Meet Keeley Shoup, a professional cuddler located in Chicago. No, she doesn't just lounge around in a cuddle puddle all day. The focus of her work is helping those who have suffered from trauma in their lives, and, to ensure everyone's safety, there's a strict set of rules that she and her clients agree to before sessions.
However, Keeley has shared that some of her clients have developed a strong enough connection to her to request some unusual services. And, as it turns out, it's her favorite part of the job! "I kind of love strange requests because...that person trusted me enough to tell me a thing that they wanted," said Shoup.
"That means I have created a space safe enough where they don't feel like I'm going to judge them. I love that." Shoup continued. She makes it her top priority to keep everyone comfortable. "One of the rules that I have is that they can ask me for anything that falls within the code of conduct, and they won't be judged."
So, what kinds of odd requests has Keeley gotten? "I've had tickle fights with clients before. That's something that's kinda atypical...I've read children's stories because they wanted to feel taken care of in that way. I've wrestled around like a puppy with someone before, just to get that sense of play," she explained.
While she might get, what some people might consider 'weird' requests, Keeley is more than happy to get paid upwards of $100 per hour for these sessions. In fact, Shoup said, "There's nothing else I would rather do. I want to cuddle people all the time, always. I have an infinite capacity for this stuff."
This professional cuddler certainly has an abundance of platonic love to give. "This feels like my life's purpose...I do so much of it because I love it so much," the professional cuddler gushed. At the end of the day, Shoup provides basic intimacy services to those who otherwise would not get to experience it.
And, to keep naysayers or those with questions in the loop, Keeley has created her own website and social media accounts where she shares information about Chicago Cuddle Therapy and answers questions. For anyone in need of a good snuggle, now you know who to call!