Do you love hugs, affection, and spooning after sex? If you answered yes, this article is for you. When it comes to interesting ways to make money, becoming a professional cuddler is one of the more obscure ones. For starters, it’s a little surprising that someone would pay money for hugs. But when you stop and think about it, for some people, affection and feeling loved are even more satisfying than sexual pleasure. And with thousands of people paying for escorts and porn, why not charge money for your professional cuddling skills? It’s also predicted that this job is on the rise due to increased isolation and the human need for a meaningful connection.
But before you quit your day job and start promoting yourself as a professional cuddler, you need to know a few things about this unconventional side hustle. Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of the cuddling business so you can see if it’s the right fit for you.
There’s something powerful and healing about the human touch. Being held by someone makes you feel safe and loved. But not everyone has a significant other or even a friend or family member to snuggle up with. That’s where you come in. A professional cuddler is exactly what it sounds like – someone who’s paid to hug, hold, and snuggle with you.
While there’s no real job description for a professional cuddler, knowing what’s expected of you and what’s off limits is an important factor to consider. Most professional cuddlers are their own boss, which means you get to set the guidelines and rules for your services. For example, what does cuddling entail and how much will you charge per 30 or 60 minutes? In addition to providing long, tight hugs, spooning, and snuggles on the couch, some cuddlers offer other services including:
You can also take requests from clients and decide if what they’re asking is something you’re willing to do. A cuddling session is more about creating a connection and a sense of companionship than just embracing the person, physically. In some ways, this makes it similar to girlfriend services, although these are often more involved and may include dates, going out in public together, sexting, and a more long-term commitment. Most cuddle sessions last for an hour and while the activities differ to some degree, they’re always G-rated and completely platonic. Everyone keeps their clothes on there’s no sexual contact. If a customer requests sexual services, they’re looking for an escort, not a cuddler.
This is another area you want to pay close attention to before getting started. To avoid any confusion, have a clear set of rules between you and your clients. You both need to consent and agree on how the session will go. Keep the lines of communication open before, during, and after the session if you plan to work together again. The only thing you’re providing is comfort and companionship. Sexual arousal and stimulation aren’t part of the deal.
Before you become a professional cuddler, it’s important to know your audience and customer base. The types of people that hire professional cuddlers vary greatly, but most share one common denominator – they’re lonely people looking for comfort and the human touch. With that being said, most people that hire cuddlers are single, adult men looking for the touch of a woman (not in a sexual way).
Some people hire professional cuddlers as a form of therapy or as a way to deal with past trauma or a recent loss or tragedy. Most people can agree that a warm, tight embrace simply makes you feel good. But why? It’s actually backed by science. When you experience human contact and social bonding, your brain releases neurochemicals including the hormone oxytocin. This hormone lowers anxiety and stress levels and slows down the heart rate, helping ease negative feelings and promote calm and relaxation. In fact, hugging is one of the fastest ways to trigger the brain’s reward pathways and elicit feelings of pleasure and wellbeing.
Just about anyone can become a professional cuddler if you have a warm personality and jovial disposition. You also need to be naturally warm, affectionate, and empathetic. A lot of emotion is felt through a hug and despite your best efforts, you can fake or force the feeling of comfort that comes from a hug. If you’re stiff, uncomfortable, or awkward, this will come through in your cuddling session and chances are, the customer will be less than satisfied.
Other important character traits of a professional cuddler include:
If you don’t naturally possess these skills, don’t worry. There’s actually professional cuddler training available for anyone interested in this side hustle. That’s right – you can get certified as a professional cuddler and add this to your resume when attracting clients. Even if you consider yourself an expert snuggler, a few training courses might teach you a thing or two you didn’t know or help you sharpen your current skills.
Two of the most popular certification courses are Certified Cuddlers and the Cuddle Sanctuary.
This training course offers two options. You can take a convenient online course that ends in a test or attend an intensive, in-person 3-day training that involves learning over 80 different ways to cuddle (who knew there were so many?). The price of the course is $1,500, which you can pay upfront or with a $79 deposit and $30 monthly payments. While this may sound expensive, if you become a successful professional cuddler, you’ll more than earn it back (more on how much you can make later).
In addition to learning 80 unique cuddle positions, you’ll also be trained in:
If you’re looking for a strictly online training program, Cuddle Sanctuary offers a 6-week online course where you’ll learn many of the same skills mentioned above. At a price tag of just $25, this seems like a steal, so you may want to do more research before signing up. Cuddle Sanctuary may be the best option if you’ve already got what it takes to be a professional cuddler but just need to brush up on your skills or add a certification to your portfolio.
