October 15, 2013: Matthew Hurtado talks about The Snuggle House in downtown Madison, Wis. Customers at Madison’s new Snuggle House can snuggle with professional cuddlers for $60 an hour. Supporters say the business helps people relax through non-sexual touch. But city officials suspect the Snuggle House may be a thinly veiled brothel and cuddling will lead to sexual assault. Hurtado’s past is raising red flags; he has filed for bankruptcy twice, written a book about a sex addict meeting a supernatural being and according to city attorneys has worked as a stripper. (AP/File)
MADISON, Wis. – An attorney for a new snuggling business in Wisconsin's capital city says the operation has shut down.
Madison's Snuggle House offered customers cuddles with a professional snuggler for $60 an hour. The business opened Nov. 15. A posting on the Snuggle House's Facebook page late Friday said the business had closed. Attorney Tim Casper, who represents Snuggle House owner Matthew Hurtado, confirmed the closure to The Associated Press on Monday.
He says Hurtado was tired of scrutiny from city officials, who were concerned the business could be a brothel and the potential for sexual assaults, as well as negative publicity.
Casper says the business had several dozen clients. But he says Hurtado didn't open the business to make money. He did it because he believes non-sexual touching can relieve stress.