Hands on Training
If you are interested in helping the cuddlution by starting your own service, we are here to help! We have worked tirelessly to ensure that every last detail would be available for you to safely learn, practice, and explore. We offer hands on training in small group or one on one hands on classes that provide personalized feedback while you learn the art and science behind professional cuddling. Courses are taught in Portland, Oregon and lead by industry expert Samantha Hess. With 20-40 hours of on site training, there is a course to fit everyone’s needs. Read below to find the details you need to see which course is right for you.
Certification Program Details:
The proprietary system we have created will provide a small group setting and personal attention tailored to vary your experience and broaden your understanding of the intricacies of what we do. There really is so much more to it than just spooning. In order for you to stay safe and your sessions productive you will learn the techniques to help ease your client into this unique concept while intuitively sensing and reacting to the best pressure, placement, and speed of movement. This course will provide you with all the resources and connections you will need to grow long after the course is complete. We aren’t just building businesses, we are building communities. The training will include:
- A paper reference manual with more than 80 pages of detailed information
- Business overview
- Client forms
- Self Care
- Client Interactions including consultations, sessions, and more
- Social Media
- Inbound/Outbound service details
- Red Flags
- Redirection techniques
- Communication skills training
- Compassionate listening
- Avoiding Codependency
- More than 70 cuddle poses
- Best Practices
- How to personalize your own unique service
- How to answer interview questions
- How to find the best clients
- How to tailor sessions to clients of many backgrounds/needs
- An oath to ensure you are connected to only the best folks
- Access to the Certified Cuddlers Facebook Group for ongoing support
- and much more
The cost for the training program is between $900 to $3,200 USD depending on which program you take and how early you sign up. All courses requires you to be on site at the Cuddle Up To Me Studio (1015 E Burnside, Portland, OR 97214) for 2-5 days to complete your training. If you are unable to make it to Portland, please consider our Online Certification or email firstname.lastname@example.org for cost information for Samantha to travel to you.
Once the certification is obtained it is valid for one year, and will be eligible for renewal on an annual basis for $49.
What you need to consider before taking the course:
The thing most companies who offer training in this field don’t tell you is that unless you are signing paperwork to become an employee of their company, you are offering your services as your own business. In many places there aren’t laws requiring you file for business licences for just one person, but this is not true in all areas. Professional Cuddling as a service may not be legal in all areas. Before considering the program we highly encourage you to seek out local expertise (a lawyer you trust) regarding laws in your city, county, state, and country to ensure the service is possible where you are without legal ramifications. If that is currently not possible for you, the very minimum research to find includes laws in your area for what constitutes prostitution and what the laws are for practicing touch with clients (typically found under laws regarding massage therapy). Remember that it’s up to you to determine the legalities of what you offer. Our certification gives you the knowledge and skills to offer one on one professional cuddling, but we are not certifying you in business practices. Please do your due intelligence and know what is required where you are prior to offering services.
While Certified Cuddlers will provide a connection point for clients to find you, you may also consider having your own business pages for folks to find out more about you specifically. Depending on the amount of time you want to dedicate to offering services and how much income you hope to make from this you may want to look into obtaining:
- Business registration
- Websites/Accounts for:
In addition to the costs of traveling to Portland, food and accommodations while training, and certification costs there are some additional expenses that you may want to consider. How and what your costs are will be totally up to you. To complete the certification, we don’t require you do anything else. We do, however, want to offer you as many considerations before incurring the costs of starting up. When I started my business initially I spent less than $100 between buying my web domain, registering as a sole proprietor, and purchasing my first set of shiny new business cards and flyers. Here are some of the typical costs you might consider along the way:
- Business licencing
- Web development
- Publicity photographs
- Marketing materials (business cards, flyers, printed waivers, etc)
- Appropriate attire
- Self defense training
- Trademarking your brand
- Outbound session materials (like pillows and blankets for the park)
- Inbound studio space rental
We are the only company that requires a minimum of 30 hours of training prior to certification. The creator of the certification programs, Samantha Hess, has more than 130,000 minutes of paid professional cuddling experience with clients of a multitude of backgrounds, challenges, and situations. She has utilized her experience to create a program that allows anyone to become skilled, knowledgeable, and safe for all appropriate clients. We teach our cuddlers on a multitude of cuddle poses and customization options, self care, avoiding codependency, security measures, how to conduct consultations appropriately, and more. Certified Cuddlers does not take a cut of the money from sessions like many other companies do. We also do not charge a monthly fee to be listed on our site. Our cuddlers sign an oath to ensure we are all following the same rules. If one of our cuddlers is reported to be stepping outside the bounds of the oath or rules, we ban them from our site, revoke their certification, charge them $5,000, and if appropriate, file police reports to ensure we only maintain people who want to do this in a platonic and ethical manner. We are serious about ensuring everyone is transparent. That is also why our cuddlers are never allowed to accept tips. None of our cuddlers offer sexually oriented services along with this service, and there is no secret menu. We all abide by a strict code of ethics and work hard to provide the care and consideration each person deserves. Our goal as a company is to ensure each person has the skills and abilities to be true professionals. We aren’t here to get rich. We care about making sure that as many people as possible have safe and comfortable access to platonic touch to help improve their lives. We want to change the world, one hug at a time.
