I cuddle a lot in my personal life. When I started dating my now-husband he told me early on that he hoped the amount of affectionate touch I liked wouldn’t get annoying over time. More than six years later, he tells me it hasn’t.
Most nights we fall asleep cuddled up. And wake up that way, too. The point is, he’s gotten lots of cuddles from me over the years.
Last night, he was hurting and he asked me to cuddle him. This morning he said “those were some next level professional cuddles.”
“Well, I am internationally certified as a cuddler.” I told him.
The difference, though, isn’t my qualifications or training (as wonderful as all of that is). The core difference between what he’s experienced a lot of times before and what he experienced last night was that we weren’t just cuddling, he was being cuddled.
Being cuddled by someone whose focus is on helping you to heal is a different experience from cuddling up with someone. The difference is in the focus. When I’m cuddling someone to comfort them, my focus is on their experience. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about my own comfort. I’ve learned that I can’t provide the same level of comfort if I’m uncomfortable.
The process of holding someone, often with their head on my shoulder, as I wrap my arms around them as specific benefits, my clients tell me. It helps people to feel safe and enveloped and comforted. People come away from that experience feeling better, remembering their own strength and more confident that they have the ability to face whatever is in front of them. I’ve cuddled people who are grieving the loss of a loved one, or some other tragedy that won’t be erased or eliminated with a cuddle. That’s not the point of the cuddle anyway. The point is to pull cortisol out of their bloodstream so that the stress of whatever their facing doesn’t overwhelm their capacity to move forward. The point is to reconnect them with themselves in a way that being held and comforted is uniquely able to do.
If you need that sort of comfort, it can seem like a failure if there’s nobody in your social circle capable of providing it. But that’s why the industry of professional cuddling, like the talk therapy industry, exists. To provide a useful service in exchange for equivalent value. My husband doesn’t pay my hourly rate, but he exchanges value with me in a lot of other ways. My clients do the same thing in a much simpler and more scalable way.
My hours have shifted a bit, and I’m shifting my focus some, but I’m still providing this service in my Carmel office. If you’re interested in a cuddle with me, please schedule an appointment or send me a message to find out more.