Unusual Occupation

There are tons of different occupations out there in the world. Most of us only known the common occupations like doctors, lawyers, construction workers, maids etc. However, there are actually plenty of occupations out there that are intriguing and bizarre at the same time. Such occupations may include face feeler, crime scene cleaner, Stanley cup keeper and professional snuggler.

So today I am going to focus on an occupation that is deem unusual to me which is the professional snuggler. Well, unusual could have different meaning to different people. To me unusual means that something that is not commonly practices and might come off as rather weird if practiced outside.

According to business insider Singapore, an article published by Maggie Zhang on July 25 2014.

At the age of 30, Hess is a professional cuddler. For $60 an hour, she’ll intimately snuggle with strangers of all types, and bring them one-on-one cuddle time without the complications of a relationship.


(Professional cuddler Samantha Hess relaxes with Portland musician KaiKani Seven Vanity)

The idea came to her in 2012, when she read an article about a guy with a “Free Hugs” sign at a local Saturday market. Another man stood next to him with a “Deluxe hugs, $2″ sign, and ended up getting more hugs than the first guy.

“That was my lightbulb moment,” Hess says. “I was at a place in my life, out of a 13-year relationship, where I needed a service that didn’t exist. I was struggling and not ready for another relationship, but still had an inherent need to be accepted and loved.”

Hess didn’t know where to turn. She wanted physical comfort that was safe and socially acceptable to reach out to.

So in May 2013, she started Cuddle Up To Me. A month later, a local newspaper featured her business in its annual “Best of Portland” issue, which helped the company gain traction. From there, the story spread to over 40 TV stations across the country, accumulating over 17 million views — and her business took off.

Currently, professional cuddling is her only job, and Hess says she is making far more money from this business than she did in her previous jobs as a customer service representative or personal trainer.

“It’s definitely enough to make a living just doing this job, and I never need to take more than five sessions a day,” she explains. By working six days a week, Hess can make up to $7,200 in a month.

About 90% of her clientele are men between the ages of 20 and 75, and she says many suffer from severe traumatic diseases or disabilities that prevent them from having frequent human contact.

“I call my service a ‘massage for the mind,’” says Hess. “It’s meant to rejuvenate you and make you feel that openness and happiness in your brain by resetting your system from top to bottom.”

Within 24 hours of her first session with a client, Hess usually gets a phone call or e-mail about how much it meant to them. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to turn down tips, because people are so excited about it,” Hess says.

What makes her service so great? Hess loves each and every one of her clients with a “human grace.” “It’s about being able to genuinely look anyone in the eye and make them feel loved and accepted exactly as they are,” she says. “My clients know that I don’t judge them at all, I just accept people.” She treats everyone like her family, no matter who they are.

She is quick to prevent any inappropriate actions, through her in-person vetting process, a full-page waiver with preset rules and boundaries, and transparency with her clients. “In our culture, the only experience someone has with this kind of touching has been in a romantic sense,” says Hess. “It’s not always easy for people to switch their brains to simply being platonic about it.”

Hess emphasizes that it is only appropriate to touch her where it would be okay to touch a child. If she’s uncomfortable with anything, she gives her client two taps to signal for them to stop. “If they’re looking for a replacement for sex, they’re not going to be happy with my service,” she says.

This work also comes with its share of emotional burdens. “It can be very draining,” she says. “Some people have difficult emotional issues they want to talk to me about during our sessions.” To cope with this, she meditates before every session. She also showers and changes into different clothes afterwards, because she wants to make sure she’s completely fresh in both her mind and her body before taking on her next client.

Hess has a boyfriend who is very accepting of her service. “He knows what I do is a form of therapy and that it really makes a difference to people,” she says.

Next month, Hess will open her first retail store and create a national cuddling certification through a 40-hour-long training program. “This is my life’s work. I want to change the view of Western culture on platonic touch,” she says. “Everybody should have a way to reach out and feel comfortable with that.”

Samantha Hess, 30, is a professional cuddler

But why do people drop hundreds of dollars for this seemingly simple commodity?

There’s a science behind it: Studies conducted by Dr. Tiffany Field of the Touch Research Institute show that we thrive on contact—a lack of human interaction can contribute to depression, stress, high blood pressure and aggression. But any amount of it, on the other hand, releases a chemical called oxytocin into the brain, effectively lowering high levels of stress and blood pressure. Human touch reduces anxiety, physically accelerates the healing of injured body tissue, boosts the immune system and creates feelings of calm and happiness. The oxytocin overload produced during a single, hour-long cuddling session is like cocaine for the overly tactile.

My thoughts:

When I first found out that this occupations existed , I was intrigued and shocked at the same time. The reason for being intrigued it’s because of the job’s name which is professional snuggler which got me thinking what kind of job is that? Those two words combination may come off as weird when you first heard it. Hence, i look into the job description and it’s basically you get pay for snuggling with a complete stranger. But there’s a science behind it apparently human touch reduces anxiety , physically accelerates the healing of injured body tissue, boosts the immune system and creates feelings of calm and happiness. I think this is why some people require professional snuggler.

Source: <http://cuddleuptome.com/about/&gt; <http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/like-big-spoon-woman-earns-60-hour-cuddling-strangers/&gt; <https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/02/costly-cuddling-why-my-night-of-snuggling-wasnt-wo.html&gt; <http://magazine.foxnews.com/at-home/professional-cuddler-can-make-around-80-hour&gt; <http://www.businessinsider.sg/professional-cuddler-2014-7/?r=US&IR=T&gt; <http://www.searchenginefather.com/does-your-seo-include-the-human-touch/&gt;


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