Oregon-based entrepreneur Samantha Hess is making a successful career from selling hugs. In this world of ever weakening social ties and hastening pace of life change Hess has identified a real need for her service.

And let’s be clear – she offers only hugs. Ms Hess will first meet prospective clients in a public place, so she can gauge their intentions. She makes it very clear what she does and doesn’t offer and the consequences of exceeding those boundaries. Ms Hess outlines her rates – $60/ hour.  For this fee she will snuggle and hug her client on a couch or bed.

Her website says, “My name is Sam, and I am a professional cuddler. If you could use some one-on-one cuddle time without the complications that life normally brings us, then I am your girl. Let’s hold hands and cuddle up on the couch, or listen to some soft music while we curl up in your bed – I am happy to be the big spoon or the little spoon. My purpose is to make you feel comfortable, loved, and appreciated.”

Photo: www.wweek.com

Samantha Hess – Oregon State professional cuddler. Photo: www.wweek.com

In one way it is a sad indictment on our society when people need to pay for physical affection. The virtual hysteria surrounding the ‘appropriateness’ of men touching prospective partners coupled with the expectation that men ought to take the lead in such situations means that there is an already high (and increasing) demand for Ms Hess’s cuddles.

The internet is further distancing us from each other, meaning there is less chance for physical intimacy even if it were condoned.

Ms Hess says that majority of her clients are men – many of them suffering from disabilities and/or emotional problems. These problems lessen their chances of regular human contact. We have evolved to expect and thrive on regular human contact; and yet in the space of a generation it has been ripped from the lives of many.

Ms Hess offers to redress the situation.

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