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Oregon woman sells snuggles as 'professional hugger'

Published On: Dec 24 2013 12:42:41 PM AKST
Updated On: Nov 18 2013 07:09:19 AM AKST
Samantha Hess, professional hugger

Cuddleuptome.com

A Portland, Ore., woman is selling hugs as a "professional hugger."

Samantha Hess is a 29-year-old former personal trainer who charges $60 for an hour-long non-sexual, completely clothed snuggle, according to The Oregonian newspaper.

The Oregonian reported that Hess is far from alone in her unconventional career choice. There is a veritable booming industry of healers nationwide who use non-sexual touch as a way to bring contentment and solace to others.

"Many of us in our adult lives haven't had the touch that we need to really thrive," Hess told The Oregonian.

She opened shop this summer as Portland's first professional cuddler and has seen thriving business so far. She has sold hugs to men of all ages and at least one woman, meeting her clients in movie theaters, parks and clients' bedrooms.

Despite her business coming close to the Oregon prostitution statute's definition of "sexual contact," which includes any intimate part of a person that may arouse or gratify sexual desire, her business is on the complete up-and-up. She has a website, a federal tax ID and registered her business with the state. She also had her lawyer draw up a waiver for clients setting rules and what is and isn't allowed.

She also has a requirement that all potential clients meet her first at a public place and the hugging session only gets her OK if she feels comfortable. She also carries a non-lethal weapon with her to each session and lets a third party know the name of each client and the address and time of their appointment.