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Getting paid to SNUGGLE....Professional Snugglers

Posted by on Nov. 18, 2013 at 9:36 AM
  • 51 Replies

 

 

Getty ImagesLooking for a little extra affection? Meet Sam Hess, a 29-year-old cuddle professional who makes a living by selling snuggles to those in need. 

Hess is part of a new breed of business people who believe that touch, no matter who it comes from, is the key to a happy life. She hatched the idea after watching a YouTube experiment in which two men offered free or paid hugs to people on the street. "People paid for hugs more than they took the free ones, and I realized that there's real value in affection," Hess tells Yahoo Shine. "My friends and boyfriend were a little wary at first, but once they realized I was serious about it, they were supportive."

Hess's Portland, Oregon based company, called Cuddle Up To Me, offers two basic packages: A 30-minute session for $35 and a 60-minute session for $60 (She charges a $1 per minute in overtime), during which Hess and her client might hold hands, cuddle up on the couch, or spoon to the tune of her "cuddle playlist," which includes classic music and hits by Phil Collins and Jack Johnson. There are also prepaid weekly sessions and a flat rate for overnight stays. However, before she does business, Hess conducts a free 45-minute meet-and-greet in a public place such as a coffee shop, to assess the intentions of potential clients. "I need to know where a person is coming from so I know what I'm walking into," she explains.  

Photo courtesy of Sam Hess Hess makes it clear that her services are completely platonic. "I'm not sexually attracted to my clients and even if I were, I don't allow myself to go there," she explains. "I'm in a totally different head space during a session and I'm very specific about body parts that cannot be touched." If a client pushes his or her boundaries, Hess issues a verbal warning or ends the session. Though she does business in her clients' homes, she says she feels safe, thanks to her martial arts training. She also  carries a Kuboton (a pocket-sized sharp stick), just in case. "No one has ever violated the rules because of my strict vetting process," she insists. "My youngest client is 24-years-old and my oldest is in his mid-60s - I see single dads, widows, depressed people, even one woman."

More on Yahoo Shine: What His Body Language is Really Saying

There's been plenty of research on the effects of cuddling between people who love and trust each other: Snuggling lowers blood pressure, heart rate, and stress and releases the bonding hormone oxytocin, triggering a loving feeling between two people, yet little is known about the effects of cozying up to a stranger. 

Nonetheless, other cuddling businesses have been cropping up across the country. Jacqueline Samuel, 29, owns the Snuggery, a company that offers cuddle services for $60 an hour and $90 for 90 minutes, out of her home in Penfield, New York. Clients can also opt for a "Double Cuddle," a snuggling session with Samuel's female colleague (the price spikes to $100 for 45 minutes and $180 for 90 minutes, in that case). And The Snuggle House in Madison, Wisconsin finally opened on Friday, weeks after its October grand opening was canceled due to a city investigation on suspicion that snuggling was a front for prostitution (it wasn't).

More on Yahoo:
7 Body Language Tips to Give You the Upper Hand

And while the companies all state that services are strictly non-sexual, the Snuggery's policy is a bit more lenient of accidents, stating: "Although sexual activity is not permitted, arousal is perfectly normal and should not make anyone feel uncomfortable."

"Touch is the most power tool between humans," Wendy Walsh, PhD, a Beverly Hills based psychotherapist, tells Yahoo Shine. "We're wired to bond - in fact, babies who aren't touched when they're born, don't thrive in life." 

Given our fast-paced, social media-saturated culture, where people spend more time staring at computer screens than each other, that urge to reach out may be greater now than ever before, says Walsh. And that's especially true for men, who are conditioned to feel ashamed about their need for affection.

However, cuddling can mean the difference between marital bliss and strife. "Much of the research about sex and happy couples has little to do with the sex itself and more to do with the affection that goes a long with it," says Walsh. "That's because people are motivated to have sex for all different reasons, including insecurity and anxiety."

