I'm A Professional Cuddler For A Living

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"Clients tell me it is more refreshing than a massage and more exhilarating than sex, as it is encompassing a deep, profound energy exchange, enabling them to surrender and just be in the present moment," says Kundala, who has what most would classify a very unusual job.

Kundala is a professional cuddler, a new breed of professional becoming increasingly sought after in the fast-paced Western world where stress is on the rise and physical human connectedness at an all-time low.

RELATED: The Science Of Snuggling: 7 Incredible Benefits Of Cuddling

And Kundala doesn't come cheap. 

As a snuggle aficionado, she makes up to $80 an hour pampering clients with a cuddle sesh, typically held at her premises. (Now, if you ask us, that's way better than your typical minimum wage job! We'd rather be cuddling someone than sitting at a soul-sucking desk job.)

"I work for a professional commercial company, and we don't do out-calls all too often. We prefer to have clients come to us. Although we do offer the out-call option, we only do that for clients who are physically unable to attend, such as disabled or mentally ill patients. There is always a carer present in those situations, or at least in another room," explains Kundala, who works at Cuddle Therapy Australia.

And before you jump to conclusions, professional cuddling is not a thinly veiled excuse for prostitution. In fact, it's the furthest thing from it.

Cuddle clients are made to sign strict waivers eliminating the possibility of sexual activity before an appointment and are often asked to sit an interview with their professional cuddler before the session goes ahead.

This isn't a happy ending cuddling sesh; this is serious, professional cuddling — and for good reason.

Cuddling has been scientifically proven to release oxytocin, also known as the "feel-good hormone." It can also boost your immune system, relieve pain, and even lower your risk of heart disease. No wonder people are paying 80 dollars an hour to cuddle. 

As Kundala puts it, professional cuddling is a purely platonic, affection-based service designed to provide comfort, relaxation, and awareness of the present moment. 

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This awareness can carry into the person's everyday life and create overall appreciation and gratitude. Nowadays, such awareness is hard to come by when we're glued to our screens. Cuddling takes us away from what isn't important and focuses us on what truly is: self-care.

RELATED: THIS Is The Right Way To Cuddle, According To Science

"Clients want the closeness and the intimacy that platonic cuddling brings," Kundala says. "They feel that they can surrender to nurturing without expectations or of any desire for sexual exchange. They may have had some issues relating to connection, warmth, and hugs, and want to experience the tenderness that it brings."

SHESAID has informed, inspired, and empowered women all over the world since its launch in 1999. With expert advice and opinion in the realms of fashion, beauty, travel, lifestyle, health, love, parenting, and entertainment, SHESAID always has a new perspective on the issues that really matter to women.

This article was originally published at She Said. Reprinted with permission from the author.