A really good hug can be priceless. Or, if you're Sam Hess, it can be $60. She has the kind of job that is the envy of any cocktail party.
“I tell them I’m a professional cuddler and they immediately say, 'Professional what?'” Hess said.
The former personal trainer has also worked in restaurants and most recently a nine-to-five office job. But none of those positions involved so many, well, positions that she says she’s naturally gifted to give.
“Absolutely I am a huge touchy person, I’ve always been that away I’m just touchy,” Hess told Newschannel 8.
Her cuddle career started 6 months ago after she heard of a similar business in New York. “And I thought, 'That is such a good idea. If anyone can do this I can.'”
She’s had dozens of clients so far. They are mostly male, mostly 30 and over and often divorced or in-between relationships. She also attracts clients who suffer from depression.
“It’s nice to have something pick you back up a little,” she said.
What’s the difference between what she does and what anyone can do at home?
“I keep logs of each client to ensure they are having the most personalized experience possible,” Hess said.
The professional cuddler has ground rules. She meets all of her new clients at a neutral location to make sure they understand this is a platonic session.
“It’s not about the adult side of touch at all,” she said. She says clients can only touch her in ways that would be deemed appropriate for touching a child. Sam Hess says she’s getting a lot out of her new career.
“It’s a lot of fun I get to make people happy every day.” Now all that’s missing: more cuddle clients. “I’m definitely not surviving off of this but I hope to at some point.”