Jessica O’Neill, 35, started professional cuddling six months ago — and makes $1,100-a-week from her unusual job.
She spent a decade working as a massage therapist and counselor before adding cuddles to the treatment list at her studio in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
O’Neill claims the hugs, which cost upwards of $60-an-hour, help lonely people and those suffering from depression feel loved and valued.
She said: “I’ve always been a really affectionate person and have always cuddled people. It’s just in my nature and is part of who I am.”
O’Neill swears her husband Jason, 34, doesn’t mind her intimate profession – despite the fact that most of her clients are men. She said: “Jason is very supportive and completely gets it. He loves what I do and thinks it’s really beautiful.”
Jessica charges $60-an-hour for “strictly cuddles” while a hugs and counseling session costs $80. Clients can also book a “friendship style” coffee and cuddle session for $110.
Most of O’Neill’s customers are men over the age of 35, but she revealed she has a growing number of middle-aged female clients — as well as younger men who experience “loneliness and disconnection” in the digital age.
She admits she has had “one or two” awkward experiences but insists 99 percent of her clients are “very well behaved.”