Enjoy showing your affection by smothering friends and family in hugs? Ever thought of converting your tactile generosity to cash by becoming a professional cuddler?
Well, we’re here to tell you that this is indeed a job description and one that may be worth investigating.
Let’s take a look.
- What is a cuddler?
- Why the rise in cuddling?
- Ways to become a professional cuddler
- How much you can make
- Case study
Exactly as the name suggests, a professional cuddler is someone who offers their cuddling/hugging/snuggling services to clients in return for money.
While it probably sounds somewhat salacious, the first and most important rule of being a professional cuddler is that things remain purely platonic at all times.
The rules are clear – no nudity, no touching the cuddler in places covered by underwear, no unsavoury advances.
In other words, it’s not about giving clients a racy experience, rather a comforting one.
And this goes for every aspect of your business. For instance, your go-to workwear will be a pair of super soft and cosy pyjamas. Your office? The comfiest couch, bed and/or mattress you can find. Your sales pitch? The wholesome goodness of a loving embrace.
You’ll be surprised how many people will pay really good money for something that may seem pretty mundane to you!
The plain fact of the matter is that we live in an era where loneliness is one of our most lethal epidemics.
With the global move away from a rural subsistence existence to one driven by economic opportunities in urban environments, we seem to have sacrificed our ability to connect with those closest to us. Long hours at the office, exhausting commutes and a focus on survival has moved ‘getting to know the neighbours’ close to last on our priority list.
If you have a partner, spouse, housemate or live-in family, this disconnection may not be altogether terrible. For those who live alone, however, it often means having several weeks go by without enjoying a meaningful conversation or the comfort of a gentle touch.
While the former is bad enough, it’s not entirely impossible to remedy – if you’re desperate enough, you could always chew off the ear of the barman at your local pub, the waiter at your favourite coffee shop or even the doorman at your apartment.
However, ‘skin hunger’ (the term used for being deprived of touch) poses a bigger challenge, as most people probably wouldn’t take too kindly to being hugged – out of nowhere – by a desperate stranger.
Benefits of touch
Be that as it may, one can’t get away from the fact that being able to share some form of physical touch is absolutely critical to our wellbeing as a species.
Here are just a few scientifically-proven benefits of human touch:
Touch as commodity
What this all comes down to, is the fact that there are more people than ever before who are suffering emotionally, physically and psychologically due to a simple lack of touch.
Hence the rise of a newfangled type of therapist called the cuddler.
As with any other form of therapy, cuddling starts with a consultation, where the cuddler establishes what type of therapy the cuddled is after.
Some people may just want a lengthy hug, while others crave being the ‘little spoon’ while napping. Some cuddlers even offer the option of snuggling while watching a movie of the cuddlers choice.
The options are really endless!
So, if you are the physically affectionate type, becoming a professional cuddler may seem like a dream profession for you.
However, before you go advertising your services on Gumtree, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- Do some thorough research about the cuddling industry and see if it’s really for you
- Sign up for the Cuddle Professionals International Accredited Course to become a qualified cuddler and equip yourself with the skills needed
- Decide how you’d like to operate your business. We list a few options below.
Sign up with an agency
If you’re not confident to kick off your career as a cuddler on your own, you could always work through an agency.
Currently, BeCuddled is the UK’s prime professional cuddling agency and offers a range of benefits for those who sign up, including:
- training and support
- marketing and promotion
- a BeCuddler profile
- professional freedom to work when and where you choose
All things considered, it’s a great place to start, as you have a base to work from and more experienced cuddlers to network with and learn from.
Open a cuddle cafe
If you have a passion for hospitality, why not combine it with your cuddling capabilities? The concept of the ‘cuddle cafe’ started in Japan – where customers can order a certain type of cuddle off the menu, ranging from the likes of a 20-minute power nap to a full night’s rest in the arms of a comforting stranger. Apart from the hefty cover charge, customers would be billed according to the length of time they spent at the cafe.
So far, it doesn’t seem like anything similar exists in the UK, so why not be a pioneer?
Finally, you could go your own way entirely and set up a cuddling business from home:
- Designate a special room/area for cuddles and make it as cosy as possible
- Work out a ‘menu’ of cuddles you are able to offer and how long each would take
- Set up a website people can make bookings through
- Advertise your services – if you’re nervous about putting yourself out there on something like Gumtree, try spreading the word through friends and family first.
Just be sure to have a very strict screening process for clients – perhaps you could arrange a coffee meeting in a public place beforehand and also have another person around the house whenever you have a client. Safety first!
If you create a profile on BeCuddled, you’re guaranteed an income of £25 per hour session, plus £10 per hour if you travel to the client, paid directly to you by the client.
As you gain experience and become more confident, you can start charging more – even up to £65 per hour.
Holistic therapist and founder of BeCuddled, Kitty Mansfield is, without a doubt, the pioneer of cuddling as therapy in the UK.
Starting out as a massage therapist, she often felt that while clients’ aches and pains were being alleviated, some emotional piece of the puzzle was still missing.
Eventually, she realised that this could be alleviated by prolonged touch, so she set up BeSnuggled.co.uk to sell her services and explain her concept.
Although it took a while to gain momentum, she soon found herself stretched to capacity and decided to expand by taking extra cuddlers on board and established BeCuddled.Today, Europe’s very first professional cuddle agency.
To ensure that everyone is as comfortable as possible, they offer cuddlers and those to be cuddled the option of male, female or LGBTQ partners for sessions. While some people don’t have much of a preference, others crave a specific type of touch.
Part of Mansfield’s success can undoubtedly be ascribed to the strict rules and regulations underpinning her business, making all involved feel safe, cosy and secure.
Does this opportunity interest you? If so, you might also be interested in making money being a friend.