"The Calm, Gentle Rise of Snugglers for Hire" (The Atlantic)

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My guess is that primary beneficiary of Rentafriend is the company. Like many systems, it's hard for an individual to get adequte volume, ignoring outliers. Transaction amounts are small, no barrier to entry, etc.

I've explored some of this and even for the normal free exchange of friendship, there's little interest. The masses remain skeptical and still think everyone is risky or that the time investment isn't worthwhile. There's this odd phenomena lately where people don't realy interact. They call and want input on silly issues for which all the answers are online. See, e.g., http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/can-google-search-for-fr...

Perhaps money makes these friendship contracts less covert, similar to those that argue for being sexually explicit with regard to dating. Is it friendship if you're essentially in a hospitality service business? Seems it's companionship at best. Despite OK online turned real world interactions over the years, I'm not sure I would actually want to be friends or even companions with these people. Relationships take energy. It seems that we tend to seek them when deficient and then question the energy consumption when involved in them. Is this grass is greener problem solvable? Or have humans not yet evolved to deal with so many humans?

Cuddling as a business is niche. It probably works financially, but not in all markets. Like other service businesses, it lacks scalability.

I do think that these folks should have some of the privacy obligations of therapists. Do those restreictions make therapists that much safer given that one can't undo letting the cat out of the bag?

Thanks Marnia.

I find it sad that our social connections are so alienating and isolating that many of us end up having to pay to be satisfied and then only partially. I wonder when we are going to have to pay to breathe?

Fortunately Consciousness is always free. Perhaps, along with death, it's the only thing we humans can't corrupt.

"Arnold"

If money is just a convenient

If money is just a convenient medium of exchange, why does it inherently corrupt the interaction? 

Death is a business. Clean air too, though it's less consumer oriented excluding, e.g., air filtration. 

Do those suffering mental health issues have free consciousness? What about the effects of social programming on consciousness?

Money and Corruption

Hi Freedom,

I don't think money has to necessarily corrupt the exchange but I will suggest that it usually magnifies the corruption (or lack of it) that exists already.

The sadness I experience is part of my grieving the loss of a dream of a healthy community. It’s a necessary part of confronting the unadorned reality of the culture in which I live. I suspect it comes from the dream created by the infant boy who didn’t quite get the love he needed from ordinary parents to thrive and prosper to his full potential. Imagine if that child had to pay to be held. About all he could do is incur a rather substantial debt to be repaid to his parents sometime in the distant future. I think, in reality, we do incur a debt. It’s called “social programming” and “loss of innocence”. It starts at birth.

If paying for affection is a necessary part of the healing process then I’m all for it. If it is simply a reflection of the new normal then I think we are in deep denial of how ill our communities are.

I’m not sure how death is a business. Certainly there are many forms of murder that extract a good revenue to the killer, services that ease the discomfort of a dying bodymind, and services that clean up the mess that is left behind, but death, to me is beyond that. It seems to me to be mysterious and unfathomable. The only culture I’ve known to make a concerted effort at cracking the mysteries of death are the Tibetans. The Bardo Thodol is a fascinating approach to the transition we call death. I’m not aware of how the Lama was supported. Perhaps it was his “business”, supported by the dying person’s will or immediate family(?), but that doesn’t fit my understanding of their culture at all. It seems to me, it was simply one of his duties as the spiritual steward of the community he served.

As far as Consciousness goes, I’m convinced that very few of us have free consciousnesses. In my understanding, the idea of “I” is precisely that … an idea that we believe very strongly. It’s probably the subtlest and most deeply rooted form of social programming. The people who I trust to have released their attachment to thought form, talk of experiencing themselves as one with all creation.

Thanks for writing and giving me a chance to ponder my thoughts more deeply!

Sincerely,

"Arnold"

Thank you for sharing that

Thank you for sharing that wonderful article. I can see how that would be very helpful for single, recovering pornography addicts, especially young men who may never have experienced intimate non-sexual contact with a woman. I hope this continues as a trend! I believe it has a place in our modern world.