I don’t know about you, but hiring a new professional for any kind of service fills me with dread and anxiety.

It doesn’t matter what the service is, whether it’s a mechanic for my car, an accountant, hair stylist or therapist, the same question keeps coming up: can I trust them?

Often, this part of the process is where I get stuck. Not knowing where to look or how to make a decision has sometimes prevented me from getting what I really need.

For example, it took me years to start therapy, because I’m so particular about the job being done right. It wasn’t until someone showed me how to go about the process of choosing a therapist, that I was able to find the perfect fit for me. Thank goodness!  

If you’ve been considering hiring a professional cuddler but are not sure how to go about it, we’ve made a guide to get you started!


What to look for in general

There are five essential components to finding satisfaction in any service:  

  1. The service offered matches your need
  2. You trust that they know what they’re doing
  3. The cost is at par with the value —  and your ability to afford it
  4. You feel cared for and important as the customer or client
  5. Bonus: You have good connection and rapport

When it comes to a service as personal as professional cuddling, there’s an extra layer of vulnerability involved. We are literally putting our bodies and souls in the hands of another human being. If any one of these components don’t match up for you, you’ll leave feeling disappointed, confused or even taken advantage of.

Here are a few steps that you may find helpful in determining a good match.


Step 1: Decide what form of the service you’re wanting and needing

The term “professional cuddling” covers a huge umbrella of options. It ranges from companionship services with a cuddle buddy, to a relaxation service – like a spa, to energy healing, touch and intimacy coaching, or something resembling therapy.

Can you identify what part of this service appeals to you the most?

If you’re someone who is looking for inner-child healing, any hint of romantic or erotic undertone might feel unsafe. However, a therapeutic service might be limiting and frustrating if you’re looking for sweet, flirtatious companionship, or a place to express your sexuality freely. It’s possible that professional cuddling isn’t the right fit after all, and something in realm of sex work would suit you better. We have no judgement of that at all! We just want to make sure that you get what you need and want. 

Cost is a thing to consider too. Most professional cuddling services range from $60-$120/hour, with $80 being the industry average. If professional cuddling services feel too costly, or if you’re looking to connect with a peer instead of a practitioner, perhaps a cuddle event is better suited for what you’re looking for.

The more honest and clear you can get about what exactly it is you want, the more likely you are to find the right fit.

Questions to ask:

  • What do I really want and need?
  • What is my expectation of professionalism?
  • Is a platonic service the right fit for me?

Step 2: Look in the right place

Now that you know what you need, it can inform where you search.

A good place to start is by Googling for “professional cuddling” or “professional cuddler” and the name of your city. Your next task is to figure out if that company offers the type of cuddling service you’re looking for.

Most all professional cuddling services are strictly non-sexual. Yet, there are many different agencies and practices out there, each with a slightly different take on what that means.

At Cuddle Sanctuary, for example, our work is very focused on the therapeutic benefits of platonic touch, outside of the realm of romance and eroticism. Companies that have a focus on wellness like ours will have practitioners that are trained and certified, and hold themselves to high standards of professionalism and care. If there isn’t a Cuddle Sanctuary where you are, we recommend searching on Certified Cuddlers and Cuddlist.com

Other agencies tend to focus primarily on the companionship aspect of the service, not unlike an online dating site. A hint that you may be looking at one of these sites, is that they emphasize the attractiveness of their snugglers. They may only have female cuddlers, many of which will have selfies for profile pictures, with varying degrees of seduction. 

There is often less of a vetting process for cuddlers listed there, so you’re much less likely to find a cuddler who has training. Even if they may not be certified however, their work can still be incredibly therapeutic. With a bit of looking, you can still find many wonderful professionals with lots of experience and great connection skills, and a few who have therapeutic intent in their work. You’ll simply have to be willing to do the work of vetting them on your own.

Questions to ask:

  • Does the website focus on health and wellness, or does it resemble more of a dating service?
  • Which will I be happier with?


Step 3: Deciphering a profile

How do you navigate a sea of profiles? Let’s start with the picture. It’s often the first thing that catches your attention. 

Practitioners with a therapeutic approach to their work will be less likely to use a selfie as a picture for their practice. Keeping in mind that it’s one snapshot of the person, ask yourself: can I feel feel safe with this person? Do they emanate the professionalism and warmth that I need?

