ELLE (Canada) - - Connect -

Madi­son Pow­ell’s nine-to-five in­volves giv­ing lots of TLC: She’s in the vanguard of Canada’s emerg­ing cud­dle scene, where peo­ple pay other peo­ple to hold them in a non-sex­ual way. She works with the Cud­dlery (Canada’s first pro­fes­sional hug com­pany), where a ba­sic 30-minute cud­dle costs $37. (Group cud­dles and skin-to-skin are also on the menu.) Nat­u­rally, we snug

gled up and asked her a few ques­tions.

Q What makes a cud­dle par­tic­u­larly good? “I would sug­gest that cud­dlers be very open, hon­est and ac­cept­ing. It needs to come from a gen­uine place; if you’re ap­pre­hen­sive, they’re go­ing to know. It’s about giv­ing your­self over whole­heart­edly.” Q Why do peo­ple go to you for cud­dles and not, say, their mom or their part­ner?

“The re­sponse I seem to get is that there are ex­pec­ta­tions, as we are tra­di­tion­ally taught that cud­dling leads to sex. As a cud­dler, we cre­ate a tem­po­rary girl­friend ex­pe­ri­ence—with­out the worry of putting on the right per­fume.”

Q What do we am­a­teur cud­dlers get wrong? “Good cud­dling is slow, not rushed, mak­ing peo­ple feel like their de­sire for touch is im­por­tant. For per­sonal re­la­tion­ships, it’s a way to re­con­nect. Take a mo­ment to sit with your part­ner and hold him or her close—that’s enough to re­lease some en­dor­phins and re­set your bat­ter­ies.”

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