South Africans snuggle up to professional cuddlers

STORY: A South African company is offering professional cuddling services

starting at 900 rand ($47) for a session

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

(Florence Letswalo, Pro Cuddling SA founder)

“I had a rough day at work, and I was meeting my partner that evening for movies or something. Then well I wasn’t ok you know. Stress was getting to me, work, and all of that. And he suggested that we just cuddle and not do anything you know, so after that cuddling session I just felt a world of difference and I thought ‘oh my god’, you know how many people get to experience that in the privacy of their own home?”

Pro Cuddling SA currently operates in three of South Africa's provinces

and has about 50 'cuddle mates' who meet with clients at their home or hotel

(Buyisile Mncina, Counselling Psychologist)

"So, the benefits of touch is that there is an intimacy, a closeness, a connection that is established through touch. We appreciate that when we are held, other people have been quite, intentional in terms of using touch as a means of communicating and receiving love from the people round them. “

Operating in a country where sexual violence is rampant

the company says it takes steps to ensure the safety of all participants

(Florence Letswalo, Pro Cuddling SA founder)

“Whether, even if they are in a hotel, we have the full address, the client and the cuddle mate do no communicate at all we don’t exchange their numbers. We verify everything. We facilitate the booking process from the beginning, right up until the cuddle mate is at the client’s door.”