Yea I can see sites where you need to have a some cuddles under your belt . But if you’ve been doing it outside this group you can’t tell who has had experience or not . I havnt been in this group long but I’ve used cuddling as part of my caregiving for elderly and adults with special needs for 15+ yrs . I think getting references is reasonable .
Pretty much agree.
I joined this site a few months ago seeking a few different things. I was searching for a way to help me not feel as lonely or depressed, a way to earn money doing something I very much enjoy, and be able to make others feel good inside and happy. It looked like win win win type of deal in my eyes. Due to this industry being such a new and underground sort of thing, I can easily spot skepticism and a lack of understanding for this stuff. I mentioned the idea to the friends I moved here to Washington state with and they said it was a cool idea if I chose to pursue it. And I did. Once I started telling a few people I know about me joining this industry, the feedback has been interesting. Some have given me positive feed back whilst some others say this is either ridiculous or it is something they would be ashamed of doing or calling themselves a cuddler. Since my joining of this site, me mentioning my services has almost made me feel embarrassed. Especially when I mentioned it to my barber as a beauty salon was attached to his barber shop and would be a great way to find clientele. The awkward feeling is definitely present each and every time I tell someone who isn't on this site about cuddling services. Is this feeling normal? What are your thoughts? And I apologize for the length of this paragraph. Just wanted to get this off of my chest in the presence of like minded individuals such as those on this site. And so far have not found a single client...
I was looking at your profile and noticed it says you only cuddle women. You aren’t likely to find many females that are willing to pay for a cuddle. Most pro male cuddlers have sessions with gay men. If you want to find some clients, I’m sure you would do well if you’re willing to cuddle with men.
As far as feeling awkward about it, I always tell people to be who you are and own it. I know people like @Brandi are open about being a pro Cuddler and others don’t talk much about it at all.
Either way, you shouldn’t feel awkard.
People who are not aware of or actively engaged in the cuddle community will have some negative responses. I'm very selective about the people I choose to talk with about it who aren't in it already. Even one friend who is supportive in most other things was surprisingly negative about this, so I don't share anything cuddle related with her any more. A lot of people are unaware that this is a thing now. A lot also assume that platonic cuddling is not even possible and that this is some kind of a hookup. So yes, you are going to get some negative reactions from people.
If you do some in-depth research on cuddling, you'll find that male professional cuddlers are rare and the market for them is very small. Women either don't have the same need to cuddle as men, we are able to express our need for touch by hugging our female friends or taking care of animals, or maybe some would prefer to spend $80 on a new pair of shoes. Whatever the reason, it's unlikely that you're going to end up with many female clients.
You've either got what it takes to do this professionally, or you don't. Certification can't teach a fearful woman who's afraid of being assaulted to be confident and to speak up for herself as to her boundaries. It can't teach someone who doesn't really enjoy touching and being touched to love it and have that unbridled enthusiasm for it that my cuddle partners love, something which comes naturally to me. It can't teach someone to have a thick skin and shrug off the constant stream of sexual requests and innuendos that we all receive. It's an unregulated industry. Certification means nothing except extra income to those who offer it. And @calineur has an excellent point.
I could not have paid for the excellent karma I've received which attests to my cuddling skills and to me as a person and a professional cuddler. That's the only thing that means anything.
First of all, I want to say that my poll sucks! I had two more options to choose from, but something happened before I could post it that made them disappear. I think their shoulld be an edit button on polls, so they can be fixed should something like this happen again.
It seems to me that most of the cons on this question object to the certification aspect. It should be noted that there are two parts of the question, classes, and certification. I'd like to see both aspects addressed from here forward, if possible.
@quietman775 How do you figure that Fei was selling hard in the video?
She repeatedly said that everyone should choose for themselves whether they want to get training or not. It seemed to me that she was giving options rather than doing a hard sell. She also mentioned free training through webinars. I don't see how that is a hard sell.
I remember her saying there would be a professional cuddler webinar on Feb 15th, but I can't find it on their website. I hope I can get the information on it, because I ended up having to miss the last one I was signed up for.
Training certification of any type, to the best of my knowledge, is just a piece of paper issued by the training facility stating that the person completed the training. Some certifications are required by law in order for a person to practice in their chosen field. Others are not required but are used as proof of training. For a certification to have value, a person would need to know what training was given.
I really doubt if a certification would be given to someone "as being warm, affectionate, a good conversationalist, empathetic, intuitive, or snuggly". As you stated training for those things would be difficult if not impossible. Having not gone through the training myself, I can't say what the training involves, but I imagine part of it is about how to run a cuddling business, part about safety issues, etc.
The training we are talking about here is for professional cuddlers, not for their clients. I think clients would benefit indirectly by the pro being in a more relaxed state of mind, because in combination with her skills mentioned above, she knows she is doing everything else right due to her training. I imaging that most new non trained pros are a bit nervous about if they are doing things right, until they have a few clients under their experiance belt.
I concede that the Cuddle Sanctuary certification proves nothing to you, since there is no better authority on you, than you. However, It does something for me, and I imagine for plenty of other people as well. You stated that, "karma from clients with credibility means more than any certificate". My question here is how does a client gain credibility? How would a person know if they are credible?
I'd like to acknowledge @chococuddles and @pmvines posts because I like what they had to say. That is not to say that there weren't good points made by others, it is just that those two posts stood out in my mind. I think a Professional Cuddlers Association is a fantastic idea. They could set the standard of practice, and what training is needed for certification, rather than leaving it up to the individual training facilities. I predict a time when there will be professional cuddlers (certified) earning money in the current range, paid cuddlers (no certificate, and thus less credibility) earning in the range of $30 to $60 per hour, as well as non paid cuddlers.
