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Meet the Guy Who Makes a Living by Cuddling with Strangers

We are living in an era of technology when direct human interaction is becoming more and more infrequent. If it weren’t for their jobs, many people wouldn’t even interact with others every day, relying solely on social networks, email, and text messaging services. But human interaction is not only about communicating messages; it is also about exploring our emotional nature, the importance of which is often forgotten.

According to numerous studies, physical contact is crucial to promote attachment between mother and infant but also to ensure the baby’s healthy physical, emotional and intellectual development. Adults also need physical contact to maintain their mental and emotional health which contribute to their overall happiness. It comes as no surprise that people like Jacqueline Samuel have found a way to service those in need of a cuddle or snuggle and make a living out of it. Travis Sigley is the father of professional cuddling. He studied psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and believes that through physical touch, people can learn to overcome the anxiety and fear that often accompanies social situations.  Through cuddling, Sigley hopes to teach people to relax and gain trust in themselves as well as in others.

Travis-Siegley

Photo: Facebook

He got this idea at his job as a stripper where he was frequently asked by customers to retreat to the back room not for sexual purposes but to talk. He enjoyed their company and felt that interacting with people this way would be more fulfilling for him than stripping. Cuddling therapy sessions are an hour long and cost $75 each. A session consists of spooning, hugging, snuggling and talking, if the client so chooses.  Sigley often uses meditation as a way of breaking the ice and helping the other cuddler feel more relaxed. His cuddling sessions are not sexual in any way because of his belief that the world lacks the non-sexual intimacy that so many of us need. Paying cuddlers are mostly women and gay men aged between 19 and mid-60. Straight men rarely adventure into Sigley’s embrace but when they do, it’s always a very powerful, intense but non-sexual experience. Usually two people cuddle each other but sometimes more join in to create what Sigley funnily calls a “cuddle puddle”.

 

Sigley wants to raise awareness on this philosophy by going on a cuddle tour in his cuddle shuttle, a modified middle size tour bus fitted with memory foam pads.  When hearing that other cuddle therapists such as Jacqueline Samuel are popping up like mushrooms, he always declares himself pleased that his concept is catching on and that other people are willing to offer genuine intimacy and care to those in need.

Sources: New York Daily News, ABC San Francisco

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