NEW YORK CITY — Noelia Bonilla and Charlie Amadiz end their nights cuddling with each other. When morning rolls around, it’s time to spoon with strangers.
The couple started The Ideal Cuddle, a confidential cuddling service to help improve people’s well-being and create a safe environment for individuals to connect.
“As an adult, having the arms of a man or someone else comfort you without the pressure to take it to the next level of intimacy is not something that exists in our day and age,” said Bonilla, who advertises the couple's services on their website and on fliers distributed around the city.
“We’re both really focused and concentrated on spreading this kind of platonic love. People need that comfort in New York. Since we’re so busy on the day to day, I’m sure people are touch-deprived.”
The cuddling is never allowed to cross the line into being sexual, Bonilla emphasized. All sessions are videotaped for the safety of participants and facilitators, she said, and anyone who crosses the line will be banned from services.
The couple offers male to female, female to female, and female to male sessions — and rates start at $60 for 45 minutes of snuggle time.
The pair also offer a “double cuddle” session, in which clients can be embraced by both “specialists.” No one has yet to take them up on the dual service, Bonilla said.
Participants can vent or listen to music during the sessions, she said, all in an effort to relax and let go of their worries.
Interested clients can call the pair, who will set up a meet-and-greet at a public location to break the ice. Potential snugglers fill out a questionnaire detailing their “ideal cuddle” and expectations.
Following the introduction, the couple discloses the location of the business’ Hunts Point space, where there’s a king-sized bed with plush pillows, a couch, TV and music station. Bonilla declined to give the address for privacy concerns.
Bonilla said they’ve seen a total of 10 clients since the business started in February. Many book regular appointments, she added. The majority are women in their late 30s and men in their 20s.
“It’s much easier to cuddle with a stranger because there’s definitely no judgment, compared to someone who you may have to face at a later time,” she said.
“We’re hoping people leave a little less lonely and know that there are people willing to listen and show them attention without expectations.”
Snugglers can wear whatever they’d like as long as they’re comfortable, but the “cuddle specialists” ask that clients are showered, wear minimal cologne or perfume, and have brushed teeth, fresh breath and clean clothes. No nudity or partial nudity is allowed.