10/12(Sat) Need a Cuddle? Hire a Pro (Host:Kooper)

YOYO member
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註冊時間: 週三 4月 11, 2007 11:40 pm

10/12(Sat) Need a Cuddle? Hire a Pro (Host:Kooper)

文章 Kooper »

Please read the article on cuddling business.

(https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/29/cuddle- ... -hugs.html)

In a large room inside an small office complex in Portland, Oregon, 10 men and women gather on a bed that covers the entire floor. Dressed in comfortable clothing, they begin snuggling each other in a group cuddle. This is not an orgy. Instead, it’s a playful, platonic hug session. This reporter was in the middle of it, at first taken aback as strangers huddled around me. But it was so ... relaxed, so non-threatening, so... Portland, that I didn’t freak out.

“My goal is to change the world one hug at a time,” says 34-year-old Samantha Hess, who created this place. It all started five years ago, after Hess divorced her undemonstrative high school sweetheart because she could no longer live in a “touch desert.” She was working a boring job as an installation coordinator at a security company when she read a story about a guy charging $2 for “deluxe” hugs. Something clicked. “I was instantly like, ’Okay, if somebody comes up to me on the street and says, ‘Here, have a free cookie,’ I’m going to question everything about that,” Hess said. “But if somebody is selling cookies, I immediately know what their intention is. I know what they get out of it.” So Hess took $500 to buy a business license and build her own website and formed Cuddle Up to Me. Friends thought she was crazy, telling her, “That’s not a thing.”

They were wrong.

Hess put up fliers around town, and her story was picked up by the local newspaper. “Within seven days, I had 10,000 emails. I was booked solid for two months.”

No, this really isn’t about sex

The problem was, very few people thought she was serious. Local authorities suspected professional cuddling was a cover for prostitution, and it took Hess nine months to find a place that would rent to her. Then there were the potential clients. “In the beginning, there were certainly plenty of inappropriate emails,” she says. “Someone asked me to join their harem.” She politely declined. “I’ve had three marriage proposals with doing this work, all within the first year, before I learned how to communicate better.” Hess started out making house calls, even doing overnight sessions. Sometimes she’d meet clients in a local movie theater which had large couches. “You can basically lay down and watch a movie,” she says.

Finally, she found a landlord willing to give her a lease. She learned to set clear boundaries with customers. She now makes prospective customers fill out three pages of information and go through a consultation before any cuddling can happen. “We chit chat, get to know them, we make sure we understand their consent and their boundaries, and they know ours,” explains Hess. What are the boundaries? All touch must be non-sexual and consensual. There’s no massage, everyone must be clothed and there can be no touching in areas which would be covered by a swimsuit. “You can’t actually touch lips, but you can touch noses,” she says. People must practice good hygiene, and every session in the Cuddle Up to Me studio is videotaped, “to help keep everybody in line.” Occasionally, though, customers are aroused. Hess says the reaction is usually unintentional, and both parties may take a break or reposition themselves. “There’s been people who have blatantly crossed boundaries, of course, but I believe people are owed the right to learn this new skill,” says Hess.

Meet the cuddlers
Inside Cuddle Up to Me are a half dozen cuddling rooms with themes ranging from tropical to meditative. Sessions cost as much as $80 an hour and last 90 minutes to three hours on average. Clients choose between 70 different cuddling positions with names like “Mama Bear” and “Gummy Worm.”

One professional cuddler, Olivia, heard about the business and decided she’d like to participate. “I’m a birth doula, which involves a lot of affection and comfort through touch,” she explains. She says her husband supported the idea of getting paid for hugs. “He’s not a very affectionate person, and so when he heard that this was an option for me, he was like, ‘That’s perfect.’”

Tim became a cuddler after seeing his father deal with health problems. “I noticed in the hospital that there were a lot of people that didn’t have access to touch,” he says. Like Olivia, Tim’s spouse supports his cuddling gig. “It really fulfills this part of me that wants to give and share with people.”

Meet the customers
“I come here when I want to feel loved,” says Paul. “I’ve been in love a number of times, but there hasn’t been a lot of safety in that love.” He admitted the first few sessions were awkward. “It was weird — ‘Oh, this is the time when we should start kissing or something’ — but I had to realize, wow, that’s not allowed, and that’s carried over to the rest of my life...observing and obeying boundaries.”

Richard is divorced. “I moved to Portland, and I didn’t really know many people,” he says. He read an article about Hess’s business and was terrified. He wanted to change that reaction. “If I say that I don’t want to live by myself, I want to have relationships, I want to be with people, I am sending some incredibly different vibes by my reaction, so I figured this was something that would help me,” he explains. He says the occasional cuddle session has made him “less standoffish.”

