Welcome to Cuddle Up To Me!
My name is Samantha Hess, and I started Cuddle Up To Me in 2013 after realizing how debilitating the lack of touch in my own life was. My story begins as a little girl who witnessed physical abuse in the home. Seeing my mother deal with consistent verbal and physical abuse when I was so little left a deep scar on who I became.
Growing up and into my mid 20’s I was a passenger in eight car accidents, and I have dealt with chronic back pain as far back as I can remember. This has had an enormous impact on the way I interact with those around me because I know how much pain basic touch can bring sometimes.
After marrying my high school sweetheart at the age of 20 I got my first gym membership. I was very overweight, even outweighing my little sister the day she gave birth to an almost nine pound baby. Between working a life sucking sales job and realizing a bit too late that I married a man who had no want or need for touch I felt like I was falling apart. The gym helped a lot.
Starting at 38% body fat, I found myself drawn in like a moth to a flame. The gym was the only part of my life I enjoyed. After two years I had lost 20% body fat and decided to get a fitness degree which I completed in 2009. I was certified as a personal trainer through ACSM for six years.
After almost 13 years with my now ex-husband I realized that touch was essential for me to thrive. He was my best friend and my partner, but the rejection and isolation from lack of touch left me broken. I learned a lot about myself after finally leaving him in 2012.
I can’t believe how much my life has changed since then. In 2013 I started Cuddle Up To Me because I knew there had to be other people like myself who found their sense of self worth and ability to thrive through touch.
I decided that everyone deserves to KNOW that they matter, and for touch driven people like me, it’s not possible without it. I have now completed well over 3,000 paid professional cuddling hours with clients from moms who give a lot of touch but need someone to give it back to them, those like my mom who have suffered abuse, people with debilitating diseases like ALS and Cerebral Palsy, some who have severe disfigurements, some who come in just for self care, and too many other stories to count.
I see every single person who comes to me as human first and worthy of love always. Sometimes we need a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on, or a break from everyday life. I work everyday of my life to help everyone feel loved and they are accepted as they are. It’s okay to not be okay here.
Over the last seven years of Cuddle Up To Me I have been able to:
- Share my story with well over 100 million people in over 400 media interviews
- Help design and run the world’s first Cuddle Convention
- Be a Speaker at the world’s First Expo for professional cuddlers
- Start a blog to share my personal experiences openly
- Publish a book (with the second in the works now)
- Open our first retail space
- Hire more than a dozen employees
- Create workshops to bring folks together
- Teach guided sessions for couples to reconnect
- Offer a free online consent workshop
- And I have developed both a hands on and online certification program designed specifically for professional cuddlers.
My staff and I are out to change the world. We will work to break down the cultural taboo on touch, teach people how to communicate and consent to touch, understand their own wants and needs for touch, bring people together in new and unexpected ways to create a more connected and loving world for everyone.
In our current global crisis being within six feet of anyone outside our household is potentially life-threatening with the novel coronavirus preventing our service from existing in the ways it once did. We hope as more becomes known we will be able to return to offering cuddles and connection without all the new restrictions.
For now, we have opted not to find a new retail space for sessions for at least the summer of 2020. We are offering outbound sessions where we come to you, park sessions, and virtual check-ins instead. We are here for you, and we will find ways to continue moving forward.
So if you would like to support us we would love to have you book an appointment, participate in the online community, connect and be you. With us, you are always welcome and always loved.
Peace, Love, and Cuddles,
Samantha Hess and team