Meet Portland's Only Professional 'Cuddler'
Jim Villanucci gets some cuddle time
August 1, 2013, 10:39 am
Samantha Hess is a professional cuddler. The 29 year-old turned to snuggling with strangers because she says "I've always been a very touch driven person."
So two months ago, the former personal trainer started 'Cuddle Up To Me.' She charges thirty five dollars a half hour, or sixty dollars an hour to cuddle and spoon.
"Six months ago I read an article on line. It had a picture of two gentlemen, one of them had a sign that said free hugging, the other charged two dollars for deluxe hugs. The article talked about how the deluxe guy got more hugs than the free hugs guy, and that's I decided I could make this (work)."
She advertises online. But before you get to cuddle, she meets clients face to face, and makes them sign a contract to ensure there will be no 'hanky panky'.
"Generally they're pretty good, but I had one client that I had to warn a few times early on in our meetings, but generally people are receptive that this is platonic" she says. Safety is always a concern, that's why she's trained in self defense, carries a gps tracker with her, and lets friends know the address where she will be cuddling.
She knows people might be a little skeptical of her business, but Sam says it's not something she does because she has to, but because she needs to.
"I feel people really need this connection. And there's so few outlets for people to get it. I do it out of the kindness of my heart. Obviously I make a living out of it too, but I'm really passionate about it. I've been in a situation before where I could have used a professional cuddler."
Sam hopes to eventually open a 'cuddle store' in the Portland area and franchise her idea across the country. And why not, after all, everyone needs a good cuddle now and then.