Anyone who is a Certified Cuddler has been confirmed to have the necessary background and knowledge of how to keep themselves and their clients safe no matter who they are. They have taken the time to understand the concepts around professional cuddling and they consider it an honor to work with folks of any background. Certified Cuddlers are the gold standard of the industry and hold themselves accountable to the highest level of professionalism and ethics. In other words, you know what you are getting. Transparency, clearly defined rules, and well developed skillsets in platonic touch and communication to help ensure you feel as safe and comfortable as possible. The main difference between Certified Cuddlers and other certification options available is that we have more than 3,000 hours of experience and years of work developing our detail oriented program that teaches you not only how to say no but to create flow, security for all involved, and the communication techniques that have ensured we have never had to end a session early, ever.
Here is a description of each training option:
The online certification will allow you to complete basic concepts and techniques with the help of your local support system. You will follow along on video instruction, read through a manual that will teach you the ins and outs of how to conduct consultations, ensure you are taking on only appropriate clients, self care, avoiding codependency, security measures and more. We also require that each online training participant completes a minimum of 5 training consultations and cuddle sessions with people who are willing to submit a survey about their experience so we can confirm you are ready to take on paying clients. There is also an online exam to pass before submitting your information so you can start taking on clients of your own! While this is a very simple version of the training, it will give you enough to get started and earn the income needed to take the hands on training if you decide you’d like to learn even more!
2 Day Hands on Training
(Silver level- one time fee of $900-$1,600* plus $49 annual renewal to maintain certification)
This program has a paper manual that is sent ahead of time with many of the cuddle poses and basic information that most people will feel comfortable learning without face to face instruction in about 20 hours including practice sessions completed with friends and family prior to arrival. Once you have the basics down you will schedule a time to visit Portland, Oregon to complete the more challenging concepts and get direct feedback from Samantha Hess to ensure you have all the tools and practice you need to thrive as a true professional.
We will cover the following on site:
Up to 20 hours of in person training in a group of no more than 8 always lead by Samantha Hess at Cuddle Up To Me in Portland, Oregon
The full arsenal of cuddle poses, currently over 70 will be practiced and perfected.
Personalized feedback from Samantha Hess on poses, hand placement, speed and pressure of movement and implied intention.
Basic instruction on what poses to use and in what order to ensure productive sessions to meet individual client’s needs.
Detailed business practice guidelines
Client forms and business administration forms
Detailed safety/security guidelines
Personalized feedback and instruction for running consultations effectively
Feedback and practice running sessions prior to engaging with real clients
Social media guidelines
Basic information on handling difficult clients (boundary pushers, understanding the needs of clients with physical/mental challenges, trauma victims, fetishes, etc.)
Verbiage for guiding sessions
Customization options for cuddle poses
Personalized feedback on your business logos, website, social media pages, etc. from Samantha Hess
5 trial sessions with active clients of Cuddle Up To Me with feedback from each person
4-5 Day Courses
(Gold level- one time fee of $1,600-$3,200* plus $49 annual renewal to maintain certification)
If you work best with more one on one attention and prefer to have lots of time for questions and feedback on all topics covered the 4-5 day courses are best for you. We will start with the basics and teach you every step of the way in small groups with loads of individual attention. You will not need to prepare for this course as we will teach you everything you need to know on site. The only difference between the 4 and 5 day course is how long you prefer your days to be. This is an intensive training program and some of you may prefer to have more down time in order to absorb the material better. The 4 day classes are 10 hour days, the 5 day classes are 8 hour days. This course covers everything in the 2 day class, but without you having to know anything prior to arrival in Portland.
