A WOMAN has revealed she makes £70 an hour with her bizarre side hustle – and it requires no effort.
Natasha Wicks, 44, is a professional hugger and has clients travelling from all over Europe to undergo “cuddle therapy”.
She says she has always been told she gives “the best cuddles”, so decided to turn it into a side hustle.
Now clients travel from Belgium, Ireland and the length of the UK to experience her £70-an-hour sessions.
She told BirminghamLive: “They all said to me that I give the best cuddles so it’s not surprising that I’d start doing it as a job.
“Cuddle therapy might not be as widely accepted in society, but it’s far less intimate than other things like massages which are seen as normal.
“I’ve had comments online before of people thinking it’s weird or not understanding but there are other things we accept in society that are much more intimate than cuddles, like massages.”
She insists her professional hugs are not “weird”, but instead are “a really lovely” act to help others.
Sessions can vary from clients receiving “emotional hugs” to sitting at opposite ends of a couch with her legs intertwined with theirs.
Natasha is a qualified CBT therapist and counsellor, but began taking a course on cuddle therapy in 2014.
She admits it is daunting for strange for clients when hugging her for the first time, but said she feels a “weight has been lifted” by the end of a first session.
Her clients vary from young people who have moved away from their home for the first time up to those in their 80s.
Natasha said the majority of her clients are “the big spoon” who find it difficult to show vulnerability, but her patients soon feel at ease.
So much so, in fact, she said sometimes people fall asleep or they might “snore or fart”.
She used a large sofa in her living room for the cuddle sessions, which she will also use when relaxing in the evening with her partner.
Natasha added: “I want people to feel reassured that, as soon as they get in, they feel comfortable.”