Walsh says the business of cuddling can be a positive experience for some - especially people who have experienced certain types of trauma - however, there's danger in a one-sized-fits-all approach to affection. "Cuddling should be an integral component of an evolving relationship, not something you can grab on the run," she says. 

by on Nov. 18, 2013 at 9:36 AM
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Replies (1-10):
EireLass
by Ruby Member on Nov. 18, 2013 at 9:38 AM
2 moms liked this
In my day it was called prostitution. You know....cuddling escort service.
DestinyHLewis
by Destiny on Nov. 18, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Are they actually cuddling or canoodling? Totally weird. Have to give credit for capitalizing on it, but strange. 

IandLoveandYou
by Bronze Member on Nov. 18, 2013 at 9:49 AM

 Interesting.. I don't see too much wrong with it, I suppose.

I am way to afraid of strangers to be alone in such a vulnerable place with them like that.
Plus there is no way my husband would be alright with that, not that I'd be alright with him cuddling for a living either lol.

IandLoveandYou
by Bronze Member on Nov. 18, 2013 at 9:49 AM

 

Quoting DestinyHLewis:

Are they actually cuddling or canoodling? Totally weird. Have to give credit for capitalizing on it, but strange. 

 Lol... what is the difference between cuddling and canoodling?

meriana
by Platinum Member on Nov. 18, 2013 at 9:53 AM

So people not only pay for sex, now they pay for a hug...hmm..wonder what the next trend will be selling. Weird on the one hand, on the other I can see where it's a benefit for some people, especially a person who is alone and for whatever reason isn't able to get out and about or has perhaps been traumatised in some way.

sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Nov. 18, 2013 at 9:54 AM
1 mom liked this

  during which Hess and her client might hold hands, cuddle up on the couch, or spoon to the tune of her "cuddle playlist," which includes classic music and hits by Phil Collins and Jack Johnson.

 

They aren't having sex

Quoting EireLass:

In my day it was called prostitution. You know....cuddling escort service.

 

sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Nov. 18, 2013 at 9:55 AM
2 moms liked this

 I would never want to cuddle with a stranger...and you do not know who they are. If you are a female and wanting a male snuggle....would you really feel safe and comfortable with a stranger??

This young woman is putting herself in harms way IMO

DestinyHLewis
by Destiny on Nov. 18, 2013 at 10:08 AM


Getting busy and not. That's the differnce. Lol! 

Quoting IandLoveandYou:

 

Quoting DestinyHLewis:

Are they actually cuddling or canoodling? Totally weird. Have to give credit for capitalizing on it, but strange. 

 Lol... what is the difference between cuddling and canoodling?



DestinyHLewis
by Destiny on Nov. 18, 2013 at 10:10 AM


Oh hell no, and I agree. That would just be totally uncomfortable. Get a dog. Cuddle with them. Maybe I could loan out my Jäger and capitalize off that? Lol. He's the best snuggles EVER! This chick is going to be a headline at one pioint and not a good one. That's scary. 

Quoting sweet-a-kins:

 I would never want to cuddle with a stranger...and you do not know who they are. If you are a female and wanting a male snuggle....would you really feel safe and comfortable with a stranger??

This young woman is putting herself in harms way IMO



sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Nov. 18, 2013 at 10:17 AM

 I agree...ANIMALS are AWESOME snugglers! lol

I wouldn't even rent a dog out though...some sick freak might hurt the dog! lol

how about work on your personality so someone you KNOW will snuggle for FREE!! lol

 

**ETA...not YOU...lol...general you!

Quoting DestinyHLewis:

 

Oh hell no, and I agree. That would just be totally uncomfortable. Get a dog. Cuddle with them. Maybe I could loan out my Jäger and capitalize off that? Lol. He's the best snuggles EVER! This chick is going to be a headline at one pioint and not a good one. That's scary. 

Quoting sweet-a-kins:

 I would never want to cuddle with a stranger...and you do not know who they are. If you are a female and wanting a male snuggle....would you really feel safe and comfortable with a stranger??

This young woman is putting herself in harms way IMO

 

 

 

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