‘I’m a professional cuddler and people pay me to comfort them – it’s not sexual’
A woman is raking it in as a professional cuddler – and insists there's nothing sexual about it.
Missy Robinson is paid $150 AUD (around £80) for one-on-one sessions that focus on touch therapy.
In recent months, she's helped veterans and lonely people, as well as those with disabilities and mental health struggles.
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The 43-year-old, from the Gold Coast in Australia, also earns a fortune from corporate clients – who request that she come into offices and hug stressed employees.
On the I've Got News For You podcast, the businesswoman opened up about her unconventional career.
She said: "Cuddle therapy has actually been around for a lot longer than what people may think.
"It was started in 2010 and has been practiced in Australia since 2016.
"When I found out about cuddle therapy as a profession, I was watching the TV show Billions.
"It was an episode where they brought in a professional cuddler.
"When I first saw that I was like 'oh my god that's so cool' – so I started doing research on the benefits and all that stuff."
Therapist Missy Robinson was immediately drawn in by the idea of cuddle therapy – and decided to expand her list of services.
She said: "I realised it wasn't just a buzz job, it was a legitimate form of therapy.
"I thought, this is incredible and I need to get involved in this.
"Obviously it aligned in well with my other mental health work.
"You have to go through a lot of training – I have a diploma in cuddle therapy.
"We actually operate under a book called the Cuddle Sutra, which has 99 different cuddle positions available on the couch and in bed that you can try."
Missy has a wide variety of clients – from old widowers to veterans and women who need support.
So what actually goes on in the cuddle sessions?
She revealed: "I go to their chosen place and we do different cuddle positions and we talk.
"The whole concept of cuddle therapy is talk, touching therapy.
"I charge $150 AUD (£80) per cuddling session but I offer a discount to veterans and first responders."
Some people wrongly assume Missy's services are sexual – but this is not the case.
She added: "Nearly every single person I've had a session with has cried.
"The power of human touch, people don't realise, we take it for granted…
"You think about the times you need a hug – when you're happy, when you're sad, when you've achieved something fabulous – and that kind of thing. It's totally non-sexual."
Missy has also found her niche by targeting corporate clients, who are often stressed from hard days at work.
She explained: "I go in there and staff b*tch about their colleagues, complain about their work and all that stuff.
"I come in there, we have a hug and then they've released all that stress.
"When they go back to the workplace, all that chaos has been released so they can then focus on doing their jobs.
"It also alleviates workplace disruption that comes with relationships and friendships and stuff."
Given many of us need a cuddle every now and then, business is booming for Missy.
She boasts more than 14,300 followers on Instagram – and her career appears to be going from strength to strength.
The professional cuddler added: "I have a lot of enquiries I'm just not able to take all the bookings at the moment as I'm so busy."
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