φ PHILOSOPHY

I often refer to the cuddle movement in general as “newborn”, when in fact I think society is still in the “labor” stages of accepting it.

It isn’t easy for everyone to understand why some folks may need platonic touch in their lives, much less pay to have access to it. Most of us shrug ourselves and say, “I have friends, family, and loved ones for that. I have a partner who cuddles me every night. I’ve got a pet waiting at home for me who is happy to show me affection.”

We often inject our own voices into the life experiences of others, and we project ourselves where it’s unnecessary. There are many touch-starved humans out there who cannot mirror our “I haves”. There is a widely peddled stereotype that those who seek a professional cuddler are broken and desperate, pathetic, or maladapted to cope with struggles, and paying to be held by someone is a last resort.

This couldn’t be further from the truth if we threw that belief out into space.

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Untitled Oil Painting by Catherine Hiller for Fine Art America, 2012

I’m here to say that after dozens and dozens of sessions since 2016, I’ve had my own eyes opened to the world as I never thought I’d see it: diverse, but intrinsically unified – no matter what kind of lifestyle we are leading, we all have a desire to be close with someone else in a meaningful and healthy way, and we all deserve a space where we can explore that. Cuddlosophy exists as more than a service. It’s an idea, and a philosophy unto itself. For the professional cuddler, it is personal enjoyment in helping and communicating with others in our community. For clients or cuddlees, it’s having freedom to accept what we want, reject what we don’t, be understood, and accepted where we are in the moment. For all of us, it’s allowing ourselves to get in touch with the parts of us we put away for a hectic work week. It’s taking off the masks we wear to appear infallible. It’s logging off, putting down the phone, looking into eyes, holding a hand, embracing a person and taking up the human experience as we are literally built to do.

Here are the pillars and philosophies which my sessions stand on:

Clear Communication

Communication is not achieved until it is understood. How can we communicate effectively? The first step is to embrace and understand the words and the concepts of “yes” and “no”. We can also be mindful of body language and non-verbal cues, and also be aware of our client’s own unique story which contributes to their experience. The professional cuddler leads through the session by asking questions first, and proceeding with actions later. It is also paramount to check in with the client throughout to be assured of their stance.

Budge-Free Boundaries

It is necessary to communicate boundaries to ensure safety and success. At the heart of any interpersonal service, there is a need to maintain genuinity but also professionalism. The professional cuddler is intuitive in their approach, knows their personal and professional limits, and guides their interactions with those limits in mind. Both the client’s and cuddler’s boundaries must be respected as the fulfillment of such is conducive to a safe session.

Non-Judgmental Nutriment

We cannot be in a business focused on humans if we don’t understand what it means to be human. This service exists not only to provide to the touch-starved, but to open up the barriers between the cuddle community and curious onlookers and skeptics alike in the mainstream community. While there are prevailing demographics, there is not one single group of clients who are “typical”. There is not a preference for a specific, superficial trait carried by a client. Clients are treated as individuals, and are not discriminated against based on their age, race, body type, marital status, sex, gender expression, occupation, income, mental health status, political affiliation or socioeconomic background.

Serene Safety

Fulfilling the emotional and physiological needs of our clients is at the forefront of why many of us choose this calling. In a successful cuddle session, the client knows that their provider can be relied on in that moment to nurture them and help them feel relaxed and secure. The client is free to communicate openly and honestly, and to express their emotions in safe ways that do not harm themselves or others. During the session the professional cuddler is mindful of their client, and espouses an environment of trust by communicating effectively, authentically, and remaining present.

Fostered Friendship

There are many individual reasons to seek out a session, and most would like their time with a professional cuddler to be as natural as possible rather than transactional. This can be done without breaking the professional-client barrier. Establishing common ground is a need for some clients, and a goal at all times for many providers. Sessions with the professional cuddler are platonic, positive, and real effort is made to genuinely connect with the client.

Affordable Access

With the gap between standard of living and living wage growing ever-wider in recent years, there is an obligation for businesses to re-evaluate their average consumer’s needs. In the professional cuddling industry, providers are often advised to think of those who may need the service but are drawn back for financial reasons. Cuddlosophy’s goal is to reach as many humans as possible, and exorbitant, luxury pricing cannot achieve this on as wide a scale. The professional cuddler offers a competitive rate along with quarterly and seasonal deals, as well as discounts to those who may live on fixed income such as seniors, and students.

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