Enthusiasts Who Expect Too Much for Too Little

PART ONE

Every once in a while, a (male) enthusiast makes a post about one, or more, of the following topics:

1.) How there are no (or very few) female enthusiasts.
2.) How unwilling they are to hire a pro.
3.) How pros are greedy.
4.) How pros are too expensive.

I want to talk about this, as a female professional. This is my perspective. There will be a lot of generalizations in this post. Please keep that in mind. I’m not referring to everyone — in fact, please keep in mind that most of my closest forum friends are male enthusiasts.

Prologue

Okay, for starters: I know that this website was created for enthusiasts. And I know that for the first many years, there were no professionals on this site. I know that some of the folks who have been around for a long time still wish professionals were not allowed on the site. I can understand that.

You should also know that I am new to the cuddling community. And, as I already mentioned, I’m a pro. That may, already, be a strike (or two!) against me in some of your minds.

Regardless, I hope some of you will hear me out. This is not a rant (although, I admit, I find some of the above topics frustrating). But it is a bit of a soliloquy. So, here we go:

———

Let’s start with number 1 on the list:

I have genuine sympathy for the fact that there are so many men out there who cannot find a cuddle partner. (I would say empathy, but let’s be real — as a woman, I have never been in this situation. So I’m not going to pretend that I can completely put myself in a male enthusiast’s shoes.) The gender balance is skewed. I have many thoughts as to why that is, but those thoughts are outside of the scope of this post. So, regarding point number 1 on the list? That sucks.

Continuing with number 2 on the list:

It seems that many male enthusiasts are unwilling to hire a professional cuddler. That’s okay — you don’t have to.

But sometimes I get the feeling that these enthusiasts who are unwilling to hire a professional cuddler think that if it weren’t for women being allowed to be professionals there would be a lot more female enthusiasts. I disagree with this idea.

Now we get to numbers 3-4 on the list:

If a person believes that there would be more female enthusiasts if female professionals were not allowed, numbers 3 and 4 on the list seem totally legitimate.

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Comments

  • edited August 2018

    PART TWO

    But here’s my experience:

    I became a professional cuddler because I saw that there was an unmet need for platonic touch in our society. I did not join because I was a person who needed cuddling and saw there was a way to make money off of it. I, personally, don’t need to search out a platonic cuddle buddy because I am ‘lucky’ enough to have collected a very cuddly group of friends and family. (I don’t really think luck has much to do with it. It’s more that I’m a woman with a specific type of personality.) I became a professional cuddler because I believed that I could do something I loved and make the world a better place.

    Isn’t that something that everyone searches for? A job they love where they can make a positive difference in the world? How is this a bad thing?

    I guess some people see it as greedy because, if we were really feeling altruistic, we could do the work for free. Or we could at least not charge so much!

    ———

    So, let’s talk about that. Most professional cuddlers — including most established professionals — cannot cuddle full-time. For one, while it is beautiful, uplifting work — it can sometimes be emotionally draining. But more importantly, like any other type of entrepreneurship — there is a LOT OF WORK being done that is invisible and unpaid.

    I spend several hours on the Internet, at least 6 out of 7 days a week working on my business. I answer messages. I write blog posts. I update Instagram. I update my professional Facebook page. I participate in this forum. I participate in forums for professionals. I do online professional cuddling training (Cuddlist and Cuddle Party). I make preparations to attend the CuddleXpo. I make preparations to attend Cuddle Sanctuary’s training in October. I shop online for cuddling supplies. I work with my graphic designer to create a logo for my business.

    You might notice that several of these things even COST me money. So far, in the 3 months that I have been doing professional cuddling, I have made somewhere around $3600 (gross). I have LITERALLY spent every single penny on my business — so $0 (net). I’m lucky because due to my current finances, I can do that. Most other professional cuddlers have it much harder. But even without the business expenses, I need more than $1200 a month to live on.

    And most of the professional cuddlers that I have talked to make $2000 or less per month from cuddling.

