Affection parties require consent and help many individuals, from bachelors to people suffering from trauma.
A smiling Fahad Alghamdi welcomes guests at the studio door. He declines my handshake, hiding his arms behind his back, and says, "How about a hug?" The place is known as the Cuddle Sanctuary, so I decide to get into the spirit. We hug for a few seconds.
Alghamdi, 33, has been visiting the sanctuary - located in Venice Beach, Los Angeles - for six months. "I was looking for a place where I could find a deeper human connection," says the Saudi software developer, who moved to the US five years ago. "It's great for my mental health. I've learned to communicate better as well. And I love it when we hug."
Read more in Folha de S. Paulo