A Rochester woman has turned intimacy into a comodity by starting her own professional cuddling business.
Jackie Samuel started the “The Snuggery” at her home in Rochester, New York, and cuddles with up to 30 men a week, as well as several women.
The 29-year-old mother and college student says she established the business in order to pay for school and provide for her son. Charging $60 an hour for her online service, Samuel earns approximately $260 a day utilizing her “marketable” skill.
“I think I was born knowing how to snuggle. Snuggling is healthy, spiritual and fun,” she said, according to the Daily Mail.
Samuel says her business is popular with range of people, from older men whose wives have died, to younger people in between relationships, to people simply curious as to what the experience is like.
She adds that snuggle sessions can take place anywhere in her Rochester home, but most prefer her double bed. Samuel keeps strict rules about sexual contact. Clients are not allowed to touch “parts of her body covered by underwear;” but she had no problem if they happen to become aroused. Samuel wears pajamas during sessions.
Photos depict other services such as the reading of bedtime stories. Samuel has also taken on an associate, Colleen, who has not yet performed cuddles on her own, but the two have had “double cuddle” sessions with clients.
Samuel says she has been criticized as a prostitute, and that her school has even threatened to expel her.
“Some have said I am worse than a prostitute because they think snuggling is more intimate than sex. I've been told I'm monetizing love,” she said.
However, Samuel advertises her service as therapeutic. On her business website, it states, “Though science has unquestionably supported the psychological and physical benefits of non-sexual touch, Americans distinctly lack it. It's time for change.”
Clients who have experienced her cuddle sessions disagree. One man who goes by the name Tim, said be began going to The Snuggery after a bad breakup and considers the sessions “meditative.”
Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.
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