  • edited August 2018

    PART THREE

    Let’s get back to the title of this thread: Enthusiasts Who Expect Too Much for Too Little.

    As a professional, the focus of my profile is to give information about myself and to let you know what I can do for you.

    I do not expect to feel ‘cuddled’ when I am cuddling a client. Frequently, my clients DO cuddle me! They’ve hugged me, spooned me, stroked me, and have even given me massages! And that’s lovely!

    But I don’t expect it. I tell my clients that the session is THEIRS. It’s for THEM. And, within the rules of platonic cuddling, they decide what they want to do or what they want me to do.

    And, as a professional, I try to help my clients relax — some of this is through the things that I bring with me, things I have re-invested my cuddling money into. I bring an aromatherapy diffuser — and they choose the scent! I bring a Bluetooth speaker and Premium Spotify — and they get to choose what we listen to! I bring a weighted blanket in case they feel anxious. I bring Aveda lotions for hand and foot massages.

    Some of the ways I help my clients relax are in my cuddling skills, which include being relaxed, following their lead as to conversation/quiet, and observing them. How do I observe them? I listen to their breath. If their breath is shallow, I try to make my breathing just a little deeper to encourage their breathing to become deeper. Once they’re relaxed and breathing deeply, I try to match my breath to theirs. I listen to their heartbeat. If it’s slow, I know they are relaxed. If it speeds up, I know they’re either becoming anxious or excited — and we should probably try a different type of cuddling.

    So, that’s me. That’s what I do. If that sounds good to you, well, surprise! Maybe you are interested in hiring a professional cuddler! If that’s not what you’re looking for, cool — no hard feelings! And, again, I’m just one person with my own style. Other professionals have different styles!

    ———

    What about the male enthusiast?

    From my casual observation, the male enthusiasts who do the best are ones who both explain what they’re looking for in a cuddler, but also what THEY can provide to their cuddlee. This includes three things that many male enthusiasts do not provide: 1.) a picture, 2.) a filled out profile, 3.) information that doesn’t just focus on what they WANT but also what they can PROVIDE. After all, enthusiast cuddling is suppose to be a more-or-less equal exchange of cuddles, right?

  • edited August 2018

    IN CONCLUSION

    1.) A female professional who is doing her job well is working very hard for her money. Just because she cuddles as a profession does not mean she is not interested in cuddling, selfish, or greedy. There are few services that people are expected to do ‘for free,’ even if they like performing that service! I suspect there may be some sexism in the ire towards the professional cuddlist because of the gender imbalance. However, there is a need — and we fulfill it. Teachers, social workers, artists — they may be doing what they love, but they still need to earn a living in our capitalist society.

    2.) If you are truly an enthusiast who wants to only cuddle fellow enthusiasts — that’s totally fine! But to experience the best success, be mindful of what you put in your profile. It’s not just about you — it’s about the connection.

    3.) It is insulting and hurtful (at least, to me) when you accuse professional cuddlers of being selfish, greedy, and that people would be ‘better off paying that kind of money to a prostitute — you get more.’ Regardless of my feelings on sex work, what I do is very, very different from prostitution. Prostitution is, in many ways, the antithesis of platonic touch and, frankly, it may scare women (and the community in general) away from entering the cuddle community — as either a professional OR an enthusiast.

    All the best,

    Andi

    P.S. If you’ve read this far, you deserve an award. ?

  • Andi, I commend you for the time, effort and sincerity you put into that post! This community is lucky to have you!

  • Well written. Thank you!

    I especially appreciate your advice to male cuddling enthusiasts, though I'm sure it applies to women, too.

    "From my casual observation, the male enthusiasts who do the best are ones who both explain what they’re looking for in a cuddler, but also what THEY can provide to their cuddlee. This includes three things that many male enthusiasts do not provide: 1.) a picture, 2.) a filled out profile, 3.) information that doesn’t just focus on what they WANT but also what they can PROVIDE. After all, enthusiast cuddling is suppose to be a more-or-less equal exchange of cuddles, right?"

    Excellent!

