Dogs Cuddling

A man comes to your home and wants to get into bed with you, just to cuddle. What do you do? Tell him your hourly rate of course! That’s right; you can make good money cuddling with complete strangers. And no, it isn’t what it sounds like.

Jackie Samuel of Penfield, New York may have been one of the first professional cuddlers. According to her website it costs $60 per hour to curl up with her in bed, $425 for an overnight session, and $120 per hour for a “double cuddle,” which she explains, “allows clients to cuddle with two cuddlers concurrently.”

After a Business Insider profile a couple years ago, her clientele grew quickly. A follow-up article on Samuel reports that she added new services that include reading bedtime stories, and she hired an associate for those “double cuddles.” At the time of the article her associate Colleen was not allowed to do solo cuddling.

Is Cuddling a Growth Industry?

Samuel is not the only one out there offering cuddling services. On the other side of the county Samantha Hess offers cuddling, also for $60 per hour, and she goes to clients homes. She adds “zone charges” for commutes of more than 5 miles.

The latest cuddling service in New York City is offered by Ali C. She charges $80 for an hour of snuggling, and also has a $200 special for a movie-and-cuddle session with a 60-inch flat screen TV and a film the client chooses from her list. No sexual-themed movies are allowed. She includes popcorn and other snacks.

There are four professional snugglers on staff at the Snuggle House in Madison, Wisconsin (no link: website removed since this post first appeared). They charge $60 per hour. They also offer a “Therapeutic Cuddling certification program” for aspiring cuddling entrepreneurs.

What Do You Have to Do?

All the cuddlers mentioned here make it clear that there is never sex or nudity involved. According to one interview, Samantha Hess has clients sign a waiver promising to keep their clothes on and to be clean and courteous. She meets clients in a public place first to be sure they know what to expect. Portland police apparently think her business is “close to the line” legally, but doesn’t quite cross it.

It isn’t clear if the line is crossed when a client becomes sexually aroused, but Jackie Samuel says it happens, and adds “Although sexual activity is not permitted, arousal is perfectly normal and should not make anyone feel uncomfortable.”

Business Insider reports that most of Samuel’s clients are “middle-aged and older men wearing pajamas,” and that she rotates through many positions but because of her small size, “she’s usually the little spoon.”

So, if you believe Samuel, you should not feel uncomfortable when a man in pajamas who is thirty years older than you and a complete stranger is spooning you and has a… well, back to our story…

According to the Huffington Post, Ali C does all of her cuddling work in her apartment in Manhattan. Clients have the option of snuggling on the sofa, floor or bed. She plays relaxing music and says, “I’ll often lightly stroke your hair/neck/face which many of my clients find extremely relaxing.”

She too says that sexual arousal is normal and that she doesn’t make clients feel uncomfortable when it happens. However, sexual behavior or contact is prohibited.

Ali C encourages clients to talk about their problems if they want to, and says cuddling is therapeutic. She has developed a “5-Step Re-Mothering Process” for clients who want to check in with their inner child.

Ready to Be a Professional Cuddler?

Snuggling pro Jackie Samuel says she would like certification or licensing in the industry, but a New York Daily News article notes that, at least in New York City, there are no local or state regulations or licenses required to cuddle for pay. It appears that, at the moment, you are legally free to jump in bed and curl up with strangers for $60 per hour without any training or licensing.

Would you consider cuddling with strangers? Intimidated? You could start small. Samuel started out by selling hugs in college.

Your Thoughts: Would you cuddle with strangers for $60 per hour?

Flicker Photo by Jamie Lantzy