I know the so-called ‘mature’ thing here would be to ignore @Psychonaut83’s comment.
Alas, I’m afraid my alignment is Chaotic Good. So, instead of ignoring his rudeness, I’ve compiled a short list of Fun Facts! ?
1.) I’m older than @Psychonaut83!
2.) 13-year-old girls are awesome! I was one, once upon a time, so I’m considered a bit of an expert in that field. ?
3.) Oh, and about 13-year-old girls — in standard English, that phrase is hyphenated. “When the age is an adjective that comes before the noun and modifies the noun, or when the age is a noun, hyphenate.”
4.) No, I would not like to rephrase my question. My use of slang was a deliberate lexical choice.
5.) I hold a B.A. from the University of Michigan. I double majored. My majors were Linguistics and English!
Less arguing, more cuddling!
I'm jelly. Way to shake that smart thang. Grinning jealously.
You’re a “thang” now. ?
Why, I mean seriously , why ? Pointless rude comments for no reason is what a 13 yr old might do ...
such a wonderful interview! Thanks to @respectful for taking time to connect with @AndiCuddles , so that we all can know more about her and in general about cuddlers and what they have to say or think or share! @respectful , love all your interview series, there is always something new to know or learn about someone or just an enjoyable fresh read!
What’s rude, @pmvines? Pointing out poor writing when I see it? Please, explain.
I mean, if I wish to ask somebody a question I will type that question clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. I certainly would not consciously try to make myself come across as an uneducated ditz.
What you are doing is for the purpose of being provocative, otherwise you would not have made your initial comment. Now you are trying to pretend that you aren't doing anything and that it is the fault of the reader for somehow misunderstanding your intent. I don't have the time to debate you on this, nor do I care to. I don't have time for games.
You’re mistaken. I’m not prentending that I am doing nothing wrong. I will outright state that I am doing nothing wrong. Why? Because I’m not. You’re dismissed.
LaLaLa... @pmvines What do you think of the interview? I learned a little more about my friend Andi. I like that she has been doing this work, for a while and I like that she works to mainstream the idea that platonic touch is a real situation/action that brings healing and deserves respect. I also like how she stands up for herself when needed. Great interview IMHO.
I did one myself and so have several of my friends on here. Some people on the interview thread I don't know really but cant imagine giving a negative comment to them for it. Seems a bit trollish, and I am trying so hard to not feed the trolls
@AndiCuddles Both the interview and your short list of fun facts were well done. I wish more people adopted your approach --- less snark, more snuggles!
@Psychonaut83 ... lots of rookies get interviewed in all kinds of work . Nothing new, or out of the ordinary .
@AndiCuddles Mass Effect, Fallout, and Persona, huh? You've got good taste in games.
Oh, god, I still have my MTG decks too--my best is an extortion deck. x3 Draining my opponent's life so I don't even have to block... there was some evil cackling at casual tournaments from yours truly when I first started playing.
I also love anime and manga, and Ranma 1/2 was one of the early ones for me too, but the last ones I watched were Boku no Hero Academia, Assassination Classroom, and Castlevania. I'd recommend them all, but the last does have a lot of blood and gore, plus some controversial themes, whereas the first two are definitely not R rated.
I did not know that, @cuddlerforu24. It just seemed odd that she would be speaking as any sort of authority on a subject, considering how new and inexperienced she is. I wondered “what could she possibly have to share given her limited experience thus far? If anything, she still has much to learn”.
@Psychonaut83 I would happily interview anyone here, because everyone's perspective is interesting and different.
Here are some reasons I asked @AndiCuddles for an interview:
-- she had been active on the forum so I knew a little about her (from her blog too). It's much easier to come up with questions when I can read what someone has said before.
-- she had mentioned that cuddling improved her marriage, which is really interesting to me.
-- the fact that she was a relatively new professional gave her an interesting perspective; I wanted to ask if it was how she had expected.
-- she is great at expressing herself.
She gave some unexpected answers and said some things I think would encourage other people, so I'm very glad I asked her.
