US woman opens professional cuddling shop, charges US$60 per hour

Professional cuddler Samantha Hess charges US$60 (S$77.90) for an hour-long cuddle session. -- PHOTO: CUDDLE UP TO ME/ FACEBOOK 
Professional cuddler Samantha Hess charges US$60 (S$77.90) for an hour-long cuddle session. -- PHOTO: CUDDLE UP TO ME/ FACEBOOK 

PORTLAND, Oregon - Sometimes what you really need is a hug.

And for US$60 (S$77.90) an hour, that's what professional cuddler Samantha Hess is offering. Her shop, Cuddle Up To Me, is located in Portland, Oregon.

In an interview with Fox12, Ms Hess explained that the sessions were strictly platonic and could include hair stroking, hand-holding and various cuddle positions.

Before a session, clients have to sign a waiver and meet Ms Hess in a public place for an interview. The sessions are monitored via CCTV for safety.

Ms Hess has also written a book on cuddling called Touch: The Power Of Human Connection, which was published earlier this year.

The concept of paying for some quality spooning time is not a new one.

In 2012, a Japanese cuddle cafe called "soine-ya" - which translates to "shop for sleeping together" - opened in the Tokyo district of Akihabara.

Besides charging an entry fee of 3,000 yen (S$31.20), the cafe allows customers to choose from anything between a 20-minute nap to a 10-hour sleepover for prices between 3,000 yen and 50,000 yen.