Let’s talk money. As a professional cuddler, you’re your own boss. That means you can set your hourly rate at whatever you want, feel comfortable with, and think you’re worth. With that being said, the current market rate for this position is approximately $80 per hour. Some people charge as little as $75 per hour or as much as $250.
Here are a few things to consider when setting your hourly rates:
There are also different ways to price your services. You can offer bundle or bulk packages at a discount. For example, if a client books 5 cuddle sessions and pays up front, you can offer a 10% discount. Many professional cuddlers do offer services similar to a professional girlfriend. For example, sunset walks on the beach, dancing, or a dinner date. If you plan to offer these longer, more involved services, you can charge more. Most packages are still priced per hour but with a detailed description and discount. Here are a few examples.
Let’s say, you normally charge $100 per hour. You can offer a 3-hour dinner or lunch date that involves conversation, holding hands, and enjoying a meal together for $270 (10% off).
Some people need more attention than others. If someone wants to book you for an entire day which may involve a road trip, meals, and other platonic activities, you can offer this package at 10% off. So, instead of paying $800, they would be $720.
There’s really no limit to the types of services, packages, and combinations you can offer. It’s all about what you’re comfortable doing, how much time you have, and what your time is worth. If you set your prices and no one’s biting, you may need to adjust them until you find the right rates for your area and types of services. You can also beef up your resume or ask previous clients to leave you reviews that explain why your cuddling services are above the rest.
There are two roads you can take to becoming a professional cuddler – promote yourself on a professional cuddler platform or branch out on your own. Both are viable options but require a different approach. Platforms like Cuddle Comfort are designed to match cuddlers like yourself with people in need of a good hug. This makes it simple to find and book clients. When you promote yourself as an independent cuddler, the road to recognition can take much longer but may be more lucrative.
Here’s a closer look at both avenues.
Cuddle Comfort works like an online dating site for people looking for human connection and professionals like yourself, eager and waiting to deliver your services. As of this writing, Cuddle Comfort has a database of 230,000 users. While the platform keeps 15% of your earnings, you still receive 85% which isn’t a bad cut when you think about the time you’re saving on marketing and promoting yourself.
Getting started on this platform is easy. First, you’ll be asked to set up a profile. Make this as detailed as possible so that potential clients know everything there is to know about you and what you’re offering for what price. This prevents confusion and disappointment later on. Include details about how long your sessions are, what types of things you can do together, and what else they can expect for their money. Be sure to include where each session will take place. Some professional cuddlers are open to meeting in public, at the person’s home, or even hosting sessions in their own home. Other cuddlers prefer to only meet in public places.
Once your profile is complete and your ad is live on the site, you can expect requests to start flooding in. Clients on Cuddle Comfort can contact you directly, so this is part of where those communication and interpersonal skills come into play. You have the power to accept or decline inquiries so that you only work with those you feel comfortable with.
After finding a match, it’s time to book the job. The client can book their preferred service through the website and pay you in cash during your meet-up. You can also accept other forms of payment like PayPal or Venmo, but this is up to you.
If you don’t want to pay a fee for using a platform like Cuddle Comfort or believe you have the know-how to succeed by yourself, then you can start your own professional cuddling business. Independent cuddlers can launch their own website, schedule bookings, set their rates, and keep all their earnings. The downside to this is the cost of marketing yourself and running and maintaining the website. You may need to invest in PPC (pay per click) and other paid advertisements to gain traffic and get eyes on your page.
Here are a few tips for launching your own professional cuddling career.
Every website needs a domain name and a hosting service. There are plenty to choose from online so just perform a generic search and find websites that are legitimate and fall within your budget.
Choose a domain name that is catchy, creative, and related to the cuddling business. If possible, upgrade to a URL ending in .com or .net. These are taken much more seriously by people searching the Internet and will increase your chances of getting clicked on. Check to see if the name you’re thinking of is also available on social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram. This way, the name remains consistent across multiple platforms. Soon, your cuddling services and your domain name will be one and the same.
Most websites run on WordPress since it’s one of the easiest platforms to use. With basic menu options and tutorial videos online, you can create a professional and functional website in no time. Be sure to include high-quality images, contact information, and links to your social media accounts. Consider SEO as well to help increase traffic and bring in new business.
When running your own professional cuddling business, you need to be responsive and consistent. If someone inquires about your services, answer them as soon as possible – even if you can’t accommodate their needs, price point, or schedule. Remember, you’re building a brand and that brand is based on your reputation. Word of mouth goes a long way and can either make or break you in business – including in the world of professional cuddling. Make sure your contact information is up to date and that you’re pleasant and professional in all your interactions.
