Saskatoon woman offers cuddles for hire
But one clear rule: no hanky-panky
In this electronic age, touch screens and touch pads are everywhere. But for some of us, touch of the good old-fashioned human kind is missing.
And, in a free enterprise society, where there's an unmet need, there's someone willing to fill it — for a price.
Meet Kay Ranger, professional cuddler.
For $70 per hour, Ranger will snuggle with you until your heart's content.
Started as hobby
"It kind of started more as a hobby, and now I think that there is a market for it," Ranger said.
She was working and travelling in New Zealand.
"And there's definitely people who are also working and travelling that were lonely, people going through period of loneliness in their lives," Ranger said. "I think when people are travelling they're in a searching stage, and it just happened to come about that I started offering people these cuddles."
It's a form of healing- Kay Ranger, professional cuddler
Back in Saskatoon, Ranger started advertising her services online, after seeing cuddling services start up in other cities.
But she insists money is secondary to helping people.
"It's a form of healing. Physical affection creates a chemical called oxytocin in the brain, and that chemical has been nicknamed the happiness chemical," Ranger explained. "People who have more cuddles in their lives experience more self-esteem, reduced feelings of anxiety and depression."
In the month and a half since she launched Saskatoon Cuddle Therapy Service, she has attracted a handful of clients.
A lot of the people who contact her have experienced some type of trauma or mental illness that prevents them from having healthy relationships, she said.
Seniors feeling isolated are another potential clientele pool.
Sex is out of bounds
There is one obvious hazard in this line of work — clients who may want cuddling to lead to more intimate contact.
That is outside the firm boundary Ranger sets. She enforces it with a signed waiver. She also lets a third person know where she will be, and calls that person right after a cuddle session ends.
Ranger said her clients are supportive of the measures she takes.
So, is a market for professional cuddling a sign of a lonelier era? Or of a society more willing to acknowledge and pursue missing elements?
"People are more open now to saying that they might need something," Ranger said.