Hugging, science tells us, is good for your health. A loving squeeze lowers your blood pressure and heart rate, and even decreases levels of cortisol, the notorious stress hormone [source: Polard]. But what if you're living alone, far from huggable friends and loved ones? Who can you call to cuddle?
A professional cuddler, of course! In major cities across America, touchy-feely entrepreneurs are selling therapeutic snuggle sessions to cure everything from seasonal affective disorder to a broken heart.
Samantha Hess of Cuddle Up to Me in Portland, Oregon, charges $1 per minute for a hug; you can book sessions from 15 minutes to five hours. Yes, she is extremely careful about screening her clients, meeting them first in a neutral location and requiring them to sign a strict "no sexual contact" pledge. Everyone keeps their clothes on, but pajamas are OK [source: Wells].
Cuddling clients are mostly male, but represent every age range. A lot of cuddlers like to talk about their problems, so professional snugglers should also be good listeners. Crying, apparently, is a common side effect of a good snuggle, professional cuddler Ali C. of New York City told the New York Daily News.