Meet Madelon, Who Earns £30,000 A Year As A Professional Cuddler

It's always nice to find a job that you love.

They say that a person who enjoys their job never works a day in their lives, and for Madelon Guinazzo, a 50-year-old mother from Chicago, that might well be true.

She loves what she does for a living - and she earns £30,000 ($39,863) a year from it - even though what she does is, well, a little bit weird.

Madelon is a professional cuddler. That's right: a cuddler.

Credit: Caters News Agency
Credit: Caters News Agency

"Cuddling is amazing - I get to see the best in people and enjoy the essence of who they are without demands or expectations for them to be different," says Madelon.

"I have always been more comfortable than the average person with physical affection, so I do really enjoy cuddling!"

She has almost a decade's experience cuddling - well, I presume she has more, but has been a pro since 2009 - and charges £60 ($79.93) an hour to clients whom she meets through a company, Cuddlist.

Credit: Caters News Agency
Credit: Caters News Agency

It isn't always easy, with some clients, well, getting attached.

Madelon explains: "However there are boundaries that have to be made, and I have a 'trust agreement' with each of my clients to make sure someone says if they feel uncomfortable.

"My personal limit is having ten one-hour sessions per week - so that I don't burn out and I can give each client my best.

"It is daunting to be controversial and a target for people's discomfort around the need for closeness.

"The fear of things becoming sexual often leads to people calling this 'paying for affection' or labelling it as 'pathetic'."

Obviously, there are some who suggest that what Madelon offers might be a slightly older trade than mere cuddling.

"I often get accused of being something that I am not - it can look like I am selling intimate touching services," she explains.

"Instead what we do teach is invisible - the skills necessary for healthy cuddling which are exercising choice, consent and boundaries.

"Sometimes people need to take time to practise good self-care, take a break and just lighten up!"

The mother-of-two can rely upon the help of her family in supporting her somewhat unusual career.

"My family and friends are very supportive - a few think it's very cool and that the work I am doing is important;" she concludes.

"Some don't get it, but can see that it is important to me and are supportive of me doing what makes me happy."

"I'm very grateful to be open and accepted by the people in my life, even when we have different perspectives."

Mike Wood

Mike Meehall Wood is a freelance journalist and translator. He writes for LADbible, VICE and countless sports publications, focusing on rugby league, football and boxing. He is a graduate of Leeds University and maintains a fizzy pop obsession. Contact Mike at [email protected]

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