At least once a week someone asks me how they can do professional snuggling. When they find out I've trained people, they want me to take them on now. Oftentimes people think it's very easy money and getting paid to lay in bed sounds like easy money to them.
But not everyone is going to be a great professional snuggler. At the same time, to be a professional snuggler you don't have to do anything outlandish or extensive right now (as of this writing).
In fact, to talk about what makes a great professional snuggler, I need to talk to you about what you don't need to be a professional snuggler:
1. You don't need a psychology degree or massage license. In fact, you don't need to go to school to do this. You could technically start calling yourself a professional snuggler tomorrow if you wanted to (And there are people on Tinder that do, but that's not the kind of snuggler I'm talking about here).
2. You don't need to be a woman. Though women tend to have an easier time finding and booking more clients, men cuddlers and other gender identities can work in this field and have done very well. In fact, one of the first podcast interviews about a cuddler that I heard was from a man.
3. You don't need to take off your clothes during a session. This I cannot explain enough. One horror story talks about someone that stripped to her bra and panties because the client requested it and she thought it was expected and normal. This is not. Sessions are fully clothed for both you and the client.
4. You don't need to do this fulltime. I didn't when I got started. I worked my client schedule around a 55+ hour a week job. I worked maybe three hours a week with clients.
5. You don't need your own place. Many of my clients prefer to come to me, and I live with two guys in Boston (they know I do this, and so does my landlord). Check your lease if you rent to make sure you can do business in the home, but otherwise this isn't a limiting factor.
6. You don't need to feel weird about it. This is the best job title if you ask me, but not everyone gets it when you bring it up. If I'm talking to someone and I don't feel like getting into what I do for work, I tell them I work with people in a familiar therapeutic environment (which is true-- the home is a familiar environment). They don't usually question more after that.
7. You don't need to buy mace. I've carried a small striking stick with me for the past year just because my family wanted me to, but the best security I've had is twofold: the screening process I do (even when I worked for a national agency I created my screening process to see if it's a client that could follow the code of conduct) and the remote security person I reach out to at the beginning and the end of my sessions. Simply slipping into conversation that I need to check in with my supervisor on the phone when I see my client has been the best security, and my clients respect me more knowing that I'm keeping myself safe.
So those are the first few things to keep in mind. So what makes a great snuggler?
1. You'll work with all people from all backgrounds. From 18 year olds to retirees, from executives to trust fund babies, from engineers to factory workers, from divorcees to people suffering from what I call "single guy syndrome," from any race or gender or sexual orientation, etc... as long as they're an adult and follow the code of conduct for sessions, you'll work with them. This isn't just something great, but it's a requirement of the law in most states.
2. You're physically open and willing to according to your clients' needs. You're okay with touching hands. You're okay with being close to someone's face. You're okay with listening to requests and willing to say no to things. You're willing to allow your client to be vulnerable with you without any obligation to fix them. You're willing to be the big spoon and the little spoon. That said...
3. You know your boundaries and you're willing to learn how to enforce them. You know what your limits are, and you're willing to say yes to the person but no to something they request that crosses a boundary. Oftentimes we enforce boundaries either too gently to get the message across or too harshly to keep a client's feeling intact. I've learned to strike the perfect balance with this and when to escalate appropriately.
4. You're curious about people. Many of my clients are disconnected from others. This most likely is the first time in a while someone is paying attention to someone and giving themselves to them. They need someone that not only is capable of listening, but that wants to listen. This said...
5. You're able to keep client-snuggler relations. Out of hundreds of people I've worked with as a snuggler, two have turned into friendships (one was because he was leaving the country and we now email and send funny snail mail to each other; the other was because he wasn't enjoying the sessions and we just happened to be in the same social space so I saw them in public spaces). Clients may feel a deep connection with you because of this type of work and want to connect with you outside of sessions, but this does not mean you have to do anything beyond being their snuggler.
So there you have it. What's surprising to you? What was expected? What really resonated with you? I'd love to know! Hit me with an email at firstname.lastname@example.org