MANY of us are looking for weird ways to make extra money, but one man has taken it to a new level by charging people money for hugs and cuddles.
Trevor Hooton is a professional cuddler and runs Embrace Connections, where he charges £75 for hour-long hugging sessions.
Trevor describes himself as a “sweetheart” and said he’s seen a boom in his cuddle therapy business.
Trevor told The Mirror: “I’ve built a business based on my passion for building human connections.
“A lot of people have trouble making these, and that’s where I come in. It’s about more than just cuddling — it’s about giving people the things they need, whatever that might be.”
“The parties have been great and I think it’s a really great way to add value to a lot of people at the same time. I want it to have a really big impact on the world.”
“I’ve done four parties so far and each one has been unique and special in its own way. We have a very mixed group – some people are single and have no experience of touch but want to develop comfort.”
Trevor offers a range of services ranging from cuddle parties to liaison coaching to cuddle therapy, a one on one cuddle session.
Trevor said, “I challenge the unspoken rules of society and I think that by challenging the rules, we can do something better for ourselves.”
One participant in Trevor’s sessions said it made him more honest about his feelings.
He said: “Dealing with stress can be difficult without the support of another person – so I wanted to try something a little more intimate.
“It was personal problems, family problems and stress from studying. It’s nice to have someone who listens to you.”
“It’s hard to be open about my issues when I don’t have that trust in a person, but the cuddle therapy really helped build that trust and made me feel like I could talk about my issues.”
Would you try cuddle therapy?
Another woman said she charges £190 an hour to cater to clients who crave human contact.
Because many of her clients have suffered trauma or abuse, Shoup cuddles, spoons, and comforts her clients in platonic displays of affection to combat symptoms of depression, loneliness, and anxiety.
“Cuddle therapists are professionals who provide access to platonic touch for the purposes of comfort, validation and loneliness relief, across consent boundaries,” Shoup said Director of Development at Cuddlistexplained to The US Sun.
“We allow access to platonic touch, but that doesn’t mean it’s mandated or expected. It’s just the access to it.”
“I have a lot of clients that go through different stages of grief or trauma and actual touch we can’t do for quite a while until we work together over a longer period of time,” she added.
According to Shoup, hugging increases production of the love hormone oxytocin, which is known to help keep feelings of loneliness at bay.