Edit: So I guess you could say I didn't interview her as a professional, but just as a cuddler. The subject she is an authority on is "what is it like to be Andi".
I always thoroughly enjoy these interviews. It's great to know more about my fellow cuddle peeps!
@Psychonaut83 , I would make a very humble request, please stop and let it go what you started to make/take a stand. Its truly not needed. Enjoy your time here and try to mingle. While I dont see any one is being claimed to be an expert and @respectful already called it out in his response. Eitherways, I personally believe number of years of experience is immaterial over quality of experience.
@Psychonaut83 , Lets all settle in peace here. Experience also teaches us to dig good in everything. I hope you will dig the good things. Hope you will respect my humble request and end your passive/direct confrontation but just mingle along and enjoy the good part! Thanks in advance!
I don't recall anybody ever claiming to be an expert of anything, certainly not @respectful nor @AndiCuddles . That was asserted for the purpose of playing games, attempting to make issues where there are none. Not sure why some feel a need to do that. Well actually I do why some do, I am just being polite...
@ubergigglefritz is a professional in Hadensville, Virginia. "The giggle fritz is when you are laughing and can't stop, no matter how hard you try. Unfortunately "gigglefritz" was not available, so after much brainstorming, I decided on "uber" to tack onto the front."
You describe yourself as HSP (a Highly Sensitive Person). How does that affect your life?
The primary thing I notice and which affects me is being highly attuned to people’s nonverbal communication. This makes large groups incredibly overwhelming for me, because there are so many things being thrown at me to interpret at one time. One person’s look or internal discomfort will cut into me like a knife, and I can’t ignore it. It makes for the most uncomfortable situation I can think of to be in.
Other than that, I am very sensitive to bright lights (changing much of the lights in my house to dimmer switches has been a godsend, and I always have my phone on the dimmest it will go while still being readable), strong smells (hate cologne and perfume, and they can trigger headaches), and any unevenness of clothes or shoes (sleeves that are sewn unequal to each other drive me crazy, or shoes having different tensions), for example.
I think and feel incredibly deeply. Seeing an animal in emotional pain will haunt me deeply and for a long time. Music affects me to the depths of my soul (apparently some people don’t feel an emotional response to music; I can’t imagine).
I’m sure there are more effects, but those are the things that are coming to mind right now.
How did you first get into cuddling?
Honestly, I signed up on Cuddle Comfort as an enthusiast just looking to meet people to connect with in a non-sexual manner. Instantly, men started messaging me with “when can I book you?”. I was very confused about what this is and a little freaked out.
One responder started talking to me about how most women seem to switch to professional in order to make money. I had been working on a plan jobwise for a while. Something which spoke with my soul and would allow me to be my own boss. This turned out to be just that. I knew it was right for me because I was SO excited about it, learning everything I could about the industry, the work, reading everything I could from other professionals, and once I started working, I loved the WORK!
Growing up, I always seemed to gravitate people who were feeling alone. I love talking to everyone, and treat every person like the thinking and feeling human being they are. It’s sad that we live in a world where that is all it takes sometimes. I’m hopeful that bringing this work to our society will slowly change things such that this won’t be the case anymore. Rationale: I feel strongly that touch breeds connection, connection breeds empathy, empathy breeds compassion, and compassion breeds kindness. What do we need more in this world than kindness?
You’ve received some Cuddlist training. Was that helpful as a professional?
Any applicable training and education is helpful as a professional. Cuddlist also provides several weekly web calls for marketing tips, sharing ideas, etc. I am all about education and learning all I can - from both my clients and other professionals. I went to CuddleXpo in Chicago in September and just returned from in-person training in California with Cuddle Sanctuary, which was amazing.
There are lots of things that come naturally to many quality professional cuddlers, but there is a lot more to this work than just utilizing your natural abilities. I am hopeful to attend the Advanced Training with Cuddle Sanctuary in February, in which (among other things) I will learn more about how to work with clients who have experienced trauma.
As I mentioned above, I feel a sign that you’re in the right work is a passion to learn everything you can about it, and that couldn’t be more true with me in regard to cuddling.
You sound comfortable telling people about your job. What are some of the responses you’ve had?
