Cuddling For Money – It’s Really a Thing, and It’s Not About Sex
Ever heard of a professional cuddler? You wouldn’t know them if you saw them on the street, because they’re all ages, genders, sexual orientations, and races. They’re not dressed any differently from the rest of us, and they won’t come up and start snuggling you without your permission. That’s because professional cuddlers are all about non-sexual touch that’s enjoyed with complete consent, both from them and from their clients.
If you’re the kind of person who’s always hugging everyone you meet and you love the idea of bringing others happiness through non-sexual touch, being a professional cuddler might be the career for you. Cuddlers charge $80 per hour for cuddling sessions and are all certified through organizations like Cuddlist to ensure they’re prepared for the challenges (and delights) of their new profession. After completing their online training course, you’ll get your own profile page, continuing online support, and marketing material and exposure to help you find more clients. Alternately, you can try getting certified through a company like Certified Cuddlers, which requires 30 hours of online training. In addition, you can sign up for one-on-one training if you happen to live in Portland. If you want to get started without taking a training course, you can try Cuddle Comfort, a geographically based social network that connects clients with paid cuddlers.
Whatever option you choose, you’ll want to be prepared for the rewards and the drawbacks alike. Professional cuddling can be financially and emotionally rewarding if you’re prepared for the challenges of attachment. You might feel closer to your clients than you expect, and they may feel close to you. Draw clear boundaries and stick to the rules of the organization you choose to certify with, and you’ll be well on your way to a career doing what you love.
Professional cuddlers are a growing group of individuals, mostly women, who are completely comfortable with sharing the healing power of touch. Cuddling, in this profession, is therapeutic, non-sexual touch, where both the cuddler and the client are fully clothed (a t-shirt and shorts at a minimum) and all physical contact is completely consensual. Each cuddler gets to lay down the rules for where they’re willing to cuddle (some only cuddle in public spaces) and what sessions can include. For example, some cuddlers use their proficiency in massage, reading aloud, cooking, or in other skills to add to the experience. They message potential clients in advance to get a feel for what they’re looking for (and make sure that it isn’t sex, since that’s completely off the table).
Since the physical closeness in professional cuddling has nothing to do with sexual orientation and everything to do with acceptance through physical touch, cuddlers work with men and women and anyone who’s in between. The cuddle community is full of open-minded people who accept clients as they are, no questions asked. Many clients have disabilities, gender identity issues, emotional challenges, or difficulties with social interactions that they’re working through, and the acceptance and respect they feel from a cuddlers helps them to move beyond their hang-ups while enjoying a rush of oxytocin and endorphins. Of course, other clients are simply seeking the services of a cuddlers because they feel uncomfortable with the implicit exchange in asking a family member or friend to cuddle. A cuddler offers them all of the benefits of a close physical encounter with none of the expectations that physical relationships usually have. Still others are seeking a spiritual experience or just taking care of their bodies by showing them some love.