A woman who describes herself as ’not a touchy feely person’ has become a full-time cuddler – and now earns $80 an hour for giving hugs.
Janet Trevino, 37, from San Antonio, Texas, became a professional, part-time cuddler in August last year – going full-time in September, in response to demand.
She now spends 13-20 hours a week cuddling men, aged between 40 and 70 and earns up to $1600 a week.
Janet, who has a partner called Carlos, had always been naturally supportive to those around her and, in her early 20s, even wanted to work as a missionary.
My whole life, I have done this kind of work. When I was 19 or 20, I wanted to be a missionary,’ she recalled. ’I think people really need messages of hope and I wanted to spread that.’
But three years ago, she decided she wanted to do more to explore who she is as a person.
She said: ’One day it hit me that I wasn’t satisfied with my sexuality. I wasn’t satisfied with who I was as a sexual being.
She continued: ’It was a really positive break up. I felt like my partner just couldn’t go with me down the path I was going down. He had loved me but I wanted to move on.’
At one of her workshops, she met two professional cuddlers who explained what they do and persuaded her to come along to a cuddle party - a non-sexual gathering of cuddlists.
Soon Janet was hooked and immediately signed up to online training through a website called Cuddlist.
This involved guidance on cuddling positions, how to make clients feel comfortable and how to stay safe.
Once I started, I felt like it all clicked and I thought I was really good at it,’ she said. ’I am not really a touchy feely person. That’s not me at all but I love it. I feel like cuddling helped me find that missing piece.’
She completed her training in two days and set up a studio in her own home.
She used various different places to cuddle on, starting first with a floor mat, before introducing a sofa and a mattress, as she learned what worked best.
Now Janet works as a cuddler full time and has cuddled people since she started, earning over $17,000.