*discounts available for those who book early.
Online certification is $299, the 2 day program ranges from $900-$1,800, and the 4-5 day program ranges from $1,600-$3,200, depending on how early you reserve your spot (30 days or more gives the maximum discount). Each certification is valid for one year and can be renewed with a basic refresher course for $49 annually.
The online certification program has approximately 30 hours of required coursework including:
- Video instruction of 12 popular cuddle poses and how to maintain proper boundaries in each
- A pdf manual that will cover the basics of:
— Business practices and client forms
— Safety/security guidelines
— Consultation guidelines
— Guidelines for running sessions
— Emergency instruction
— Self care
- 5 trial sessions with people you trust and a survey from each to confirm standards are met
- A quiz to ensure you have learned all required material
- A bronze level certification and a basic listing on certifiedcuddlers.com
For those who are able to travel to Portland, Oregon we also offer a hands on training program with personalized small group instruction with up to 8 participants and up to a week of on site training with Samantha Hess, the founder of Cuddle Up To Me and Certified Cuddlers. There are 2 options for hands on training. There is a 2 Day Course with a manual mailed to you in advance to learn basics with the help of people you trust, then 2 days of hands on training on site with Samantha. The other option is a 4-5 day course which includes 40 hours of on site training so you learn everything you need to know directly from Samantha with personalized feedback along the way. No need to prepare for this course in advance. The on site training for both programs also includes 5 training sessions with active clients of Cuddle Up To Me who are familiar with the process and are comfortable giving honest feedback to ensure you are ready to take on a variety of new clients back home.
For Online Certification please click here to purchase the course online. We will send you a welcome email with everything you will need so you can get started immediately!
For hands on training a nonrefundable $500 deposit is required to confirm training dates. Payments are accepted through Paypal (account is under: receipts@fulcrumsolutionsllc.
Please mail payments to:
Cuddle Up To Me Attn: Samantha Hess 1015 E Burnside St Portland, OR 97214 *Please note that if mailing payment your dates are considered tentative until your check clears. We will send confirmation once confirmed, usually within 7-10 business days. Please plan accordingly. ( the 2,4 or 5 day program) email your requested class type and dates to: email@example.com. If you are taking the 2 day course please plan at least 2 months lead time when requesting a date to ensure you have enough time to complete the required coursework prior to arrival. The manual will take approximately 10 days to arrive after confirmation of deposit.
We will confirm your training dates via email once we receive your deposit. The remaining balance may be paid in advance or is due upon arrival in Portland.
Can you get a discount you ask? Sure! Read below before registering to see how you can save some sweet moolah.
Here’s how you can save some money for hands on training: book early.
Here’s how much you save when you book:
* 4 or more weeks in advance: 50% off the total cost
(2 day course: $900, 4-5 day course: $1,600)
* 3 or more weeks in advance: 40% off the total cost
(2 day course: $1,080, 4-5 day course: $1920)
* 2 or more weeks in advance: 30% off the total cost
(2 day course: $1,260, 4-5 day course: $2240)
* Less than 2 weeks in advance: regular price
Online Certification has an automatic introductory offer until the end of 2016 for $199.00 USD. Starting in 2017 the price will be $299.00USD with no discounts available.
What about group discounts you say? Sure! If you want to bring a friend(s) or business partner(s) to also get training we are happy to offer customized pricing to fit your scenario. Email us to see what we can work out. We are happy to bring multiple people into an existing class or set up one just for your group.
Classes for the in person training are offered on customized dates to fit your schedule. Please email us with the type of training program (2,4 or 5 day) and the dates you’re interested in to ensure we are available: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will get back to you to confirm the dates and pricing for the inquiry. No obligation for submitting a request.
Sure! We are happy to work with you to find days and times that fit your schedule. There is an additional $100 fee per day for any custom training dates for on site training in Portland. Email email@example.com with your requested dates and we will get back to you asap to let you know if we can make it work.
You will need to be 18 years of age or older to become certified. You will need to feel comfortable agreeing to the rules and oath (listed below) in order to gain your certification.
If you are completing the online certification you will need internet access, a pdf reader like Adobe, access to watch videos on YouTube, people you trust to practice with, and a least 5 people who you are comfortable completing trial consultations/sessions with who will be willing to fill out a survey about their experience so we can determine if you have achieved the necessary skill set and comfort level with one on one sessions.
