Five questions to ask if you are thinking about becoming a professional cuddler

Here is another great blog post from Cuddle Sanctuary.
I'd be interested in hearing what professionals think about this, as well as potential professionals.
<3 Jim



  • Here are the five questions from the video:

    1) Am I choosing this work because I need to be cuddled?
    2) How badly do I need the money?
    3) How good am I at saying no?
    4) What is my relationship with intimacy and sexuality (and sex work)?
    5) Am I willing to invest in my profession?

  • edited December 2017

    @respectful Thank you so much for writing out the questions. I could not hack going thru 20 minutes of her blather to get to that. Since I wasn't willing to watch the video, I'm not sure what relevance some of these questions have to whether you are a pro or are considering becoming one.

    If a pro needs to be cuddled, getting that need met by your clients is something that should not be counted on. You are there for them. If your client wants to give to you, you just got lucky. Several pros I know have advised me that they have their own cuddle buddies who take care of their cuddle needs because being the primary giver for most of their clients is draining.

    There is an entire thread devoted to the question of pro cuddlers being too mercenary. Anyone who is in any profession just for the money is not going to be as good at it as someone who is attracted to the profession for the love of it. But if you can still give a good cuddle regardless how mercenary your reasons are, I don't think that should matter to anyone.

    Being able to say no is always a good skill to have, no matter the context. Being a doormat, being easily manipulated by people and not standing up for your boundaries is never a good idea. It's particularly important for people to be able to say no because there will always be some clients who want to overstep the boundaries of platonic cuddling and make it sexual. There are also some needy clients who are going to be time suckers and want to text you too much. You are not a therapist, you are not a sex worker, you have to take care of yourself first and say no.

    Not sure how to address 4 and 5. Sexuality and pro cuddling do not mix. That is all, folks. Am I willing to invest what in the profession? I'm willing to invest time to research in human interaction and needs for intimacy. I'm willing to research many other things that would help me provide a better cuddle experience for the clients. Am I willing to invest hundreds of dollars on a training program for an unnecessary certification in an unregulated profession? No, I am not. I think I've learned what I need to know by experience and from other pros.

  • Thanks @BlueIris. You have the general gist of it.

    I'm planning to write a summary of it in a day or so (which will clarify 4 & 5), since I think there's some helpful insights for someone thinking about becoming a professional - but nothing too new for you BlueIris, after talking with you and reading your posts! Just for someone who may not have thought through it all.

  • edited February 2018

    Here's a summary of the video by Fei Wyatt at Cuddle Sanctuary.

    1) Am I choosing this work because I need to be cuddled?

    Professional cudddling takes a lot of emotional labor, and isn't the same as being paid to be nourished. Professionals need another way to get their own cuddle needs met.

    2) How badly do I need the money?

    It may seem like being paid $80 an hour is a lot, but it isn't really possible to work 40 hours a week cuddling; typically it would be 20-25 hours at most. There is a business aspect to being a full time professional, and things like marketing and educating people can take a lot of work that may not suit everyone.

    Be aware of how the need for money affects the choices that you make. Having another primary source of income can help avoid financial stresses, which can cause pressure to take on unsuitable clients.

    3) How good am I at saying no?

    Cuddlers are generally people pleasers - we want to make others happy. But there are a lot of times when we need to say no.

    Professional cuddlers are exposed to a lot of deep needs, and our capacity to meet those needs is limited. Where it comes to sexual needs, we need to be clear and direct in saying no, while at the same time not shaming people for having those needs.

    Without the ability to set clear boundaries, not only will you be exposed to sexual harassment, but it sets an expectation of how they can relate to other professionals too.

    4) What is my relationship with intimacy and sexuality (and sex work)?

    Although platonic cuddling is entirely non-sexual, because it involves touch and intimacy it borders very closely with human sexuality. It is important to be able to talk with people about sexually related topics such as arousal in a straightforward way.

    With my background in psychology I originally thought this job might look like a therapy session, except that I got to hug people. But it struck me early on how many similarities there are to sex work. I am putting my body in service to another person. That can be challenging at times, which may be a sign that your boundaries are being pushed or that you have something you need to work through.

    5) Am I willing to invest in my profession?

    The professional cuddlers that are most successful are the ones who are always learning - from other professionals, about the neuroscience of touch, about the craft of cuddling and so on.

    Another aspect is working on yourself. This is a job which will push your buttons. I have had to work on my ego, my desire to be worthy, and my desire to be attractive to people.

    We need to be careful about the feelings of our clients. In my twenties I found value in making people fall in love with me, and I looked at that in therapy. I had to ask if I was subconsciously creating an attraction that wasn't really serving my clients, just confusing them.

    So there can be a lot of self work in areas like boundary setting, communication, your value, body image and so on.

    It is also recommended to be networked with the community. It is important to have other people you can learn from and bring questions to, and who can say, "I noticed this is something you might need to work on in your personal life, because it is affecting your sessions".

    I've been trying to scare you away from this job if it's not right for you. But at the same time, I have had some of the most beautiful, powerful moments as a professional cuddler. I get to be in the center of people's emotional lives, and that is so rewarding to me.

  • Again, thanks go to @respectful & Fei is having a free online training & Cuddle Sanctuary has a FaceBook page...

  • FYI - this free online seminar is happening on Feb 15th, 2018.

