By Maggie Zhang
"Let's hold hands and cuddle up on the couch, or listen to some soft music while we curl up in your bed - I am happy to be the big spoon or the little spoon."
This is one of the first things you'll read when you visit Samantha Hess' website, Cuddle Up To Me.
At the age of 30, Hess is a professional cuddler. For $60 an hour, she'll intimately snuggle with strangers of all types, and bring them one-on-one cuddle time without the complications of a relationship.
The idea came to her in 2012, when she read an article about a guy with a "Free Hugs" sign at a local Saturday market. Another man stood next to him with a "Deluxe hugs, $2" sign, and ended up getting more hugs than the first guy.
"That was my lightbulb moment," Hess says. "I was at a place in my life, out of a 13-year relationship, where I needed a service that didn't exist. I was struggling and not ready for another relationship but still had an inherent need to be accepted and loved."
Hess didn't know where to turn. She wanted physical comfort that was safe and socially acceptable to reach out to.