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The professional cuddling industry is growing—even if this is the first time you've heard the profession exists. Cuddle entrepreneurs credit San Francisco resident Travis Sigley and his Cuddle Therapy as pioneering influences in the field, the Wall Street Journal reports. Travis landed on his business model of charging clients for cuddles, hugs, and even tickles from his past experiences as a stripper and as a former psychology student.
"I would have clients [while stripping] take me into the back room and want to just cuddle and talk for, like, 20 to 30 minutes and this would happen consistently—enough to the point where I was, like, 'OK, I need to make a business out of this,'" Travis explains to writer Lauren Crabbe. He tells a different story about Cuddle Therapy's origins to the WSJ, saying that he launched the business "because he felt frustrated by restrictions against touch between therapists and their clients."
Regardless of the origins, professional cuddling is on the rise. Clients in need of human touch can pay from $60 to $80 for a one-on-one cuddle session and from $300-$400 for an overnight stay. Professional cuddlers tell the WSJ that strict rules are kept to keep activity kosher. But it's easy to see where boundaries can be suddenly (and unexpectedly) crossed.
· Professional Cuddlers Embrace More Clients [The Wall Street Journal]
· Meet the San Francisco Beard with 60,000 Instagram Followers [Racked SF]