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Odd business: Woman charges dollar a minute for a cuddle

Last updated on: July 16, 2012 09:33 IST

Odd business: Woman charges dollar a minute for a cuddle

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Feeling lonely? Looking for some personal touch? Well, here's a solution: A woman is offering sessions where she cuddles strangers for about one dollar a minute.

Jackie Samuel in New York has turned her house into what she callsThe Snuggery, a place where people can come and snuggle with her for sessions ranging from 45 to 90 minutes.

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Image: Jackie Samuel.
Photographs: Courtesy, The Snuggery

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Odd business: Woman charges dollar a minute for a cuddle

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She told a newspaper that she started cuddling for cash informally years ago but launched the company officially while completing her master's programme in social work at the University of Rochester.

Samuel, who is 29-years-old, says she's passionate about touch.

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Image: Two people cuddle on a bench in Union Square in New York.
Photographs: Andrew Burton/Reuters

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Odd business: Woman charges dollar a minute for a cuddle

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"I've travelled all over the world, interacted with diverse cultures, and noted that Americans distinctly lack non-sexual touch. I understand the role touch plays in our sense of well-being and overall health," she says.

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Image: Participants at a Cuddle Party in New York.
Photographs: Chip East/Reuters
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"My philosophy embraces the idea that we are all aspects of the same self - to be a healer is to be healed. When we cultivate or nurture something outside ourselves, we're nurturing what's inside as well. Touch can breach the perceived separation and provide us with a healing connection," she says on her website.

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Image: To be a healer is to be healed, says Samuel.
Photographs: David Moir/Reuters
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Samuel says that although most of her clients are middle-aged and older men, she wants to expand the business.

"Something that's always excited me, if I did have a steady income, is providing cuddles for people who can't afford it - homeless people and people who are isolated from society," she told a newspaper.

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Image: She wants to expand the business.
Photographs: Christian Charisius/Reuters
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She enjoys snuggling strangers, but she does, however, have some ground rules. She briefly meets the clients before the session to make sure that both of them are comfortable with each other. She says clients can wear anything, although she prefers if they wear pyjamas, but nudity is not allowed. And clients will have to make an appointment, she says on her website.

Samuel admits that while snuggling sessions are not therapy they can be restorative, rejuvenating, comforting and fun.


Image: A baby ring-tailed lemur cuddles with its mother in their enclosure at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.
Photographs: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters
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