A ‘professional cuddler’ who charges £75 per hour says their services help people ‘feel good’

A “professional cuddler” who charges clients £75 an hour for an hour-long hug says their services help people “feel good, safe and calm through human touch”.

Trevor Hooton, 30, who goes by the name “Treasure” and uses they/them pronounces, set up Embrace Connections in Bristol earlier this year in a bid to build “human connections”.

In addition to “cuddle therapy”, Treasure offers “connections coaching” to help people struggling to build relationships with others.

While the services they provide can be intimate, they admitted that not everyone also understands the nature of his business, with some mistaking it for sex work.

But they said professional cuddling is something everyone should consider.

“I built a business based on my passions for building human connections,” said Treasure, who is originally from Montreal, Canada.

“Many people struggle to make those and that’s where I step in — it’s more than just cuddling, it’s giving people the things they need, whatever that might be.

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“With cuddle therapists, you’re hiring their time, attention and care. It’s more than just hugging a stranger.”

They added that while some clients find it “a little awkward at first”, this is very normal response “and they quickly feel comfortable”.

Treasure began researching the science behind human connections 10 years ago and found it fascinating.

Prior to a cuddle therapy session, both they and their client discuss guidelines “to ensure we’re on the same page” before structuring the session based on what they want and their boundaries.

“It’s always a non-sexual, platonic intimacy, based on whatever the person wants,” they state.

Communication and trust is key, they add: “There is a lot of checking in to see how they feel and what they want — whatever helps them to feel safe and calm.”

While Treasure admits that the service is unusual — “it’s not typical for most people to step into being intimate with a stranger” — they encourage people to consider cuddle therapy.

Connection can be vital for health

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“People should ask themselves: ‘If you could have an hour to do nothing but feel cared for, supported and loved, how would it make you feel?’” they said.

The issue of touch deprivation or “starvation” was spotlighted at the height of pandemic following reports that people’s mental health was impacted due to a lack of physical human contact.

Numerous medical professionals have studied the phenomenon, which is believed to increase stress, depression and anxiety.

“Human beings are wired to touch and be touched, Asim Shah, MD professor and executive of vice chair of the Menninger Department of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine says.

“When a child is born, that is how they bond with their mother — through touch. Our wiring system has touch everywhere, so it’s difficult for us not to think about physical contact.”


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