It may seem like a bizarre profession, but Portland Oregon native Samantha Hess gives cuddles for cash. Miss Hess is a former personal trainer who, whilst walking through the park one day, hatched the idea for what she says is her life’s work. She is a professional cuddler who charges 60 dollars for an hour-long embrace. Her mother thinks ‘it’s awesome’. “Sam grew up in a house full of hugs. She’s always been super-cuddly.”
Sam was walking through her local farmers market one day, when she noticed two men soliciting hugs – one man was offering them for free and the other offered ‘deluxe hugs’ for two dollars a pop. The crowd seemed to flock to the man who charged. A month later she heard of a woman in New York who was offering a cuddling service. “I decided then that this was my dream job,” said Hess.
Samantha started Cuddle Up To Me, a cuddling business that makes her more money than she ever had from her previous jobs – at five clients per day she can make up to 7200 dollars per month. This kind of money earned by ways of ‘affection’ has caused some controversy. Some have accused her of prostitution, but Hess says her service is more ‘a massage of the mind’. She rules out any potentially inappropriate behaviour with a stringent vetting process and a meet-and-greet prior to committing to the ‘cuddle stage’.
Samantha’s clients have the option of customised cuddles; she often tailors her hairstyle, make-up and even the colours of her clothing to suit her client’s wishes. In her spare time, she volunteers at soup kitchens and scrawls positive affirmations like ‘you are a bucket of awesome’ on the sidewalk near her park.
She writes on her website, ‘Touch has the power to comfort us when we are sad, heal us when we are sick, encourage us when we feel lost, and above all else allow us to accept that we are not alone.’ And she can be the big spoon, the little spoon, or both.
Do you like cuddles? What do you think of this type of service? Why not give someone you love a hug today?
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