Professional Cuddling:Do You Need A Hug? Now You Can Pay For One - FOX 35 News Orlando

Professional Cuddling: Do You Need A Hug? Now You Can Pay For One

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Sometimes you just need a hug. It's so true. But how would you feel if you were getting this hug from a perfect stranger? And what if…I told you this hug wasn't for free- you would have to pay for it?

That's right one enterprising woman has turned the need for hugs into a professional business. Ali C started her company, called "Cuddle U NYC" last year in New York. She is billing herself as the city's first professional cuddler. This professional cuddling service provides therapy for those who need some special attention.

Clients can go there for emotional release and relax in a nurturing environment. Ali stresses that there is no sex involved. In fact she says most of the clients end up falling asleep during the session. Still, I can't help to think it could lead to much more.

A New York City spokesman says there aren't any statutes on the books that govern cuddling. The state Office of Professions, which oversees services like acupuncture and massage in NYC has no regulations or licenses for "snuggling."

So… how is this business doing?

Well, in the past year Ali has seen more than 30 clients, both men and women. They've all gone to see her for different reasons, but in the end they were all looking for the same result- a nurturing touch. The rates are comparable to a massage parlor- $60 for a 45 minute spooning session, $80 for an hour of cuddling, $200 for a cuddle that includes a movie and an overnight stay (which hasn't yet been requested) is $500.

Potential clients have their social media profiles checked, they must provide a copy of their driver's license, sign a waiver and a pre-snuggle interview is conducted of course.

Now to be fair, I do admire her reasoning for all this- she says she never got a lot of attention as a kid and longed for affection. She actually was a teenager when she first got the idea for this. While, visiting a nursing home and she says she placed her hand on the arms of ill people and saw how their moods changed. They needed the human touch and affection to feel better. That I understand.

I am all about people enterprising and trying out creative new businesses models. But I have to be honest, this is just a little strange…ok fine…more like creepy. I wouldn't want someone I don't know to hold me, let alone I can't imagine paying someone to do it. For $80 bucks I would rather have a massage!

Similar services have popped up in Portland, San Francisco, Rochester, N.Y. – so naturally I wonder if L.A. is next?

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