Twenty nine year-old New Yorker, Jackie Samuel, saw a need and then started a business to fulfill it. Samuel opened "The Snuggery" in her Penfield home, a place where clients can cuddle with her for $60 an hour.
"The Snuggery is a place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of life and focus on the simple restorative pleasure of touch. Though science has unquestionably supported the psychological and physical benefits of non-sexual touch, Americans distinctly lack it. It's time for change," Samuel writes on The Snuggery's official site.
Samuel's cuddling sessions are nudity- and sex-free. She insists that cuddling is about relaxation and physical touch and isn't sexual in nature. Friends and family are always present in her home to offer her protection if needed.
"Although sexual activity is not permitted, arousal is perfectly normal and should not make anyone feel uncomfortable," she writes.
"You feel more calm for days afterward," the University of Rochester graduate and current master's student claims. "It has numerous health benefits."
Samuel lists some of those health benefits in an interview with the Henrietta Post:
"It lowers blood pressure," she says. "If you're comfortable with touch, it can reduce your cortisol levels, and most studies show that when they have a reduction of cortisol levels, they're immune system is stronger. Cuddling can also increase your seratonin and oxytocin levels, which help you to feel calmer and more relaxed."
Samuel is currently working without a licence because there's isn't one for her niche company.
"I thought, I need to kind of validate my position," Samuel tells KGO-TV. "I need some kind of certification or license to show I'm a qualified cuddler, but I couldn't find anybody else who was doing what I was doing so I decided to just start."
Research supports Samuel's belief in the power of touch. Click here for five health-related reasons to cuddle.
Would you consider paying someone to cuddle with you? Or is that going too far?