Healers vs. Sharks

[Deleted User]tuttouomo (deleted user)

For years I've been able to distill healers from those only interested in the money within the body work community. I am sure many of you have experienced a massage that left you feeling like you set back the clock 10 years in your life, and added 20 years to your life span. Conversely, many of you have experienced the kind of massage where you could not wait to get off the table.

Some people choose to be body workers, yoga teachers, cuddlers, chiropractors because of the love for people and the innate desire to heal others, to be of service to others.

Unlike massage, or yoga, or a chiropractor whereas you have to get a certificate, or license to practice - there is no such credential needed for a "professional cuddler". I've been fortunate to cuddle with some amazing healers, and I've had interactions with those whom can be described best as sharks just interested in the $$$. Some are very convincing, sweet sounding, adorable sharks - but nonetheless still sharks. Most of which I've noticed over time end up being banned, or delete their own accounts.

Don't get me wrong, healers deserve to get paid and paid well - but there are some who only care about the money. I personally don't think bodywork is a profession where one should get into it just for the money; it's not a high money business anyway. Teachers don't become teachers for the money - they do it for the love of teaching.

So my question for this discussion is: How do you sniff out the real deal from the money mongers among "professional cuddlers"? What are some of the questions you ask, what are some of the tell tell signs you've been able to sniff out?

  1. I think "professional cuddlers" should be required to get a license or be certified to practice27 votes
    1. Yes, it would ensure consistency in professional business practices
    2. No, it would be too limiting and restrictive


  • From the viewpoint of a Pro, while having a certification would be nice and are currently available from some cuddle businesses they are also not regulated. With the cost involved there is no guarantee of the quality of the certification training or set industry standards yet. The current certifications are very costly compared to the amount of work the certification would garner you. Since the currently community is still small a certification doesn't necessarily mean you'll get more clients or be able to charge a higher rate (as they do in most other industries).

    I believe in the future with a larger community and more public acceptance we can get to that point. However there will probably still always be a subsection of not certified cuddlers. And there will always be sharks, as with any industry people will do the same job for very different motivations. They can probably just as easily pass the certification process as those of us who are more interested in providing the healing relaxing experiences to clients.

  • I mean, look at the legal field. Passing the bar and four years in law school speak NOTHING to competence, ethics or effectiveness. Reviewing all the certified professionals I've ever dealt with-
    --yup, I can say the same for them too.

  • edited September 2017

    What do you call a person who graduates at the bottom of their class in medical school? A Doctor!
    I have a Masters degree, as well as additional training and certification that puts me in the upper category of my professional credentialing. I'm not super smart, not a super hard worker, nor am I by any means the best in my field. I just did the time and did what I had to do to get to where I would like to be professionally. So no, having a fancy degree or title or certificate doesn't mean you are better or more qualified. However it does add credibility. So if you are concerned credibility and want paid cuddling to be taken seriously, that may be the way to go.

  • I thought "Healers vs Sharks" was a question about "energy" balance, like if someone is more giving or more taking it from a client.

    I think the ability of clients to rate is more important than an actual certification for cuddling. For things where you can seriously hurt someone if you do it wrong, certification makes sense so there's at least a minimum required knowledge base and also a mechanism to deny the dangerously incompetent ones the means to practice.

    I wish carpentry in my state required certification, i.e. a license. It would mean not having to lower my prices because some bozo with no tools or skills will say he'll do the job for less.

  • I feel that professional cuddling is at a very dangerous stage in its growth especially on this site. I remember professional cuddling in its early stages, was about healing and good vibes. It's now turned into a money making thing. There are still plenty of amazing pros but pro cuddling also has its share of prostitution and girls just simply looking for a quick buck. Perhaps if a certification was required and there was a fear of losing that certification, maybe professional cuddling would clean itself up.

  • I'm going through 10 years of dental charges and comparing them against insurance reports after I caught my dentist overcharging me. So far, he's had to refund me several hundred dollars and I suspect that by the time I'm done with my review, it's going to be several thousand. There's nothing g wrong with professionals "simply looking to make a quick buck" however blind of an assumptive projection that may be (and please, call us women, not girls, which is belittling and not even factual), as long as they provide the service they were hired to provide for an acceptable fee. In my case, accreditation and the ADA has not encouraged dentistry to "clean itself up." Hardly. Btw, at the risk of going off topic, fluorine/fluoride is a nervine and pesticide used only as a wood protectant and.....to kill bioforms in the water supply and human mouths

  • In the example of your dentist, he was unethical by over charging you. He made a quick buck at your expense and that once again is unethical. Is that okay?

    If dentists weren't required to have a license to practice, can you imagine how much worst the field would be? So being licensed helps immensely, wouldn't you say?