I love talking about this work. Sometimes I’m a little nervous if I sense that the person will be non-receptive, but nearly always I go forward and speak my truth as it is.
More often than not, people seem to get it right away, but other times they are confused, or find humor in it. The funniest was in the airport heading to LAX, a young woman a couple seats down from the person who asked me what work I’m in exclaimed how she’s heard of that, the woman next to her was like “you have?”, and she said how she’s read about it and has always wanted to meet a real professional cuddler (LOL). Apparently I am a unicorn ;-)
The biggest thing I’ve learned talking to everyone I run into about my work is that people are very interested in it. Conversation spikes, questions come in, they listen intently, and they see the value and the need. I’m still struggling to find my local market to assure that I can continue providing this service, but talking to people and seeing the responses I get, I know this is a needed service, and one which I wholeheartedly enjoy.
Have you had any particularly memorable moments cuddling?
I won’t get into any specific examples (very uncomfortable about breaking any confidentiality), but here are some of my favorite things. When people have just met me, but instantly feel comfortable talking to me about things they don’t share with anyone. When wiggling into a cuddle position and we manage to find that spot where everything feels perfect. When a client wholly relaxes in my arms, sighs, breathes deeply, closes their eyes, in essence, just completely lets go. I am always honored to provide that relaxation, acceptance, and connection that the person truly needs in their life. It honestly warms my heart even just thinking about it all. Yes. I’m a bit gushy about my work ;-)
Do you find that you need to rest and rejuvenate between cuddles? What helps you do that?
Definitely. My highly sensitive nature is not conducive to having session after session. Right now I’m still trying to keep to one session each day, but I can do two if they are separated by enough time.
This is not work that I aim to be “booked” solid all day long. I prefer to be wholly focused on the client coming and not to be distracted by who is coming next and when they should be arriving. In addition, there is a lot of work related tasks outside of the cuddle sessions which I need time to focus on, a number of needy animals to care for, and my own personal relationships.
What kind of life skills has cuddling (and being a professional) helped you to develop?
Wow. Where do I begin?
Providing cuddling services has helped me grow closer to becoming my best version of myself. I have always been very empathetic, but cuddling professionally has increased my patience, compassion, empathy, etc.
My listening skills are so much better as well. I made a comment during training this past weekend about how much I love this work - that the training involved in becoming better at my JOB also improves all my personal relationships as well. This is real world application stuff. Conflict management. Communication. Boundaries (holding and VOICING your own, in addition to respecting others without reservation). Valuing your “no”s in order to strengthen your “yes”s, reframing your perspective of RECEIVING a “no” from someone else. And it goes on and on. Continuing indefinitely ...
Not a great job for many people, but for me, this is absolutely perfect.
This is a wonderful read, and thanks @respectful for sticking the direct spots of each interview at the top so we don't all have to read some of the asides in between.
I hope you have plans for more.
@SweetPeaMN Thanks! I've loved the responses people have had in the interviews. And there are plans for more.
@anastasija is a professional cuddler in Oceanside, California.
Tell us about Ana. How are your studies to be a dietician going? What was it like to go from Russia to America?
My studies are great. I'm almost done with my first year and happy where my journey has led so far. When my mom and I emigrated from Russia, I was only 5, so I don't remember much about the transition. But I'm happy to be here now.
Have you always been a cuddler? What inspired you to become a professional?
Funnily enough, I'm not a huge cuddler in my relationships - in particular, at night. I like cuddling during movies and shows, but that's about it. But professionally, I like to relax people and make them feel less lonely, even if it's for a couple of hours. I've always had people tell me I'm easy to talk to, so I thought I had what it takes to do this as a job, per se. Although I don't really look at this as a job, nor do I rely on the money.
You mentioned being burned out earlier this year. Can you say a bit about that?
I'm somewhat of a rarity on this site because I strictly only cuddle platonically. I do not charge more for bikini, topless, or anything sexual. If you're on here long enough and talk to enough people, you learn a lot of these pro cuddlers do something of the latter, even the ones who on the outside seem like they are only platonic.
