Sunday, September 4, 2016

Cuddling with Strangers by Christine DePetrillo

I read an online article about someone who hired a professional cuddler. Yeah, I said a professional cuddler. As a person who isn’t all that fond of hugs from people I know, I was morbidly intrigued by the idea that someone would hire a total stranger and… umm… cuddle with them.

The article described how this person browsed through cuddlers’ profiles much the way you would do on an online dating site. There are rules, of course, about the kind of contact allowed and the preferences of the cuddler and… cuddlee? Some of the cuddlers even went so far as to outline what the person receiving the cuddling should wear. Maybe this is why I don’t successfully cuddle. I’ve been dressing all wrong for it.

I don’t know.

The dude who wrote the article tried out two different female cuddlers, both resulting in a description that sounded rather awkward to me.

But still… I was interested enough to think about this some more. My writer’s brain engaged. What circumstances would lead someone to hire a stranger for cuddling? What situations would unfold before, during, and after the cuddling? What kind of snacks does one serve at a “cuddling?”

Could a long-term relationship with a happily ever after bloom from such an encounter?

Suddenly I had two characters almost fully developed in my mind. Humorous scenes flashed before my eyes and lines of clever dialogue filled my ears. I even saw the cute dog the male character owns—an enormous bullmastiff who of course wants to cuddle too.

And he thinks he’s a small dog.

So I’m jotting things down in my writer’s notebook like an author possessed, getting more and more pumped for this new, shiny Idea when it hits me.

I still have three more books in the paranormal-contemporary series I’m currently working on to finish. I can’t put all that on the backseat to play with these cuddling characters who just decided to show up. Uninvited.

I can’t stop thinking about them though. Every day they whisper something to me. They refuse to be quiet. Or patient. They want their love story told.

They want to cuddle.

Does this ever happen to you? An idea—writing or something else creative—that won’t quit? How do you keep it under control while you finish other projects?



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Margo Hoornstra said...

Wow, Chris, where do you find these articles? Cuddling with strangers is just this side of creepy, while still being fascinating. When characters and such won't leave me alone, I tend to go for it. Write down what they offer and get back with them she I can.

Rolynn Anderson said...

I read the same article, Chris. I was weirded out, too, until I remembered about 'comfort' men and women. Remember the movie about the woman who had sex with the guy in the iron lung? That kind of comfort. Then there are whips and chains and red rooms. People can be downright peculiar, but the more you think about it, professional cuddling is quite benign ... and a lovely service for the needy. But don't ask me to cuddle a stranger. Like you, I'm not adept in that area...which is maybe why the concept became an ear worm.

Jannine Gallant said...

Creepy. Very, very creepy. Get a dog or a cat if you want to cuddle for heavens sake! I think I'm too focused on my WIP to get caught up in something else. I'm trying to work on my Christmas story, but I can't get motivated since I'm pretty immersed in my current book characters. I've never been one to have two projects going at a time. My process is too linear for that.

Christine DePetrillo said...

Ha, Jannine! I thought the same thing about getting a pet to cuddle instead. I know The Werewolf absolutely loves to cuddle as does one of my cats.

Andrea Downing said...

Weird. Totally. and very sad to think someone needs to hire a complete stranger to cuddle them 'cos there's no one else around. But as for other characters taking over the WIP and making me want to stop and get to them, all the time but I fight it. I tell them their time will come.

Leah St. James said...

Yeah, I'm with the creeped-out crowd. My writer's brain would be imagining all sorts of ulterior motives for the cuddler...or maybe the cuddlee, now that I think about it...none of them good! Fun post, Chris!

Alicia Dean said...

Very strange. I've heard about that as well, but I don't get what would make a person want to do that...just odd...and yes, creepy. But I'm like you, sometimes a new idea takes hold before I'm finished with my current project. When it does that, I just continue to write notes when ideas occur, and try to keep focused on my current WIP. Best of luck!

Diane Burton said...

I read a murder mystery earlier this year that featured professional cuddlers who had a club. I guess they do exist. Weird.