  • This discussion was created from comments split from: Cuddling discussions and resources.
  • Link to the free online seminar? Thanks =)

  • @ubergigglefritz I can see some info on the cuddlesanctuary facebook page, but clicking on the webinar link it mentions just takes you to ... maybe it's not active until the actual day?

    The webinar is called "Be a Professional Cuddler - The Basics", and it's 90 minutes long (17:00–18:30 PST, February 15th).

  • @HugsFromFei Thanks Fei - that link seems to work OK now.

  • Thanks. Registered =)

  • How did the webinar go?

  • It was great !! Very informative

  • Lots of information. Wish we could have access to the recording for longer.

  • @cuddlebugTM, @ubergigglefritz Did you learn anything new? (Just being curious!)

  • I did and it made me refocus my thoughts on education and how professional I want to run my cuddle buisness .

  • I took notes, but I think overall, just tips on running a session. I'm new and inexperienced, so I'm still learning ;-) I think everything else was stuff I basically knew...

  • @cuddlebugTM, I want to learn everything. I think that's one sign that this is the right place for me right now, ha.

  • edited February 2018

    @cuddlebugTM, @ubergigglefritz Feel free to say more! Anything specific that was helpful for you?

  • More detailed on the vetting process was helpful and more professional than I’ve seen elsewhere . Her training definitely shows . I see the value in how she expresses herself clear boundaries without shame or judgment .

  • [Deleted User]chococuddles (deleted user)

    Totally blanked on this. Glad @cuddlebugTM @ubergiggleftiz and others participated and very glad to hear it was a success!

    As I've said before I'm not for certification but 100% behind training and empowering all cuddlers with knowledge.

    Hope they have more webinars coming up soon.

  • edited February 2018

    I think its great that the pros are learning to improve their business and cuddling skills. There arent enough cuddling pros as far as I am concerned.

    A thought came to me as I was reading the comments: from the point of view of the client, the more “scripted” cuddling is, the less a customer may enjoy it. I get satisfaction from cuddling a “real person”, not just a set of cuddling standards. So if you can convey your personal interest in the clients while maintaining the standards, that could be useful in getting repeat business. I know that there are many variables that make this business a challenge, and that not all clients are the same, but I just wanted to say this because it is what I take into consideration when hiring a pro.

  • Completely agree. You have to be genuinely interested in each client and who they are.

    I wish there were more cuddling clients, ha. I have little competition here, but not many inquiries. Hopefully soon :-)

  • 1) Am I choosing this work because I need to be cuddled?
    No, I chose it because others need to be cuddled.

    2) How badly do I need the money?
    Enough that I'm not an enthusiast, not so much that I'm willing to compromise my boundaries.

    3) How good am I at saying no?
    Pretty good, but sometimes I freeze instead of fight or flight.

    4) What is my relationship with intimacy and sexuality (and sex work)?
    I view cuddling as more "valuable" than sex. Not a particularly sexual person, more sensual and intellectual. My girlfriend is in the industry, and there have been times in the past that I have accompanied her, but it's not something I want to do, and not something that should be mixed in with cuddling. I'd be comfortable cuddling topless, but I'm really glad that it's required for both parties to be clothed, because would much rather a guy be wearing a shirt than not.

    5) Am I willing to invest in my profession?
    To an extent.

  • @PinkLipstick22 Here's the video I watched back when I first started here. Fei uses much better language than I did I guess, but just because someone understands and is comfortable with how their cuddling work relates to sex work, that doesn't mean that they engage in anything sexual with their services. And just because I said that we are allowing others to "use" our body for their needs, that in no way implies that we let them do whatever they want, that they can make us uncomfortable, or cross any of our boundaries or the client service agreement. It simply means that they are cuddling our bodies and not a pillow. A masseuse offers their hands to be of service to relieve muscle tension and stress, cuddlers offer their entire bodies (within our boundaries of course) to be of service to relieve life stress and platonic connection needs. I think the whole video is very important and incredibly valuable for (potential or current) professional cuddlers, but this particular question starts just before the ten minute mark, and starts to delve more into what I was talking about shortly afterwards. I can understand and respect if you don't see my perspective in recognizing this connection, but I can absolutely guarantee you that my service is entirely platonic and non-sexual, and that I do not see any client who is seeking such services from me. I apologize for causing a trigger in the way I was bringing up the subject and talking about it, but hopefully this helps. Fei definitely has a great way with words =)

  • I am well aware there are "cuddlers" out there who allow people to pay them to use their body. I am not one of those cuddlers; though it has been offered, the "use of my body" can't be bought. I have been cuddling for over 14 years, ~4.5 years professionally, and I have an excellent cuddling reputation.

    Everyone else is free to cuddle as they wish, although it may not be legal where they reside so always advisable to check the local regulations. Personally, I will not be swayed as I'm passionate about what I do and have put a lot of time and energy into building up my business.

    Please do not tag me in a comment again of this nature. It's not a part of cuddling I wish to know anymore about.

  • edited June 2018

    I a little confused by the comments above regarding a pro cuddler not using her body. You have to use your body to cuddle though.

  • Yes, a pro cuddler does use her body. She does not allow others to use her body and certainly not however they wish, as I stated here and in the other thread.
    Thanks, Morpheus.

  • I don't allow people to use my body however they wish, but I do allow them to use my body within my boundaries. They don't come to me for me to cuddle them, but all they get is a pillow or a stuffed animal to cuddle.

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