Professional cuddling

From this article in the Wall Street Journal:

Kimberly Kilbride is a professional cuddler.

For $80 an hour, or up to $400 for an overnight gig, the 33-year-old mother of three dons flannel pajama bottoms, puts away her family pictures and two pit bull mix dogs and invites clients into her bedroom in Highland, N.Y., to snuggle. Once the spooning begins, she insists that it stay strictly platonic.

The cuddle-for-hire business is taking off—even though the clothes stay on. Thousands of customers across the country are booking appointments with professional cuddlers in at least 16 states. The snugglers squeeze, tickle and bearhug clients for a fixed rate. Patrons who booked these services out of mere curiosity say they have become hooked on their therapeutic benefits.

There’s even a “cuddling code of conduct“:

Many require customers to comply with a list of ground rules that may include showering before a session, no wearing of perfume or cologne, brushing of teeth and strictly platonic touch. Some also mandate that clients sign waivers and agreements that all touch must be nonsexual.

The Cuddle Connection, a studio based in Roseville, Calif., asks clients to abide by the following code of conduct:

Please turn off or silent your cell phone before entering Cuddle Connection. This is your time of peace, quiet and relaxation. Be respectful to all.

Arrive 5-10 minutes before your scheduled appointment, allowing ample time to refresh yourself in our restrooms and change into comfortable clothing if you desire.

Your cuddler will meet you in our reception area and escort you to your cuddle zone. Help yourself to hot tea or water.

During your cuddle session there will be no touching in areas where undergarments are normally worn. No rubbing. No massaging. Cuddling is a safe, platonic human embrace.

No kissing and no nudity at any time will be tolerated.

Cuddlers have the right to terminate any cuddle session in which the client acts inappropriately.

You may talk if you want to. Your cuddler is trained as a good listener. We adhere to a strict confidentiality and privacy policy.

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