As babies, we are held, touched, lovingly by our parents and caregivers. Some parents keep their child in a sling or other attachment to always have their child next to them, touching them. As we grow older, we become more independent and live our lives with less touching. Some people can go for long periods of time without giving or receiving positive touch.


Touch is an intrinsic part of our lives, something to share with one another. Positive touch is about being affectionate, not being sexual. The importance of touch, substantiating it, is creating a more heart-conscious culture. Positive touch is essential to being human and feeling connected. It can help with issues of depression, stress, loneliness, isolation, illness and trust. Finding out how to add more touch to your life in a healthy and respectful way can provide extraordinary healing benefits to people that have been abused or neglected.

Sexual touch is only one kind of touch. Receiving platonic touch is nurturing, calming, relaxing and a way to express love without being sexual. Anyone who has had a pet knows how much they crave loving touch, and that it isn't sexual. Why should humans be considered any different, to have friendly relationships that exist solely to experience loving touch?

Noticing this trend of the lack of positive touch in our adult lives, some people have decided to remedy it. To replace it with the current cuddle trend. There are snuggle groups on and Facebook that schedule regular events. A cuddle pile is created, and each person is actively involved in positive touch with the other participants. Sometimes a participant may have their hand held, hair stroked, or just be near another person that is open to platonic touch. Spooning can be a more graduated form of Touch Positive expression.


Some truly need an opportunity to be touched. Many go through their lives with little contact with another person. As a society, we are told to not touch one another, to acknowledge important boundaries. Sexual harassment could happen when boundaries are crossed. We stop ourselves from touching each other past a handshake.


Consent is a major component. Respecting one another, talking about what kind of touching is okay, experiencing touch and realizing that it may turn out to not be comfortable for all parties involved. Asking for what we need, finding it, taking it one step at a time, finding a safe space – we learn it's okay to touch and be touched.

The social cuddling groups allow people to make authentic connections that don't involve a romantic partner. It can take some a long period of time to be comfortable receiving positive touch, to graduate to a hug.

Hiring someone to provide a healing touch is not a new phenomena. We hire massage therapists, receive acupressure, sex workers and have dance lessons – to receive personal , positive and healing touch. Now people can hire professional cuddlers. Fees range from $1 a minute (15 minute minimum) to $425 for an overnight cuddling session.

Being a professional cuddler means being able to accept the flood of emotions, providing comfort and safety to let go of the hurt and move forward with love. For someone that is not used to receiving positive touch, suddenly being in a situation where they are embraced with love, warmth, acceptance and no judgment can be life changing.

One of the more successful examples of a professional cuddler is Samantha Hess of Cuddle Up To Me, located in Portland, Oregon. Currently there are four cuddlers on staff, four rooms, with comfortable beds, dim lighting and videocameras for security purposes. Within a week of opening this location, she received over 10,000 emails wanting to learn more.


Samantha Hess also has a book available, Touch: The Power of Human Connection. Touch illustrates 19 positions designed to bring your closer to the people you value and achieve true fulfillment. It also reveals the science behind cuddling and why it is a fundamental need.

“There's so much more to communicating our wants and needs than can be provided in a romantic relationship. We teach you ways to connect to others that will bring joy into your life, in a safe and comfortable way. There's so much to learn and grow by receiving positive touch.” Samantha Hess.

On Valentine's Day (02/14/15), she will be holding the first ever Cuddle Convention in Portland, Oregon. It's the first CuddleCon ever held. The event includes learning about positive touch, taking workshops to learn about various ways to receive positive touch, performances, and many opportunities to cuddle. Hess' intention is to celebrate human connection, and be a revolutionary in healing through positive touch and unconditional love.

Other professional cuddlers are Jacqueline Samuel . She runs The Snuggery in Rochester, N.Y. In Fredericksburg, Virginia, Donna Pirnat has the business, Embrace Positive Touch. There are also many other people available freelance that provide cuddling and positive touch services.