Professional cuddlers are a thing that exist, apparently.
What's that now?
In a video for Business Insider UK, a woman who said she's “been going through a tough time lately" hired a professional cuddler from Cuddlist to see if the service could cheer her up.
Dieniz Costa, a "professional cuddlist," called her sessions a “safe space" where people can “explore touch."
“More likely than not, they're not getting the level of touch that they need in their everyday life," Costa said of her clients.
The woman, Claudia Romeo, said she was curious to see if the session “will help me in any way."
Romeo described herself as “very relaxed" after an hour-long session.
Twitter users took notice of the video:
Madelon Guinazzo, co-founder and director of training at Cuddlist, wrote on the company's website that “Our society is hungry to feel close to ourselves and others in healthy ways. Cuddling is a vehicle for this."
“All human beings have bodies and emotions," Guinazzo added. “We need to feel a sense of physical and emotional safety and belonging with others. This is the experience our cuddlists are trained to provide. It is pioneering work. We are bringing something new and needed to those who are ready to try it."
There are additional comparable businesses operating in the United States.
Kimberly Kilbride, 33, founder of The Snuggle Buddies, a New Jersey-based company that provides cuddling services, told the International Business Times in 2015, “I have the personality for this from customer service and waitressing."
“I'm very maternal and caring, the person my friends go to when they need a shoulder to cry on," Kilbride said.