Lacking some genuine human touch of intimacy? If you’re looking to cuddle Evan Carp’s got you covered.
At just 27 years old, Evan is the founder and CEO for The Snuggle Buddies. He owns a whole empire of paid professional cuddling services for anyone who feels a little lonely.
Of course, growing up, being in this industry wasn’t what he had expected. In fact, he wanted to be a physician. However, at the age of 18, he was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome, a chronic condition which causes intense pain in the arms, legs, hands and feet which led him to fall into depression for six whole years.
So through his own experience, he came up with the idea of “Snuggle Buddies” and filled the surprisingly great unmet demand.
“I would say that I have the exact same mentality as a customer,” he said.
His business has expanded from US to Columbia, Canada and London. While most places charge an hour of cuddling for $80, some Midwestern states cost $60.
Mic writer Jon Levine was curious of the whole industry and wondered, “it’s easy to buy sex, but can you buy intimacy?”
You’d probably think he was for doing it for “research purposes”, hah a great excuse!
He asked professional cuddler, Stahl (not her real name) what it’s like to be in the industry? She replied,
“You can use this time, as long as you’re paying and it’s appropriate and the snuggler is cool with it, to do whatever you want. Sometimes I don’t cuddle at all! I’ve had clients take me out to dinner.”
“Some times, it’s not so fun. I’ve a man in his 70s and another who was mentally handicapped, but as a professional it was my responsibility to power through it. Unattractive people still have feelings, still have needs, still have a desire for tenderness, like everyone else,” she said. “Socially awkward people as well. I’ll be like, ‘You know what, Liza, find the grace. For one hour of your life, you can find the grace.'”
“Boners happen,” she added.
“It’s not something that you can necessarily control, and its not the end of the world either.” Arousal is not a deal-breaker, but The Snuggle Buddies clients must agree to a contract stating “no sexual activity is permitted” during a snuggle session.
“If they push the envelope, you redirect the conversation, and if they push it again, you give them a warning,” she said. “If it happens again, peace out Girl Scout.” In her career as a cuddler, Stahl said she’s only once ended a session early due to sexual advances.
“You don’t need a professional cuddler to be cuddled,” a professional male cuddler said. “Any two friends can do that same thing and probably do it better. I think everybody is looking for intimacy; I think at root that’s what it’s about.”
In the end of the day, can you buy intimacy?
Jon Levine thinks no. Although some moments were pleasant and relaxing, the feeling was just not there.
He says, “In the end, intimacy, as the word suggests, has to come from intimates. “