To avoid any confusion, hurt feelings, or scams, make your payment process, expectations, and services crystal clear from the beginning. You should also draft a contract or consent form that all clients must fill out and sign before delivering services. Choose a reliable payment method, whether it be cash in person or payment through an app like PayPal or Venmo. You can ask clients for a deposit in advance or a credit card to hold on file as security in case they fail to show up for your meeting or try to scam you out of your money. Running your own cuddling business takes a mix of business know-how, dedication, and drive.
In the best-case scenario, your cuddling business will take off and you’ll need help fulfilling client requests and orders. If this is the case, why not elicit the help of some friends, family members, and other professional cuddlers? This doesn’t mean inviting just anyone to join your ranks. All cuddlers on your payroll should be serious about the profession, have undergone some form of training, and have a passion for making people feel good through human contact (not to be confused with sexual contact). The cuddlers you add to your team are a reflection of you, so choose carefully.
Now that you know what a professional cuddler is and your many options for providing services, collecting payments, and finding work, there are a few lesser-known facts about the business that may interest you. Here are three odd things you didn’t know about being a professional cuddler.
Given the fact that most cuddle clients are middle-aged, heterosexual men, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that most cuddlers are, in fact, women. There’s something comforting about a warm, gentle, female touch that men clientele seek and are willing to pay top dollar for. Not only do men want physical contact and comfort, but some use cuddling to ease stress and anxiety or as a form of non-committal, no strings attached intimacy. Remember, many cuddlers offer other services like talking, hand holding, and even dating. Women are naturally more nurturing, softer, and more in-tune with their partner’s feelings. The proof is also in the statistics. One company has 230 cuddlers on staff, only nine of which are men. (Don’t worry guys, there are plenty of other ways for you to make a little extra money on the side.)
Professional cuddling is taken very seriously within its own community. In fact, there’s a Cuddlers Bible and even a cuddle convention where professionals come together to network, socialize, and brainstorm.
The Cuddle Bible also referred to as Cuddle Sutra, is a book dedicated to snuggles, cuddles, and hugs. In addition to or in lieu of training, professional cuddlers are strongly encouraged to study the contents of this book before booking any clients. The pages of this Bible outline over 50 positions and poses and introduce the concept of ‘reverse spooning’ among other techniques for providing a pleasurable experience.
For those cuddlers who want to brush up even more on their professional skills and portfolio, you can attend the cuddle convention, also known as Cuddle Con, which is hosted on Valentine’s Day (how appropriate). Although the convention doesn’t happen every year, in 2015 it provided a safe space for cuddlers, therapists, psychologists, and even clients to gather and discuss their shared love of and interest in all things cuddling. The original convention was hosted by Samantha Hess, a professional cuddler whom you may recognize from her appearance on America’s Got Talent. Hess spoke about the power of the human touch and communication as a form of therapy.
Speaking of therapy, cuddling isn’t just about feeling loved or having a companion for the day (or hour). Some people use cuddling as a form of therapy to treat a variety of conditions from PTSD to depression and certain anxiety disorders.
Touch is a proven form of therapy so it’s not a far cry to imagine that cuddling, snuggling, hugging, and hand holding can offer many benefits to those in need. We already mentioned the important role that oxytocin plays in improving a person’s mental state and increasing feelings of happiness and positivity. Additionally, some studies indicate that couples who cuddle in bed are more likely to feel happy in their relationship. Lack of human touch and connection also puts people at greater risk of developing depression and certain diseases.
While some people argue that you need an emotional connection with a person to feel this boost in endorphins, other people claim to get all the benefits they need from a stranger turned professional cuddler. Not to mention, after a few sessions together, you and your client will no longer be strangers and you can start accommodating their individual needs and requests.
Becoming a professional cuddler is about much more than just making money (although that’s a definite perk). You’re also delivering a unique service that meets someone’s emotional needs. Professional cuddlers can engage in conversation, hold hands, hug, play games, and even enjoy day trips and meals with their clients. These limits are completely up to you. Before you start advertising your hugs and snuggles, it’s best to take a training course and learn all the particulars about the business from staying safe and not forming an emotional attachment to dozens of ways to cuddle, hold, and snuggle your clients.
If you think you have what it takes to become a professional cuddler, you can change and touch sometime’s life (literally), all while making a living on your own terms. Check out the rest of our blog for more tips and ideas for making money doing what you love.