It sounds like someone could use a hug. Just three weeks after opening, Matthew Hurtado has closed up shop on his controversial Snuggle House in Madison, Wisconsin. His attorney, Timothy Casper, confirmed on Monday that the cuddle business had been shut down due to negative publicity and harassment from city officials.
The Snuggle House as intended to be part of the growing trend of touch therapy, but law enforcement officials worried that it was just a front for prostitution. The establishment was above a bar near the state Capitol, and offered customers “an hour of cuddling in a bed with a professional snuggler for $60.”
No word on whether the professionals were credentialed by Cuddle College or not.
Hurtado had a strict no sex rule for the snuggle sessions, and security cameras and panic buttons were installed in each room. He also promised to perform background checks on clients, which I’m sure people desperate enough to pay for hugs just loved.
More from The Stir: New Mattress Designed Specifically for Snuggling Is Hilarious (PHOTOS)
Police said they were planning a “routine” sting operation to test the legitimacy of the operation. Police Lt. David McCaw said, "That's just what we do, for drugs, bars, anywhere we think it's beneficial. We do it all the time. You can't expect that's not going to happen to you."
Womp womp. No professional hugs for you, Wisconsin!
Casper says that the Snuggle House only had two or three dozen customers during the short time it was open, which if I do my math right, is not enough to keep a business running even at $60 an hour.
Of course I just want to know who these people are, and if they really got what they came for. If it really was strictly snuggles, I wonder how many customers left unsatisfied.
Would you pay for cuddles?
Image via Alexandra Rios/Flickr