    So are you're saying that a pro cuddler that's doubling as a prostitute is okay so long as they're offering sexual services for an acceptable fee?

    Lastly, the girl/woman thing, If you don't want to be referred to as a girl, I will very respectfully not Refer to "you" as so.

  • Ten years of overcharge isn't a quick buck, but a systemic lying and gutting with concerted motivation. My point is not that he was unethical, But that credentials and a professional oversight entity didn't hinder the robbery (or punish the criminal). Or protect the buyer. Which is the point I wanted to make to a comment made that is very close to baiting.

    I don't know why this forum commonly defaults to the supreme insult of belittling the paid cuddlers here as prostitutes and comparing paid cuddling to prostitution. Because women are involved, mayhap? To be fair, shouldn't you then be comparing men to cruisers and johns and possible pedophiles who prefer girls to women, and thus should be in a national registry? Does this sound outrageous yet? Sit with it a while, then,and see how it feels. In most of the world, the historic male impulse in response to female freedom (which starts with economic self-direction) is social demeaning of status (scarlet letters, anyone?) and regulation/control. Please, just stop.

  • I haven't read anything past the opening post so I am just responding to that.

    The second you add money to something you open up the possibility of someone doing something they would rather not for that money. I don't think you could ever really know for sure if someone is a shark as you put it.

    I realise I am likely atypical but I have never actually had a professional massage or anything. I just am not comfortable with the possibility that I would make someone else uncomfortable on purpose.

    As to the licence stuff....I doubt there is any system in place for it and since this would be a very small business I can't see it happening in a proper way. I don't think there would be any value in creating such a certification in our present environment.

  • edited September 2017

    Licensing laws, generally speaking, are a scam whereby the people who already supply a given good or service use the government to restrict access to that market by new suppliers, thereby keeping prices artificially high and competition low.

    A recent case demonstrates the absurd lengths to which licensing laws are often taken. A pair of orthodontists in Arkansas offered teeth cleaning at a fraction of the cost of their competition (dentists). The dentists sued the orthodontists on the grounds that they should not be able to practice outside their specialty, even though orthodontists are obviously qualified to be dentists and to clean teeth. The dentists won, and the consumers lost.

    This is just one example. There are many others. Poor black women having to go to cosmetology school to braid hair. Tour guides having to get a license to tell historical facts about their hometown. If you or I or a reasonable, impartial person wrote a licensing law, it would be simple and sensible. But we don't write laws -- lobbyists write laws.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that an occupational/professional license is different from a business license. A business license shows that the government knows who you are, where you live, maybe requires you to have liability insurance, etc. Very basic stuff that applies to every business owner in the same way. That's different from an occupational/professional license, which shows that you have cleared some arbitrary hurdle unique to your particular profession.

    Yes, licenses serve a purpose in cases where you could be harmed by someone messing up -- doctors, homebuilders, etc. But licensing cuddlers would serve no such purpose and would just serve to undercut the growth of a fledgling industry.

  • [Deleted User]Unknown (deleted user)

    Whag the hell is going on in the dental trade ? @ sometimes , @ universe
    I had a dentist push on me a " fancy extraction " once , gave me a scare that a normal extraction ( wisdom tooth) would result in some perpetual numbness in my jaw , and I needed a crownomectomy
    thag was cutting off the crown and leaving the root in place . Insurance wouldn't pay , $600 to me .
    Then he contradicts the procedure by offering to take out that root if it moved for some reason , follow up X-rays cha Ching etc

  • I'll chime in and say that if you add a ton of up front costs, which is what licensing and test taking is, to the cuddling industry you're going to notice a much higher cost passed on to the consumer and far fewer options in cuddling. Being a high quality professional cuddler already requires a ton of knowledge, time, and expense (which we don't tell clients about, usually, and certainly don't let them see) to provide a sanitary, comfortable, healing, and overall great experience. This is what clients are paying for and why they come back.

    When I was new to cuddling, this was all super intimidating, and the immediate up front cost was still daunting. I also wasn't sure how safe I would be (I know I say this often here, but TSB does wonders at keeping its cuddlers safe, so I'm grateful to them for that). Still, it's scary and takes a lot more time and effort because you're new and haven't yet figured out a routine or how to best plan ahead for the cuddling week. (I'll spill a little here: lots of laundry on weekends or nights you give yourself "off" - hA! - and purchasing wardrobe closets to stack and sort sheets/blankets/pillows in for quick and simple access when changing between clients. Another helpful tip is knowing how to schedule properly so you have enough time in between to change yourself, change your sheets, and refresh the room - I use sage, crystals, and sound).

