Woman to expand Portland cuddle business, hire staff

PORTLAND, Ore. - Wanted: Professional Cuddler. Must be good with people. Will train.

A Portland woman who has made headlines as a professional cuddler is ready to expand her business.

Samantha Hess plans on opening a shop and training six people in the art of snuggles and cuddles before the end of the year.

"The only reason it's not open yet is I've been so busy I literally haven't had time to go look for a location," Hess said.

The people she hires will have to pass through a 40-hour training course designed by Hess. She said she won't hire anyone who can't take it seriously.

"What I do is meant to do a similar thing that massage does but for the mind. It's meant to really relax you and keep you centered and balanced and help you with your sense of self-worth," Hess said.

"It's not sexual"

Hess will cuddle and converse with you for a dollar a minute but service stops there.

"There are no upgrades to what I do," Hess said. "There's nothing else you can get out of this."

But what her clients get, she says, is more than enough for them.

"It's all about human acceptance, respect and unconditional love."

Hess pointed to one of her clients - a man with Lou Gehrig's disease - as someone who really benefits from her cuddle sessions.

"He's just so alone in his life and we get to laugh and have fun and he gets to have somebody look him in the eye and accept him for who he is," Hess said.

Hess said her business welcomes people of all shapes and sizes.

She is publishing a book about the science and technique behind professional cuddling, complete with a "how-to" guide for various cuddling positions.

You can visit her website here.