Next up for synthetic relationships: cuddle parties. So yeah, sometimes it's hard to find someone to cuddle with, but is this "latest craze" any less bizarre than the above-linked imaginary girlfriends?

It's not about sex and all about the touchy-feely experience of snuggling up to perfect strangers wearing pajamas.

The grab fests are called cuddle parties, and since they started in New York in February, hundreds of people have paid $30 each to touch and embrace others in intimate gatherings.

Everyone needs to be cuddled, especially in lonely New York, say creators Reid Mihalko and Marcia Baczynski who say it's a good way to meet new and interesting people.

Everyone needs to be cuddled... so let's cut out all the preliminaries and get right to it! I'm sure you'll feel amazingly fulfilled the morning after.
Curiosity is a big driver for people who attend cuddle parties, and it is a better way to meet people than going to a bar, getting drunk and spending the night with someone just because of the need for some affection, she said.
If that's the only alternative you can think of, that's pretty sad.

This kind of story is actually a little comforting to me, because it indicates that I'm not the only person having trouble establishing a meaningful relationship. On the other hand, it's disheartening to see just how desperate and lonely it's possible to get. I think many of the problems my generation has with intimacy come from the divorces of our parents -- but that's for another post.



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