FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

IS PROFESSIONAL CUDDLING A REAL BUSINESS?

Yes! Although most people still aren’t aware it exists, platonic cuddling got started way back in 2002 (right here in Portland, Oregon!), with group cuddle events. One-on-one cuddling services then started popping up in 2008. The very first commercially viable retail cuddling business in North America, Cuddle Up To Me, was established in 2014 - once again, here in Portland!

Curious to learn more? Check out some resources!

IS THERE SOME SORT OF TRAINING INVOLVED?

Absolutely! Several organizations offer training programs.

I completed my training and certification with Cuddlist in 2019.

WHY DO YOU NEED TRAINING TO GIVE HUGS?

That’s initially what I wondered, too. But it’s actually WAY more than giving hugs. Professional Cuddlists also provide instruction on how to establish mutual consent and set personal boundaries - how to ask for what you truly want and say NO to what you don't want. It may sound simple, but this essential life skill isn't always easy. In a platonic touch session, we create an environment of mutual safety and trust, where you are empowered and encouraged to strengthen this life skill or "muscle" by speaking up around your preferences and needs.

IS CUDDLING DURING COVID-19 SAFE?

I am fully vaccinated and currently only conducting in-person sessions with people who are fully vaccinated, as well. In addition, we will both wear KN95 masks. My office contains both a high-powered fan and a physician-grade air purifier. For more information on COVID-19 protocols, please click here.

WHAT KIND OF CLIENTS DO YOU WORK WITH?

Anyone age 18 or over - all gender identities, LGBTQ, sizes, shapes, and persuasions welcome!

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

Loose fitting, comfortable clothing is best - like sweat pants and t-shirts. (Tank tops and shorts that cover the thigh minimum.) If you need to bring your comfy clothes, you are welcome to change at the office.

DO YOU HAVE HYGIENE REQUIREMENTS?

I ask that all of my clients to come freshly showered, with clean, smoke and pet dander-free clothes. Please also refrain from strong scents, such as perfume/cologne and hair products, such as gel and hair spray.

DO I HAVE TO CUDDLE?

Absolutely not - we don't even need to touch. You decide what you want YOUR session to look like. We could talk or sit shoulder to shoulder and hold hands. You set the pace and content for your session.

IS IT OK TO TALK DURING A SESSION OR SHOULD I BE QUIET?

Whatever feels best to you is A-Ok. Often times we'll begin a session by talking a bit, but will then settle into mostly silence, to really focus on and savor the experience of touch and physical closeness.

CAN I REALLY ASK FOR ANYTHING I WANT IN A SESSION?

As long as it fits within our agreements and Code of Conduct - Yes! And just as you are encouraged to speak up around your preferences and needs, I too will let you know if I’m not comfortable with a request and will suggest an alternative. There is NO such thing as “Oh, I shouldn’t have asked that!” because you can trust me to speak up and respond authentically. There is no need to censor or second guess - just go ahead and ask!

WHAT IF I GET AROUSED?

It’s perfectly natural and normal to feel aroused sometimes in a platonic touch session. However, that feeling is not something that will be acted upon or escalated, as sessions are completely NON-sexual. If need be, we can switch positions or take a short break.

WHAT IF I GET EMOTIONAL?

Experiencing physical closeness can stir up all kinds of feelings - especially given the Pandemic and resulting isolation many of us have been experiencing.  Touch can evoke a whole host of emotions: sadness, grief, fear - even anger at having to go without for so long. All feelings are welcome - I’m equipped and truly honored to hold space for whatever may arise.

WHAT IF I’M FEELING UNCOMFORTABLE AND WANT TO END OUR SESSION?

Please let me know if you aren’t comfortable - we can stop the session at any point. However, we can also discuss what's going on and consider possible alternatives, such as scaling back physical contact, or just talking for a bit. You are in charge of your session - I strongly encourage you to speak up and ask for what you want.

WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?

Cancellations and re-scheduled sessions will be subject to a full charge if NOT RECEIVED AT LEAST 24
HOURS IN ADVANCE. This is necessary because a time commitment is made to you
and is held exclusively for you. If you are late for a session, we will still need to conclude
our session at the pre-arranged end time. 

WHAT IF I’M NOT FEELING WELL AT THE LAST MINUTE?

If you are experiencing ANY symptoms, please stay home. Regardless of the timing, there will be no late cancellation fee for illness. Let’s keep each other healthy!

WHAT IS YOUR PRIVACY POLICY?

Your identity and all session content will be kept completely confidential.

If we run into each other in public, I won't initiate contact. However, if you greet me, I will respond in kind. Rest assured, your needs around privacy and discretion will be faithfully honored.

WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED? DO YOU HAVE PARKING?

My office is located in the Tao of Tea building on SE Belmont Street in Portland. The adjacent parking lot is ONLY available for Friday, Saturday or Sunday sessions or weekday sessions beginning after 5pm. Otherwise, please allow enough time to locate street parking before your session. (For a sneak peek at the comfy cuddle room, click here.)

IS YOUR OFFICE ADA ACCESSIBLE?

Unfortunately, no - my current location has a flight of stairs. If you have mobility issues, I am happy to come to your home for a session. Let me know if this is the case and we can discuss logistics. If you are physically unable to come to my office, I will waive travel fees, but require a 2-hour session length minimum.

WHAT IF I HAVE HEALTH ISSUES, SUCH AS MENTAL OR PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS?

Please let me know ASAP, so I can make the necessary accommodations.

HOW MUCH DOES A SESSION COST? HOW DOES PAYMENT WORK?

Sessions are $100 an hour. ($60/hour for virtual sessions.) You can either send payment via PayPal to cheri@thetouchtonic.com at least 24 hours prior to your session or you can pay cash at the beginning of your session.

HOW LONG DO SESSIONS LAST?

For the first session, I recommend 90 minutes. The minimum session length is 60 minutes.

CAN I DO LONGER SESSIONS?

Yes! 2-hour sessions are common. Some people prefer 3 - 4 hour sessions. I recommend starting with a 90-minute session to see if that feels like enough time.

WHAT IF I WANT TO EXTEND THE LENGTH OF OUR SESSION WHILE I’M THERE?

If this is something you are interested in, let me know. If I'm not already scheduled, I might be able to extend our sesson time.