LAWRENCE, Kan. (WDAF) - A Kansas woman's job is to cuddle, which is part of a growing movement of touch-based therapy.
Robin Marie said she wants to bring people closer together, and has become a professional cuddler. It means her job is to comfort, nurture and sooth. Marie said the experience is strictly platonic.
"I really believe in the power of touch and how it can really heal people," she explained to WDAF. "It can be as simple as me sitting on the couch, just sitting next to someone. It can be holding hands with someone. All the way to where we're laying horizontal on the bed and we are spooning."
Marie has been involved in therapeutic touch for more than a year, and is certified through a website called, "Cuddlist." She has 30 clients ranging in age from 20 to 75 years old. She charges $80 an hour.
"There is a training process that you go through, and it's sort of a practicum as well," Marie explained. "The baseline agreement that I have with every client is if either of us is ever uncomfortable, we agree to speak up and say something."
Marie said cuddling can make people feel connected and more comfortable in their own skin.
"That is something that touch does for us through oxytocin release, neurotransmitter release," she said.
Amy Thompson, a new client, said she believed the contact can help with understanding consent.
"There's this huge consent crisis where people don't know how to explicitly communicate with each other," the 27-year-old said. "Being in a safe space like with what Robin does could be extraordinarily beneficial to myself and anyone."