If someone heads to Cuddlist.com, they’ll find options to either find a professional Cuddlist or become a professional Cuddlist. The career of professional cuddling has become a thing in recent years. Professional cuddler Keeley Shoup stopped by The Bobby Bones Show to talk about her profession and answer all of the show’s burning questions.
When Shoup graduated from college, she was working at a mortgage company. During her time at the job, she found out about Cuddlist and decided to apply to get trained in it. She’s been part of Cuddlist for about 6 years now, and admitted that she does get a lot of people thinking her job is weird and questioning her chosen line of work. Though she makes a good living do it, she makes $100 per hour and the industry standard is $80 an hour. She mostly hosts her clients at the Cuddle Studio in her home where she has a futon mattress, and a huge couch as options for the sessions. She said there is no “bed” because of the association that typically comes with beds. In her sessions, she can provide music, or her clients can bring in playlists based on their moods. She is open to being the big spoon or little spoon based on the clients needs. She admitted that a lot of guys come in wanting to be the little spoon, because they never get the chance in their relationship. Shoup also noted that she typically wears comfy clothes in the sessions, and there is a minimum requirement of clothing required for sessions.
When someone thinks of cuddling, they think of just a cuddle session happening, but that’s not actually what the job completely entails. While Shoup does cuddle clients, she does much more than that. She said that the need for human touch is just as much of a need for humans much like water, shelter, and food. The point of being a Cuddlist is to help clients curb their anxiety, and depression amongst other mental illnesses. The point of it is to help people process their trauma in a different way, it’s a very nurturing, therapeutic environment. There are options to talk about things during their sessions, “play,” get read children’s books, and of course, cuddle. There is such a thing as age regression therapy, where some of Shoup’s clients come in with that very young side to themselves and they’re wanting to heal childhood wounds. She also tries to get people out of their typical home environments, as there is a lot of stress often in those places.
Before the session, there are conversations about boundaries and consent education happening. While she has had potential clients try to hit on her, she validates that need for affection and redirects them to another place where their needs can be met, but not with her. In her 6 years of working as a professional cuddler, she admitted that there’s only been about 3 times where she had to end a session early due to some awkwardness. Shoup added that most of her clients actually get sent to her by spouses of clients, because they have more need for physical touch than their partner. She also added that she has a partner she lives with, who is very proud and appreciative of the therapeutic work she does.