Woman charges for "snuggling"

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PENFIELD, New York -- Have you ever had days where you just need a hug? A woman in New York hopes a lot of people do.

Jackie Samuel has a new business called The Snuggery. For $60 an hour, the 29-year-old with do exactly that: snuggle with you.

Samuel is very upfront, so customers know not to expect anything inappropriate. Samuel says she was surprised to find she didn't need a state license to start her business.

"I thought I need to kind of validate my position. I need some kind of certification or license to show I'm a qualified cuddler, but I couldn't find anybody else who was doing what I was doing, so I decided to just start," she said.

Samuel says that studies show cuddling reduces stress and lowers blood pressure. She opened her business last month, but only has a few clients so far.

The rise of the cuddler, both professional and amateur, is at best a move towards re-igniting basic human bonding techniques, and at worst an invitation for an uncomfortable lump of limbs that defy basic sets of boundaries. Cities around the country host Cuddle Parties, which are an actual thing people attend. Parties run through CuddleParty.com even promise an event "led by trained and certified Cuddle Party facilitators."

According to the Cuddle Therapy movement, cuddling isn't just about feeling warm and comfortable. It's about a "need of physical touch in a safe, loving, trusted environment." Proponents of flagrant cuddling say the non-sexual intimacy is something that is woefully absent from modern human relationships.