What It’s Like to Be a Professional Cuddler – Travel Channel

My name is Samantha Hess,
and I’m a professional cuddler. [energetic music] When people say
I’m a prostitute, I love to be able to teach
them what I really do. What qualifies me to be the
best cuddler in the world is that I have more
experience than anyone else in the industry. Make yourself comfortable. I have professionally
cuddled over 150,000 minutes at this point. Thanks for coming in today. The way that I define
professional cuddling is someone who is
practiced and experienced in holding space
for others, helping someone through whatever it
is that they’re dealing with. I’ve always been
aware of feeling lonely. I have a cat, but
he’s not really good at hugging or cuddling. It’s safe here. I mean, there isn’t any
other place that I know of you can be safely cuddled. I would say that
professional cuddling as a whole is becoming
more widely accepted as a legitimate service. When people get to learn more
about what it actually is, you get to see what it does. You get to see the
difference it makes. Your body will release
oxytocin, serotonin. And it will decrease its
production of cortisol. Come in for an
hour or two hours, and the effect
will last you four or five days or even a week. It’s going to
regulate your sleep, your mood, your appetite. It’s going to
decrease your heart rate and your blood pressure. And it will basically
create a sense of well-being in
your physical state as well as your mental state. Our session lengths are anywhere
from 15 minutes to five hours long. Most people who do
the five-hour sessions are in from out of town. Like, they’ve come
to Portland to make this their year vacation. And so a lot of the
folks who do that will also combine
their trip to Portland with lots of other activities. Portland is that
place where we accept you, regardless of who you are,
as long as you’re yourself. I started Cuddle
Up to Me in 2013. I was online one day,
scrolling through Facebook. And I see this article,
“Deluxe Hugs, $2.” And somewhere in me, I
just knew this is the thing that I needed to be doing. I knew this is my life path. I’m the perfect person for this. I’m tiny and adorable. And I’m not, like, you know,
super overwhelming or intense. And I’m really excited
and enthusiastic. I spent six months drafting my
first waiver and hired a lawyer and made sure I wasn’t
going to go to jail for this being some illegal service. And then, in the traditional
Portland fashion, I put up flyers
and just went out and talked to people
on the street, ’cause that’s what I do. Our studio is one of my
favorite places to be. We’ve worked really
hard to create a really safe and
comfortable atmosphere. We have our tropical room,
the universe room, the forest room, and the zen room. Cuddling is something that can
be done with your entire body. So it’s not just arms. You’re not just laying
next to each other. There’s so much more. So you can do all sorts
of hand movements. You can get your feet,
your legs involved. Some of the most commonly
used poses would be, like, Sailboat, T-Time, Heart,
Gemini, Yin Yang, Bee’s Knees– aw, it’s so sweet– Pyramid, Blooming Lotus. Alligator is where
one is the salmon and one is the alligator. [laughing] Professional cuddling is
a very polarizing topic. People love it or they hate it. But almost no one
is neutral about it. And so that means
that I do have a lot of, like, internet trolls,
people who send me, like, death threats, people who
call my parents at 2:00 AM pretending to
have kidnapped me. It’s part of the deal, you know? I’m doing something
new and different. And that’s going to
create controversy. It’s going to create
discomfort for other people. The work is very draining. It’s emotionally taxing
to be there and hold space for people who are
going through these very difficult moments. But for me, that means
that I need more cuddles. The only time I don’t want
touch is when I’m pooping. The ways that I recharge
are through meditation. I do a lot of meditation. I also really love
to bake and to cook. And I like to write blog posts. I’ll have cuddle dates
with my own friends so that I can have my
needs fulfilled as well. What I want to do
is create a world where everyone has the
ability to reach out to friends, family,
strangers, to be able to connect in safe ways. Who doesn’t just need
a hug once in a while?

3 Replies to “What It’s Like to Be a Professional Cuddler – Travel Channel

  1. I have a question what happens when you are cuddleing a male and he pops a boner .dose that even happen what do you do.0

  2. I always find myself when laying down desperately wanting to be cuddled or just cuddling up to someone. So I think more services like this could definitely be helpful and useful in many positive ways👍

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