    If you're doing it right and have good mentors, your first few cuddles are actually going to pay back your up front costs put into it. I love cuddling, and learning the skills I did was of value to me, so I didn't mind that much. Still, we all have an idea of how things will go and then there's reality. I want new pro cuddlers to enter the field - it's good for all of us. I don't have enough time in my week to see everyone who needs cuddles, so a little "competition" (help) is always welcome. I don't want to raise the financial bar for new cuddlers to enter the profession, especially because I know that the ones who are women are already scared and putting a lot of work, time, and cost into doing a good job.

    I think that if we decide to start regulating cuddlers and introducing high up front costs and stress into an already high-stress occupation, then some potentially very talented cuddlers will never enter the field. This is a field where you don't know how good you are until you try, and I'm constantly improving over time. Personally, I don't want to create barriers of entry above the high ones that already exist.

    As a side note: I find it curious how many of the frequent posters on this site are suspicious and cynical of the professional cuddlers providing the service they say they want. I'm glad the people I see from here are positive and happy. I feel like, and have been told, I'm providing a great service to my community. Cuddling has so many positive benefits that I want more people in my nearby surroundings to be getting frequent cuddles, from wherever and whomever. I can't imagine that a negative viewpoint is helpful for your own mental happiness or for getting cuddles.
    Okay, I know that's not going to be a popular statement but maybe it will inspire someone to get a cuddle today. Ask a friend even! Happy Cuddling, Everyone!

  • @Pinklipstick22: I appreciate your comments.....note I resent SB keeping keeping former pros on their sites months after their no longer available..

  • [Deleted User]StarFlower (deleted user)

    @GeekCuddles and @PinkLipstick22 I really couldn't have made those points better myself.

    The thing I'll reiterate is, if you don't think a service is valuable, don't use it. Meaning either an entire industry,or just individuals in an industry. I've been to one good chiropractor, and one excellent chiropractor. Luckily not a bad one. But if I had, I certainly wouldn't go back to that one!

    As for certification versus cuddling fees, there's onky a payoff in certainty level of the cuddler. A shark will never become a healer, just like an apple tree will never give you a pear to eat.

  • [Deleted User]tuttouomo (deleted user)

    Great to see a lively discussion here. To go back to one of my original questions "what have you learned are the tell tell signs?" Some sharks don't immediately look and feel like it. So what do you ask to identify the real deal vs the not? How do you test someone new to providing you a service to see if they are all about the benjamins or they actually love being a healer.

  • Call me silly but I guess I'm not really understanding why a person who loves to cuddle because it helps others and self in many ways also love making the money to do what they love already without making them a shark? Are you a shark if you half a** do the job just to get the money or are you a shark because you want to make money off of what you love to do? Are you not a true healer if you see the value in what you love to do & require money for your services? I apologize Tuttouomo for not answering your original question as you've tried to bring us back to as I have yet to try these services I'm still brand new to it all but VERY optimistic!

    I'm very much a giver and gain from giving & pouring positive energy into another being. So I guess I'm just a bit confused as to why certification and license are so important to some of the above. Like a massage therapist either you click or you don't. Once you find the right fit you stick with what works for you and I right? The same goes for almost anything else in life. So when it comes to whether a cuddler is a shark or a healer most people have a choice... Go with your instincts and vibes of the person and atmosphere & stay or leave. Is like to become a professional cuddler AND get paid for it because I feel I have a lot to contribute to people through my positive chill energy and cheerful attitude... Would that make me a shark?

    In my opinion, just as a couple others have stated, having a license or certification doesn't make a persons services good or bad... It's the actual services that do that. I'm SURE there are some great "HEALERS" as you put it that have had a not so great day and brought a bad energy with them to a session therefore causing them to seem like a "SHARK" in it for the money & leaving a bad impression for other healers. It happens just as in any profession requiring people skills/interaction unfortunately. However (& maybe it's just my glass half full look talking lol) I'd like to think in the case of "Healers vs Sharks" the fact alone that being a professional cuddler requires the desire to aid another being & be a bit selfless means there are far more healers than sharks. You SHOULD be able to tell a shark from a healer through simple basic conversation straight out (opinion).

    _-Is it all about THEM or are they attentive to what it is YOU need? -Is there eye contact? Do they make an effort to remember your name? -Are they in tune with what you are or are not comfortable with or are they trying to force you to be comfortable with something you are not? -Have they asked you what it is you prefer with positioning and topic or music or atmosphere? _
    TO ME a "shark" wouldn't pay much attention to these details & would give you the feeling they want to just :3 get it over with so to speak. Maybe not MEAN or RUDE but more on the careless side. As I said I've never experienced a professional cuddler yet (I plan to pronto) but I'd look out for these simple things. A little more selflessness and a few more cuddles would make this world much easier to reside on!!

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