I found a group of clients who I thought accepted this about my cuddle sessions, but one by one I was told they wanted something more, got inappropriate, etc. I had to ask myself if I was okay being objectified like this for money, or if I no longer belonged on the site due to my moral ground and strong boundaries. So I took a break for a couple months and focused on school, friends, family and decided to come back.
Have you changed anything about your approach since coming back?
I decided to update my profile, as I believed my old one was too broad and invited a lot to interpretation. I made it much more detailed and made sure I stated I only cuddle platonically multiple times. I hope this would discourage anyone looking for sexual services and encourage those who genuinely want cuddling.
Do you have any advice for other professionals about dealing with people who push boundaries?
You need to make sure where you stand for what you're willing to do or not. And if you're the type of person to fall to peer pressure or can't hold your ground, this may not be the job for you because you'll definitely be put to the test.
Define your boundaries and stick to them. No matter how much money they offer or say "well she did this".
How do you put new clients at ease?
I try to make jokes. I know I'm not the funniest person, but it's amazing how quickly someone relaxes by just laughing. Asking them about themselves and telling them about myself, keeping good candor going.
Even though you'll get 99% of clients enjoying the session and telling you how great you are, there is always that one person who you didn't click with. This just recently happened to me, and I learned such a great deal about communication from this session as the blame fell on both of us for not communicating what we were feeling.
I learned it's not enough to just ask "is there any other position you want to try", because people are shy, especially the first time. Sometimes I need to initiate communication and instead say, "let's try this". But clients also need to know there shouldn't be hesitation in asking to try something new, the worst answer is no and we move on. So it's a two way street.
Have you had some particularly memorable times cuddling?
Sure, I've had so many heart-warming experiences. Over time, you do start to care about the clients you see, and I am in the minority that hopes one day they won't need my services and can find what I provide somewhere out in the real world. I know this is bad for business for me, but someone in a perfect world should never have to pay another person to feel close to a human being.
I find satisfaction in watching clients change over time and improve their mental health enough to date again or talk to others candidly. Sometimes this doesn't happen, but when it does, that's what makes all of this worth it.
Oh I have been waiting for a fresh Interview. ?
@respectful @anastasija love it. ?
I am enjoying these posts!
I completely empathize with Ana in terms of being burnt-out, There has been increased pressure to do something extra. I feel like some clients are lying about who is doing what and some pros aren't being completely forthcoming when stating that they only provide platonic services. It ends up falling on pros like us who don't want to do ANYTHING that makes us uncomfortable, but we are constantly pressured to do so. I'm already aware of a few pros that are providing "other" services and I was even blocked by one of them. I eventually found out after her clients were coming to me because she was offering to cuddle "topless" and they assumed I would be open to it too.
Whatever they do is what they do on their own terms, but I hate that it ends up falling on us.
@MissAdventurous @Jade25 Thank you both!
But YES, this is just a big elephant in the room. I honestly do not blame the pros because I don't pass judgement on what women do to make money, it's their hustle.
However, I do blame the clients who see them then assume we all can be bought, for a price or with time.
I understand it comes with the territory because we ultimately sell physical touch (platonic, yes but still) for money and it's a natural response for people to want more and push it further. That can't be blamed, as it's human nature. But what exacerbates this situation is the existence of pros on the site who feed this along with clients who assume we all do it. It's a bad combo.
The only way to deal with it is to be as clear as possible what it is you provide, but even that can get exhausting (hence the burnout is real).
@anastasija If someone provides sexual or services here, they are deliberately breaking the terms of the site though, so I wouldn't want to give a message that it's OK for other pros to do that.
Similarly for clients who want to push things further; it may be human nature to be aroused sometimes, but that's different to acting on it. I do think they can be blamed for pushing it further!
Banning both kinds of people is pretty important, for the protection of others as you say.
My apologies, I wasn’t saying these pros/clients shouldn’t be banned. They definitely should, but I was stating I personally do not blame them/hold a grudge against them. But yes, you’re right they don’t belong on the site and should be removed.
@anastasija Thanks for clearing that up! I understand.