(WSVN) - It’s a job that pays as much as $80 an hour, and it comes with an interesting title: professional cuddler.

The “cuddle-for-hire” business is growing throughout the country, Fox News reports. Multiple companies have popped up to offer the service, with websites that provide cuddling on-demand in all 50 states, including Cuddle Comfort, The Snuggle Buddies, Cuddlist, and Cuddle Time.

One company in Los Angeles, called the Cuddle Sanctuary, says they offer both one-on-one cuddle sessions as well as group workshops. Their clients say they may have started as skeptics, but are now believers.

“I thought that in order to go somewhere to pay and get touched means your desperate and unattractive,” one woman told Fox 11. But after experiencing a cuddling session, she had a change of heart. “I felt more joy, and I felt more connected.”

Another customer said he had similar misgivings at first, but has since warmed up to the service.

“I came and at first thought, ‘This is really weird, I’m not telling anybody I’m doing it,'” he recalled. He said he decided to give cuddling a try after his wife passed away, and he felt lonely. “I really just wanted a nice touch.”

Jean Franzblau, founder of the Cuddle Sanctuary, said the sessions are purely platonic, and professional cuddlers have to undergo certification programs before they can work.

Indeed, most cuddling service websites stipulate that their cuddlers must undergo background checks before they are hired, and require customers to submit contracts agreeing to company rules.

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Video courtesy: Fox 11 L.A.

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