I’m a professional cuddler and I charge $200 per hour for hugs

A WOMEN who charges up to $200 an hour to cuddle clients who crave human touch has raised the lid on some of the strangest requests she’s received since the beginning of her career. unusual business seven years ago.

Keeley Shoup, 33, is a full-time professional cuddler from Chicago, Illinois.

Keeley Shoup, 33 years old, is a full-time professional cuddler from Chicago, Illinois


Keeley Shoup, 33 years old, is a full-time professional cuddler from Chicago, IllinoisCredit: Keeley Shop
She caresses, comforts and pampers her clients to help combat symptoms of depression, loneliness and anxiety


She caresses, comforts and pampers her clients to help combat symptoms of depression, loneliness and anxietyCredit: Keeley Shop

With many of her clients experiencing trauma or abuse, Shoup caresses, comforts, and comforts her clients with pure expressions of affection to help combat symptoms of depression, she says. loneliness and anxiety.

Shoup explained to The US Sun: “Creation therapists are professional counselors that allow you to access pure emotion across the boundaries of comfort-oriented consent education. , confirm and alleviate loneliness”.

“We give access to platonic touch, but that doesn’t mean it’s required or expected. It’s just access to it.

“I have a lot of clients who are going through different stages of grief or trauma and really touching isn’t something we can do for a long time until we work together. for a long time,” she added.

According to Shoup, hugs increase the production of the love hormone oxytocin, a hormone known to help curb feelings of loneliness.

Hugging can also help lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, and reduce the levels of cortisol in the human body, also known as the stress hormone.


Shoup’s services are purely non-sexual, and customers must be fully clothed at all times.

To combat patrons looking for more obvious services, Shopp pre-screens any potential customers extensively, learning their needs and desires.

She has also implemented a strict code of conduct that all clients must acknowledge and sign.

“In those calls, we have a really candid conversation about it, where we come up with the rules and the customer can then decide if this is what they want or not.” Shoup said.

“Because what I tell people on screening calls is ‘if what you’re looking for doesn’t match what I’m talking about. You’re going to be sorely disappointed when you come here because this isn’t going to change. exchange and you ‘will be wasting time and money.’

“Most people appreciate the frankness of it all, and I try to approach that conversation without stigma or judgment.

“There’s nothing wrong with searching [sexual] service. However, to put it this way, if your car breaks down and it needs a new transmission, you shouldn’t take it to the car wash.

“There’s nothing wrong with going to the car wash, but it won’t fix your infectious disease. The same goes for cuddling therapy.”

In addition to the Shoup’s strict platonic touchdown rules, there are minimum clothing requirements (t-shirts and shorts), hygiene regulations (general cleanliness and no use of harsh perfumes), love requires the age of 18 or older and also prohibits “exchange of saliva.”

Explaining that last rule, Shoup said, “The reason why we say that is because kissing can be a subjective experience. Parents kiss their kids all the time and it’s completely pure. drug.

“So that’s not to say there can’t be a kiss at all. There’s a subjective experience of kissing the forehead or kissing the cheek… so it might fit perfectly into the therapeutic environment we’re in. try. create.”


Within the Shoup code of conduct, there are still many other requirements that customers can make to satisfy their individual wants and needs.

Calling such special requests one of her favorites in her line of work, over the years they have ranged from endearing to downright bizarre.

More recently, Shoup said she worked with a client who was looking for “age regression work,” asking to live their sessions as if they were a kid.

That requirement required Shoup to create a space where customers could interact with a younger part of them. To that end, Shoup filled his studio with stuffed animals, colored in coloring books with clients, and played a series of kid-like games.

“I’m not talking about people in adult diapers or anything like that,” she laughs. “It all means that someone wants to get in touch with a younger version of themselves – and we all have one of us.

“It’s just giving them a space where they can feel really cared for or valued, and play the way we did when we were younger.”

Shoup said she has also fought with her pillow and customers in the past.

The purpose of those exercises, she explains, is to help make feelings of anger and aggression more accessible.

Others have asked to dance in public with her, or simply hold hands for a walk around the park.

“I also used to read people’s children’s stories or let them sit on my lap for long periods of time because they wanted to feel cared for that way or loved.

“It’s all about feeling loved and nurtured when you’re a kid, and also about feeling trusted,” says Shoup.


The qualified cuddle therapist said she entered the world of professional hugging in late 2014, months after she – somewhat reluctantly – attended a “cuddle party” event for the first time with a friend.

Describing the experience as profound and overwhelming, Shoup said she cried for most of the four-hour period and says it helped her realize she was in an abusive relationship.

While enjoying a stranger’s arms, Shoup said she learned “what someone who respects your boundaries looks and feels like… someone who cares about your consent looks and feels like how.”

“Comparing that to what I went through at home was inevitable to realize and so discovering that event changed my whole life. It took me out of that relationship. It has healed and changed my relationship with my entire family.

“From there, I went into this, this philosophy, the work of everything for about a year and a half. And once I absorbed all the information I could possibly have, I said, ‘ I want to do this for the rest of my life. I want this to be what I do in the world.'”

Shoup's services are completely pure, non-sexual, and customers must always wear full clothing


Shoup’s services are completely pure, non-sexual, and customers must always wear full clothing
Hugging can release hormones into the body, making the feeling of loneliness no longer


Hugging can release hormones into the body, making the feeling of loneliness no longer

In the nearly eight years since Shoup became a professional cuddler, she says she’s seen as a profession and the services it provides have increasingly crept into the mainstream.


Since the coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2020, with forced closures forcing millions of people into isolation, Shoup says her business has more than doubled and her customer base – used to be 85% male – has diversified considerably.

Shoup has also grown in popularity on the social media platforms YouTube and TikTok, with hundreds of thousands of viewers flocking to her pages to learn more about the art of cuddling.

When asked what’s behind the recent business boom, Shoup replied: “I think what’s happening is that people have become acutely aware of what can be caused when it lasts.

“Many people who didn’t necessarily have reason to find themselves isolated have now experienced it – even those who, before the pandemic, had strong support networks, such as large groups of friends and family lives nearby.

“It has become a shared experience, so it’s not uncommon to talk about feeling isolated – it’s no longer a measure of you or your social skills.

“There’s also more acceptance around people who feel isolated for reasons other than the pandemic that are out of their control… so removing some of the shame or holding yourself accountable. getting around has really helped people understand why this work is really important – and it’s not and it doesn’t mean anything about you as a human being.”

Speaking to The US Sun from Los Angeles, Shoup revealed she had plans to set up a new cuddling studio on the West Coast, in addition to the one she has in Chicago.


The 33-year-old expressed optimism that cuddling therapy will soon become mainstream, claiming its impact will be comparable to the rise of licensed clinical psychology.

“This is something that is in demand,” says Shoup. “It’s a need – a healthy need – and it’s a healthy way to meet this need.

“It also helps create a kinder world, a more consent-aware world, and a more empathetic world.”

She continued: “When I look at the harshest elements of American culture, I think much of it comes from a lack of understanding of concepts and nuances with empathy.

“And I think cuddling therapy is a small measure that can help combat that.”

For more information, you can visit Keeley’s website by multiply here.

Shoup has been a professional cuddler for almost eight years


Shoup has been a professional cuddler for almost eight years

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DevanCole is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. DevanCole joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: devancole@dailynationtoday.com.

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