  • @AndiCuddles , you are asking people to be thoughtful, logical, and to display empathy. You're an optimist, aren't you? LOL

    Good points, a lucid presentation, not confrontational or emotionally charged. Kudos. I hope the effort isn't for naught

  • @quietman775

    Lol. Yeah, I’m an optimist. Sorta’. But also a masochist. Obviously. ?

  • edited August 2018

    @AndiCuddles I often find it is the people who are resentful with their own circumstances who go off the rails on people who get paid to cuddle. That is not your fault, nor the fault of others. I appreciate your explanation, and at the same time am bothered by the fact that you have been made to feel one needed to be given. I dont feel anybody should be given grief for doing what you do, it is their choice to book an appointment, or keep searching for a friend to cuddle who wont charge them for it. I appreciate what you and the others on this site do, and what you add to the site.

  • @pmvines

    Hmm. I don’t know that I’d say I’ve ‘been made to feel one [an explanation] needed to be given.’ ...But maybe that’s one way to look at it? I just know that when those types of threads come up, I feel I have a lot to say... but don’t want to totally derail the thread or totally neg the person.

    So, I felt like I’d sorta’ roll all my thoughts on it into one thing. Now when someone posts one of those types of threads I can be like:

    ⬆️ HERE’S my opinion. Lol.

  • @AndiCuddles I hear you. I just wish there wasn't negativity aimed at you all. It is good that you have this thread, I am just saying the negativity that sparked the thread, I wish was not present. I feel it is mostly people mad that they don't have someone to cuddle them are using you and others as a scapegoat, and that's not fair.

  • Wow @AndiCuddles you have so much time to write on these blogs lol

  • edited August 2018

    @Navyman1010

    I type over 85 wpm, so that helps! ?

  • As someone who is new to this community, I thank you for your blogs. I have seen the negativity, and I wonder how much comes from enthusiasts who are not well-intentioned in what they are truly seeking out. As one who has experienced your sessions, I must say that you set the standard for professionalism and every sense of the term.

  • edited August 2018

    I think you have nailed it! This is a very nice post which makes clear the perspective of a sincere pro cuddler.
    Also, (and I could be wrong about this), my opinion is, for a lot of such men who fail to find a non-pro (for whatever reasons - like their area is very sparsely represented here, etc.), what they are really missing is the feeling of being wanted/needed, and not just platonic touch.
    So in that case, a pro cuddler wouldn't really fill that gap, since along with platonic touch, they also need to feel that the other person too needs your touch/cuddle. This is why I am unsure of professional cuddling - it tries to satisfy the physical needs of touch, but fails to provide for the emotional needs (of feeling that your touch is wanted by someone).
    (I hope my directness did not offend anyone :) . And I am not trying to defend anyone who mistreats or thinks lowly of pro cuddlers. I myself think very highly of them. I am just making a comment on common human nature and needs.)

  • @soothingtouch
    I think you put it very well... There is an emotional need that your touch is wanted by someone else. If a client has that kind of self-awareness and the presence of mind to express this so concisely, I would think the pro would be able to accommodate that need. All it would take is a sigh of comfort, a slight physical reaction, or a phrase (" I like the way that feels", or "I prefer to have my shoulder caressed.")

  • edited August 2018

    @soothingtouch "This is why I am unsure of professional cuddling - it tries to satisfy the physical needs of touch, but fails to provide for the emotional needs (of feeling that your touch is wanted by someone)"

    I'm a giver as well as a receiver, and it means a lot to me that what I want to give is being received (and that the person I'm cuddling is enjoying it too). The professional I've spent the most time with fits that description. Her attitude is that once the money is out of the way, the care and affection we give to each other is not a transaction any more, it's just cuddling!

    The touch I give her is certainly wanted, valued and appreciated, but I wouldn't use the word "needed." That doesn't make it any less satisfying though. We are just giving affection to each other and receiving it from the other person, which is the essence of the whole thing for me I think.

    Does that sounds like something that would meet your emotional needs?

