The Current

Professional cuddling in high demand but some worry where it may lead

Happiness is a warm hug... and now you can buy one if you need to. A look at the rise of the professional cuddler.

Andrew and Jacqueline Hills are two siblings who decided to give away something special one day. In a sort of social experiment, they headed to Venice Beach in California, and started giving out hugs... to total strangers. Their random hugs were met with plenty of awkward laughter... some celebration, and some total aversion.

Being touched is a powerful experience. It's therapeutic.... some would even say it's necessary to being human. But it's something our society doesn't really embrace. And the natural opportunities we do have for physical contact may be endangered by the way we live more and more today -- digitally, and disconnected.

And while there may not be an app for that, just yet -- there are a growing number of people out there offering themselves up to cuddle, for a fee.

Hasnain Mirza, a professional cuddler says hugs and nuzzles are in demand from people living in a world with too little touch. Hasnain Mirza is one such professional cuddler. His service is called Cuddleme. He was in Montreal.

Professional snuggling may be the most warm and fuzzy service imaginable, but there are concerns about how some might exploit this new field. Some worry that professional cuddling services could easily become a front for more nefarious activities.

Dave Perry is a former Sex Crimes Investigator with the Toronto Police Department. He's a partner at the company Investigative Solutions Network.

Despite concerns from its critics, one thing that's clear about professional cuddling is that there is a demand for it. Tiffany Field says that a little bit of touch can be truly beneficial. She's the Director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

We want to know how important cuddling is to you and whether you would pay someone to cuddle with you.

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This segment was produced by The Current's Sarah Grant and Sujata Berry.


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