@I_am_Polylover Maybe you should have had 'training' and 'certification' under different poll choices. Pretty sure most Pros wouldn't care to get certified but might be open to a seminar or two.
As an artist I'm always taking drawing classes and online classes to learn new things. Also it's nice to meet other like-minded people in the irl classes, new friends and new connections.
Due to the nature of this heart-centered work based on human connection, I would much, MUCH rather have my beaming client reviews speak for my service over someone else's made up idea of a "cuddle certification." The idea just sounds silly to me. Training, growth, experience, continued learning are all important to be successful in any area, but at the end of the day what matters most to me is that my clients walk away feeling AMAZING - eager & excited for their next session. That is far more validating to me.
@I_am_Polylover - "It seems to me that most of the cons on this question object to the certification aspect. It should be noted that there are two parts of the question, classes, and certification." Certification and taking classes are essentially the same thing. Certification merely proves that you took some kind of training or classes, which in my post I spoke to.
"I imaging that most new non trained pros are a bit nervous about if they are doing things right, until they have a few clients under their experiance belt."
I can't speak for most untrained pros, of which I am one, but I can say there was zero nervousness on my part. And I am not unique, as I have had many conversations with untrained pros on this site who felt the same way that I did. Since I don't know the exact number of untrained pros on this site, I can't say if that number equates to "most."
Merged again, @I_am_Polylover
Let me start by saying that I am a HUGE believer in education of any kind. I've spent a good portion of my life accumulated letters behind my name. Kelly ****, RRT, NPS, AE-C, RPFT. I'm even a certified bartender and I've never even been a bartender. If there is a certification, I want it. However, cuddling is the exception. I thought about getting "certified" and decided against it. I agree 100% with @JRose. As far as business practices, boundaries, cuddle positions, etc., I learn more on this forum than I would in any video for certification. On here you get honest feedback on ideas, you hear from real clients and exactly what they are looking for in a pro, you hear great stories about good cuddle and not such good cuddles. All the information you need to create a successful cuddle business is right here. Many of us pros are in constant contact with each, always bouncing ideas off of each other and sharing real stories of what works and what doesn't work.
The cuddle certification that I reviewed ended with you having 5 cuddles and those people then providing you feedback, basically grading you on your cuddle skills. Well, I've already been graded....my grade is 5 STARS and ton of excellent karma.
@I_am_Polylover You covered a lot of ground in your reply to me Not sure if I will catch all of it in this response but here are the highlights:
"Selling hard." I own a business, and therefore sell for a living. So I'm not against it. I was just making pointing out that she is extolling the benefits of course of action that would result in her or her firm being compensated. In any such presentation, the "pros" will be given more weight than the "cons." Mostly the remark just a lighthearted heads up ---- note the "LOL" immediately after --- and not a criticism.
As for my "warm, affectionate, snuggly," etc. remark, I was simply explaining why my answer to your poll question was no. Those descriptors are the things I value in a session as a cuddle client. They are what determine my enjoyment and my sense of the value received for the dollar spent. It is obviously not possible to certify someone in those subjective qualities. My point was that since those subjective factors determine my satisfaction with the cuddle experience, and since no one can be certified in those things, certification in some other area would be of little to no concern for me, and would therefore not make me more likely to seek out a particular cuddle pro.
I expressed no opinion whatsoever on whether certification should matter to you or anyone else Poll respondents were asked to answer for ourselves. That is what I did. I took that context as a given, and didn't see a need to add the qualifier "to me" or "for me" after each assertion I made.
@BlueIris and @Morpheus Thank you for the feedback you provided me with! I am unsure of what happened as my post to this thread was being made a new thread of discussion and not to be put in any other threads. It is weird how my new topic turned into a comment like this. Back to what I started saying, the feedback you both gave is very appreciated!
Mod Notice: I've moved the off-topic discussion to here. - Mark
Hey, I'm coming into this conversation waaayyy late, but as someone did the work for 1.5 years without any training or certification, and then went on to get (incidental) certifications from the Big 3 (Certified Cuddlers, Cuddlist, Cuddle Sanctuary), I have some perspective.
1) Training can't give you the "je ne sais quoi" of connection. You're right. Either you have it, or you'll struggle.
2) You can totally figure it out on your own without any training. I did. But it was much much much better with some modeling and someone to ask my questions to.
3) Training helps with:
4) I don't give a sh*t about certification, BUT, it's one way my therapeutic clients know that I take my work seriously. I'm always continuing my education because I love growing my craft. But it's true, for the client, it really is the quality of the person that makes the difference, not their list of accolades.
I think at the end of the day it comes down to the type of professional cuddler you are/want to be. If you're offering the important work of companionship and presence, you probably already know how to do that well. You'll just need some support staying healthy and safe and dealing with the relationship dynamic between you and clients. If you're looking to be something of a cuddle therapist (that's how I identify) training in all areas really makes a difference. Not just in cuddling. In counseling, in different touch and healing modalities, with trauma recovery institutes etc. But yeah, that stuff is costly. I love learning, so it's fun for me.
My biases shows strongly here because I'm a teacher too, but I hopefully this is helpful. I'm in full support of y'all doing whatever the heck it is that works for you.
@HugsFromFei - Thanks very much for your well thought out perspective. I knew that Cuddlist offered a good program on safety and on the business side, which I was told by someone who had taken their training. I may take their training at some point for that reason alone.
Really good @HugsFromFei!! Good talk everyone!!