Notice what is being shared with you in writing. Are they listing their hobbies and interests (like a dating profile)? Do they write about their certifications and expertise but lack warmth? Some keywords I like to look for are empathy, compassion, love, nurturing, healing etc. I also tend to trust profiles where I get to learn a little bit about the philosophy of the cuddler’s work. That’s one way to know that I’m getting a thoughtful practitioner who is personally invested in what they do. (This applies to psychotherapists, massage therapists and other professionals too, by the way!) 

Professional cuddlers often come with experience in other healing modalities that really compliment their work. Some are yoga instructors, reiki healers, massage therapists etc. You may find this helpful, or you may find it irrelevant.

At the end of the day, this is a nuanced decision, and going with your gut is a fine way to go!

Questions to ask:

  • Can I feel safe with this person?
  • What do they want me to know about them and their work?  
  • Where are they on the scale of warm and/or professional?
  • What does my gut say?

**A quick note about gender, age and attractiveness**

We all have our biases and preferences when it comes to who we want to be close to. And sometimes, they’re not very politically correct. You may feel safer with one gender over another. You may trust the wisdom and experience of an older professional over a younger one. Perhaps the attractiveness of your cuddler is meaningful to you. On the other hand, if you’re cuddling with someone you have a strong physical attraction to, it may get in the way of exploring the therapeutic benefits of platonic connection.

Where you decide to go with that is completely up to you. Keep in mind that as professionals, we appreciate not being objectified and subjected to ageism, sexism and the like. So all we ask is that you get to know us for the work we do when you meet us.

If you’re up for it, I welcome you to challenge your preconceived notions and experiment with something different. It can really be healing and transformative to experience safety and connection with someone outside of our norm.  At the same time, you are allowed to have your preferences for any reason at all without shame or guilt.


Step 4: The interview process

Did you know that requesting a session with a cuddler is not a promise that it will happen? A good practitioner will have a short get-to-know-you process before scheduling a session. It might be a phone call, video chat, or brief in-person meeting at a public place. 

Often times, this is a the practitioner screening you as a client. It’s a highly misunderstood field, and they want to make sure the service they offer matches up with your expectations. However, this is a good time for you to interview them too!

Here, you get to feel out your potential working relationship. Ask them any question you have! You can ask them about their experience, or why they got into their work. Ask them what their strengths are, and what to expect in a session with them etc.  A good professional will be warm and friendly, good at listening and getting to know you, equipped to talk about their work clearly, and can help put your fears at ease. Only move forward with scheduling if you feel ready! You can always say “I’d like some more time to decide if I want to move forward” or “I’ve changed my mind – thank you very much for your time.”

Questions to ask:

  • Can I feel safe with this person?
  • Are they able to address my concerns and help me feel at ease?
  • What does my gut say?


Step 5: Stay on or move on

Finally, once you’ve experienced a session with the cuddler, you get to decide where to go from there. You can choose to keep coming back, or call it good.

It can often take more than one session to build rapport, and get to the gems of deep connection and healing. It can take communication and adjusting to better target your needs and expectations. You may also decide that you have what you need from just one session.

There is no expectation of loyalty from your practitioner. You can decide to keep exploring with them at your own pace, experiment with other practitioners till you find the perfect fit, or simply continue to enjoy variety.  We just want the best for you!

Questions to Ask: 

  • Did I feel safe, seen & heard?
  • Do I trust them to hear my requests & feedback?
  • Do I want to come back?


The “Je Ne Sais Quoi”

At the end of the day, the quality of your connection with your service provider matters the most. Rapport may not be as important when you’re getting the oil changed in your car, but it’s essential when intimacy is involved. Everyone’s got their own style, that may or may not jive with yours. Someone can be extremely skilled and experienced, and a great cuddler, but just not the right fit for you. So again, going with your gut is absolutely fine!  

If you’re noticing a mismatch between what you want and what you are receiving, it’s time to make an adjustment. You can speak up if you’re dissatisfied, or try finding it somewhere new. You don’t have to compromise when it comes to your needs for connection and touch.

Trust that what you want and need is out there. All you have to do is a little bit of searching, and asking for what you want.



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