Never underestimate the power of the human touch.
At least, that's the business model that Penfield, N.Y. woman Jackie Samuel is banking on. About a month ago, she launched a business offering a solid hour of cuddle time in exchange for a cool $60.
"I really just wanted to cuddle," Samuel told Metro.
On her site, The Snuggery, Samuel showcases herself as an advocate for the healing power of touch. With photos that show her in cozy, curled up poses dressed in pajamas, Samuel states that Americans are deprived of non-sexual touch and that's why she is here to help.
Samuel said she has looked into getting certified for her snuggle sessions, but found that the only certification available was for people looking to host group snuggling parties. Samuel just wanted to do individual cuddling. When she placed an ad for her snuggle services in the back of her local newspaper, business started to flow.
"There are different kinds of cuddling positions, but I typically always start out spooning and I am pretty small, so usually I'm the little spoon," Samuel said.
She also offers a 45-minute session for $50, and 90 minutes of cuddling for $90. While she has gotten some inquiries from snuggle-seekers looking for a little extra affection, Samuel said the majority of her clients (all men, though she is willing to cuddle with women, too) respect her boundaries and are just looking to get cozy.
"I think a lot of people don’t have someone in their life that they can receive comforting touch from on a regular basis," Samuel explained.
She covers any potentially awkward moments in the frequently asked questions section of her site:
Q. Do we meet before we snuggle?Though Samuel is alone in a room at her home with her clients during snuggle time, there are always other people present in the house for security reasons. She has studied the "Cuddle Sutra" and said she would be open to the more than 100 positions detailed in the book, though most snuggle positions just come naturally when she's on the clock.
A. Yes, we do meet briefly prior to snuggling in order to make sure that we're both comfortable and that our expectations are compatible.
Q. What if I become sexually aroused during my session?
A. Don't worry, it happens! Although sexual activity is not permitted, arousal is perfectly normal and should not make anyone feel uncomfortable.
Q. Do clothes/pajamas always stay on for the duration of our session?
A. Absolutely! Nudity is not permitted.
"It tends to be pretty improvisational," she said.