David comes for platonic cuddles when he’s in between relationships. He says he loves cuddling with girlfriends, but it often sends the message that he’s seeking a serious relationship, when he’s not. At Cuddle Up to Me, the intentions are clear: “I love human touch, and I can do it without marrying them.”

Women come for cuddles too. A young woman who goes by the roller derby nickname “Crash” says she started coming for cuddles because, “I was just kind of a loner and had a huge personal space bubble.” She decided to get rid of that bubble after seeing the affection between her roller derby teammates. “This year my resolution is to become a more affectionate person, so that’s why I’m here. I’m learning.”

Questions for Discussion
Session One:
1. Do you think cuddling business a serious and promising one in the long run?

2. Will you consider taking cuddling service sometime in the future? What circumstances might prompt you to give it serious consideration?

3. If your sons or daughters want to work as a professional cuddler, will you support or against their will?

4. It has been acknowledged that the act of hugging brings benefits to mental health. Can hugging be considered a therapy? If you feel so, do professional cuddlists require some kind of certificate just like psychological counselors?

Session Two:
5. One cuddler in a YouTube video clip said that she felt closer and closer to her client after providing several times of hugging sessions to the same client. Could it be possible that one day she could fall in love with one of her clients as a result of frequent intimacy? Do you consider it acceptable, socially immoral, or professionally immoral?

6. The same cuddlist said, "A cuddle client is more than just a client but maybe not as much as a friend. It's that sweet spot in the middle." Do you ever form a similar type of bond like this with your customers, clients, or somebody who provided you goods or services? Please share your experiences.

7. Could physical intimacy like the hugging service intrigue a feeling of love? If it indeed happened, would it be truly love or just a mental illusion?

8. Do you have frequent physical contacts with your parents, partner, and children? Are you a person in strong or little need of physical intimacy?

3:50 ~ 4:00pm Greetings & Free Talk / Ordering Beverage or Meal / Getting Newcomer’s Information
4:00 ~ 4:20pm Opening Remarks / Newcomer’s Self-introduction / Grouping
(Session I)
4:20 ~ 5:00pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
5:00 ~ 5:20pm Summarization (20 mins)
5:20 ~ 5:30pm Regrouping / Instruction Giving / Taking a 10 Minutes Break (Intermission)
(Session II)
5:30~ 6:10pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
6:10~ 6:30pm Summarization / Concluding Remarks / Announcements(20 mins)
聚會時間:當天請準時於 16:00 pm 到達 ~ 約 18:30 pm 左右結束
地址、電話:台北市濟南路三段25號 地圖 (02) 2740-2350
捷運站:板南線 忠孝新生站 3 號出口
走法:出忠孝新生站 3 號出口後,沿著巷子(忠孝東路三段10巷)走約 2 分鐘,到了濟南路口,左轉走約 2 分鐘即可看到。
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Iris Wu
YOYO member
文章: 724
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: 10/12(Sat) Need a Cuddle? Hire a Pro (Host:Kooper)

文章 Iris Wu »

At first sight, it doesn’t sound like “Kooper’s topic”. This topic seems too “liberal” for our “conventional Kooper”! :)
He must be filling in for someone or is Kooper showing his soft side?

Undeniably human touch is powerful. In certain circumstances, a hug or a soft touch conveys more than thousand words! Touch therapy has been used in many therapeutic treatments, especially for certain people who had some issues in their childhood. As a business, even there is code of conduct for cuddling services, but because of the physical contact, it is probably hard to define the clear line and manage the customer/snugger relationship. Besides, even the physical cuddling may have some effect, it seems to be temporary. I would think the cuddling business needs to be accompanied by some personal development or true mental therapy for a better result.
YOYO member
文章: 335
註冊時間: 週二 12月 16, 2003 10:28 am

Re: 10/12(Sat) Need a Cuddle? Hire a Pro (Host:Kooper)

文章 Laura »

After my far travel, I'm still busy with
hustle of job schedule. :mrgreen:

Next year in YoYo 20th, do no miss an awesome
meeting like today's that is the expectation to myself ! :ssmile:
The best teacher is child,
the worst mistake for one is to abandon oneself,
the greatest treasure in the world is love!
YOYO member
文章: 2589
註冊時間: 週三 4月 11, 2007 11:40 pm

Re: 10/12(Sat) Need a Cuddle? Hire a Pro (Host:Kooper)

文章 Kooper »

Attendees(17): Ken, Leon, Catherine, Winston, Debby, Julian, Kat, Carrie, Luis, Christine Hsiu, Iris, David Jr., Gloria, Jerry, Steve, Jason, Kooper(host)