After a one-month delay, The Snuggle House, offering $60-an-hour “snuggle” sessions, opened for its first day of business Friday at a second-floor, walk-up office at 123 E. Main St. in Madison.
Lonnie Johnson, one of four staff members at the touch-therapy business owned by Matthew Hurtado, said two appointments were handled Friday.
Johnson, who responded to a knock by a reporter at the locked office door, also said staff were relieved to see the business get past the city paperwork problems and regulatory issues that had prevented the business from opening as planned on Oct. 15.
Problems included incomplete city and fire inspections, lack of an occupancy permit and absence of a formal business plan, which raised concerns from city lawyers that the business could be a prostitution front.
Hurtado could not be reached for comment Friday. He told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the office has eight security cameras in a 1,200-square-foot space, with clients and staff to be instructed on appropriate boundaries for non-sexual cuddling. He said the cuddling stimulates oxytocin to make clients feel “safe and connected to others,” according to the story.
The business, which operates by appointment, has no identifying signs on the street, while inside, at the top of the stairs, it boasts only a doormat with the business name on it in front of a solid-wood door.