won’t share your location until you’ve indicated that you do actually want to cuddle this person, and you can block anyone if you don’t want them to even see you on the app.”
It’s nice to know that Cuddlr’s creators have thought the safety issue through so thoroughly on top of everything else.
Anyhoo, even though I probably won’t be partaking in Cuddlr, I’m kind of glad that it exists. It’s a reminder that, as awful as the world often seems, there are still a few bright spots floating around it. Have you cuddled someone special today?