  • edited August 2018

    @respectful Yes, that sounds like a wonderful relationship to have! And it is fortunate that you have found a cuddler with that attitude. :)

    (Again, I wasn't talking about my emotional needs in particular, but about those of any human being...)

  • I think your comment about professional cuddlers being unable to provide the emotional needs of the client is presumptuous that all cuddlers are the same. We are not and some of us got into doing this for different reasons, mine being just as much emotional as physical and not just for my cuddlee but for myself as well. It goes both ways and outside of being paid it teaches you things about emotional and physical needs you wouldn’t have experienced outside of this cuddling. It also teaches you how by placing a profile on this site enables you to come in contact with others that have at least the same passion in cuddling. For me, I have met amazing people that not only changed me, it changed my outlook and my perception of the needs of other human beings and what just missing the touch of another human being does to people. It has taught me that cuddling brings strangers together whom you would never have met outside of here and I know for me, both my cuddler and myself have provided more for each other than fits into either category referenced here and it definitely doesn’t shows the bond created by two strangers who become friends that look forward to cuddling with each other again.

  • edited August 2018

    Bravo! Well said.

  • [Deleted User]choicesvital (deleted user)

    @AndiCuddles , I must say that I have very high Regards and respect for all genuine pro cuddlers out there who make all the effort to help others! While it may look like profession because fees are involved, I have met some pros who now I am so well connected that I almost see them as my true Wellness pals! With genuine touch there is lot of healing energy involved!

  • @AndiCuddles, I love your attempt to educate the self-entitled men whom will read this and think "this can't possibly apply to ME." Before the haters go berserk, I'm not betraying my gender - I'm stating my perspective.

    I love your writing and energy even more so and I'd hire you in a heartbeat if we were geographically inclined. As I've said to another professional cuddler on here ( @BlueIris ), you keep being gloriously you.

  • This was very informational! I just joined today and I honestly expected my profile to be enough but it’s true we are a little bit selfish in the fact that we don’t think about the people we’re cuddling but ourselves! You’re a real life saver and your work is valuable to today’s society I really hope more people will start to appreciate pros like you!

  • @soothingtouch
    The idea that we need to feel that our touch is needed by someone else had not come to my mind.

    But as client I have seen a number of pros who have verbally expressed how much they enjoy my touch! I also am aware of the fact that I enjoy so much more a session with a pro who at least expertly makes me believe that she enjoys it as much as I do.

    As I have said in different words in different threads, I think pro cuddlers are amazing people.

  • @soothingtouch

    I think your feelings are valid. Really. I think about how much differently I might feel after a cuddle session if I didn’t have my own partner to go home to, afterwards. I am truly blessed/lucky to have abundance in this one area of my life.

    For me, though, (and I think this is something @HugsFromFei has said, maybe in slightly different words), while there is an exchange of money and a sharing of time — the love and affection and acceptance I feel for my clients is absolutely free.

    I don’t want to put words into my clients’ mouths — but I think with this type of touch and communication, a real bond forms. It’s not mechanical, it’s not faked.

    It’s sort-of magical.

    (Again, not trying for a hard sell. But, even for me, it’s different than I thought it would be. It really transcends any ideas of what I thought it’d be like before I did it.)

  • @ everyone else

    I am so, so happy that this post (this ridiculously long post!) has resonated with so many people!

    I was really thinking I might be starting a war! ?

    ♥️?♥️

  • @Wilmane

    Especially happy that this post might’ve helped a new enthusiast! Thank you for the kind words! Best wishes on finding a cuddle buddy!

  • Great post. I actually recommend that ones first cuddle experience be at a moderated event like a cuddle party or with a trained professional. One learns about communication and boundaries with the pros. The formality of part of the session can provide a good foundation to work from in future encounters.
    I think the advice about the profile is especially on point in a universal way. I’m not a pro and I get requests from folks who haven’t filled out their profiles and don’t have a picture. It feels a little off putting. It’s definitely a missed opportunity to connect, and makes me feel a little awkward as I have a lot of information in my profile.

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