Not getting enough warm embraces in your life? Well, you can always ask a friend for a hug–or you could make the drive to Columbia and pay someone $40 for a 30-minute cuddle session.
Tender Embrace, a cuddle shop that plans to open in Columbia “sometime later this year,” was founded by Marine Rob Andrews and his wife, Tiffany. The idea came to them when Rob was deployed abroad and Tiffany missed the physical and emotional benefits of touch. “Platonic touch,” as the company refers to it, is reported to lower stress, improve self-esteem, and lower blood pressure.
Tender Embrace already has three professional cuddlers on staff — two men and one woman, all of whom look pretty cuddly. In order to keep the cuddling platonic, Tender Embrace asks that clients wear at least a tank top and shorts, and warns that if “natural reactions” arise during a cuddle session, the professional cuddler may request a change in position “to ensure that the focus of the session remains on the cuddle and not the reaction.”
The cuddle menu lists several options, including a Double Cuddle (two providers at once) for $120, an overnight cuddle (movies and video games provided) for $500, and entertainment cuddles (including snacks and video games) for $120. They are not yet taking appointments, alas.
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