We are more connected than ever: with social media and mobile phones people never have an excuse not to stay in contact. The curse of this is that too many people rely on technology, that not enough face to face interaction occurs and as a result, we are the loneliest people have ever been. As a result different strange professions have emerged where people can get the human attention they crave (and we don’t mean prostitution). Such odd professions include professional cuddlers, best man for weddings and bridesmaids. Nowadays, people can even hire others to be their friends.
Some people are willing to pay as much as $60 per hour to get snuggled by a professional cuddler who tries to make lonely clients feel loved and much better. Samantha Hess, who is 29 years old and lives in Portland, Oregon has created a business as a professional cuddler. She is a former personal trainer who is described as a ‘hugely touchy person’, she simply wants to make use of her talents.
Although this might sound bizarre to many people, she thinks that cuddling just like any other profession requires some skills. Miss Hess insists that the person should be touched in the right platonic way and at the right time to be cured. She avoids all people who search for something more than just a cuddle and first meets her clients in public. She tells them that they can touch her in a way they would touch a child to affirm that this service is hugs only.
Most of her clients are persons who suffer from depression or are single parents who search for respite. They can take advantage of the ‘overnight cuddle sessions’ that are charged at a pre-arranged discounted rate. She gave a name to the various techniques that she uses, such as a “tandem bicycle” position, in which while people are lying and the person located behind drapes his legs over the body of the other person. “Come to Mama” is another position that involves the client who rests in her lap, while she strokes his hair.
Miss Hess chooses specific music during sessions and cuddling positions for each of her clients based on their preferences. She uses mainly Phil Collins and Jack Johnson to set their mood first. And she indeed has satisfied customers that affirm they really feel loved during the sessions. Perhaps this is a better medication than therapy or pills for the depressed.
This lady is not the first one who decided to make money cuddling. Jackie Samuel from New York launched The Snuggery last year. Her business also offers cuddles for the same rate of $60 an hour.
Another strange profession is hiring a best man for weddings. Usually the honored role of a life-long friend, the best man is now more a functional and practical character (probably in thanks to the antics on “The Hangover”). Since many best friends would prefer to just have fun during the wedding party, more and more couples choose to hire professional best man who will play this role for a fee.
This person is experienced in serving at hundreds of weddings, so he is prepared to help in any unexpected circumstance and to make this day the smoothest and happiest day in the life of the bride and groom. The role has become similar to that of a wedding planner. They even make the toast to the bride and groom, usually a funny but heart-warming toast of how the coupe are in love. So a hired best man must have quite an impersonal toast. It seems that we want cuddles from strangers when we are lonely and help from strangers when we are not!