Professional cuddling service arrives in Ottawa
Published Friday, February 13, 2015 5:10PM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 13, 2015 7:02PM EST
It may not be for everyone, but in-time for Valentine’s Day, there is a service available for people who may be lonely.
Professional cuddling, as in hugging and nothing more, appears to be growing in popularity. Now the service is available in Ottawa and Gatineau.
“I feel that having something like this brings warmth and happiness in your life,” says professional cuddler, Maya Arbach.
Arbach works for a company called "The Cuddlery”. It offers cuddling services, in cities across the Canada, for about $80 an hour.
Before the session starts, there are some ground rules. Each client signs a service agreement stating there will be no sexual activity, no touching of areas covered by undergarments, and no nudity.
When the service started in Ottawa less than a month ago, Farrell, a public servant, was one of the first to sign-up.
“I’m not looking for serious relationship, I’m not looking for a sexual relationship,” says Farrell. “But I really miss that intimacy.”
For safety, an image of the client’s photo ID is sent to a third party at The Cuddlery and video of the session is held for two weeks, to help protect both parties from allegations of misconduct.
Some studies have suggested that cuddling has health benefits. Physical touch has been shown to reduce blood pressure, reduce stress, relieve pain and even improve immune function.
Cuddling a stranger might be weird for some people but Farrell swears by its benefits.