If you are traveling to Portland for hands on training you will need to be able to obtain travel, accommodations, food, and any other associated needs and wants, financially and otherwise, outside of the cost of training.
You will need to have the drive and compassion to work hard to take care of yourself, have clear boundaries, be comfortable openly communicating what’s appropriate for you with your clients, be comfortable with friends, family, and the general public knowing that you offer this service, and be willing to put in the time, effort, and energy needed to be a true professional. We expect a lot out of our professionals. This cannot be just a way to make money. It won’t be worth it. It needs to be something you are driven to do because it matters.
Believe it or not, you are about to become a leader in this industry. These rules were designed by myself and a team of experts to make sure you are safe, can truly help your clients, and have a thriving cuddle business that’s a positive part of your community. That means setting clear expectations and standards of what this service is and isn’t so platonic cuddling can go mainstream. The Rules and Oath below are the first steps in ensuring we are all on the same page. Read through, ask any questions you have, and when you’re ready we will be here to guide you through getting started.
What are the rules Certified Cuddlers agree to by signing up for certification?
- You must be 18 years of age or older to become certified.
- You agree to follow all Professional Cuddler rules, website rules, the provided oath, as well as use supplied waivers and contracts with every client.
- The only reasons you are able to turn down a client is if they do not qualify based on the requirements in the site & rules, or if you feel a romantic connection to them that you would have potential interest in exploring. This means you must be willing to take any appropriate client who is 18 and over regardless of gender, race, age, sexual preference, and so on. All must be welcome.
- No touching of swimsuit/underwear areas with hands on either party involved in a session is ever allowed.
- No sexual acts or sexual intention of any kind is permitted in a client interaction.
- No tips may be accepted. You are allowed to include the cost of gratuity in your pricing though.
- No gifts of monetary value over $25 USD may be accepted, and are frowned upon overall.
- No sexual/adult services may be offered in the same location as this service or in conjunction with this service.
- You must be sober for all working hours besides doctor prescribed medication being used as directed.
- Dating clients is prohibited. If you decide to pursue a relationship with someone who has completed a session, they will no longer be able to see you in a professional manner. They will not be eligible to become a client of yours again for a minimum of 90 days after your last personal interaction.
- No undergarments may be exposed and no see through clothing or lingerie is allowed by any parties involved
- A minimum of a tank top and workout shorts that go below your fingertips for sessions are required for both parties.
- All parties will remain fully clothed at all times.
- Photographs used in connection with Certified Cuddlers and cuddling services must accurately depict what you look like currently, must not show any undergarments or lingerie, including bra straps, and may not be sexually provocative. Please keep photos tasteful and professional.
- A minimum of a phone or video chat consultation with signed paperwork and a copy of a valid state or government issued ID is required prior to a first session starting with any new client. We highly recommend you first meet each client in a public place for a consultation prior to beginning your first session for safety.
- Sessions may not be completed in mobile locations for safety purposes. (ie: vehicles, boats or planes)
- If you use audio or video recording of your client, you must have their written permission prior to beginning the recording.
- No advertising on Craigslist, Backpage, or similar sites.
- Certified Cuddlers does not collect any portion of sales from any certified individual, but to ensure safety you agree to collect funds prior to starting or extending every session. Certified Cuddlers holds no liability for unpaid sessions or collecting funds for sessions.
- Any information obtained through the training course is considered proprietary and is not to be shared with anyone who is not a client. If we discover the information has been shared, you agree to pay a fee of $5,000.00, your certification will be revoked, and you will be banned from using the service again.
- While Certified Cuddlers provides information on how to conduct a professional cuddling service, it is up to each Certified Cuddler to run their own business including but not limited to: determining legalities of service where offered, registering your business, record keeping, taxes, setting prices and collecting payments, data storage/protection, marketing, and obtaining insurance if required.
Here is the professional oath all Certified Cuddlers agree to:
As a Certified Cuddler:
- I will use touch based on platonic intention only in all professional interactions.
- I will not allow gender, religion, nationality, race, disability, sexual preference or any other biases to dictate acceptance of clients.
- I will abide by all rules set forth in the certification manual
- I will respect the integrity of the persons with whom I work, holding them in the strictest of confidences.
- I will act with utmost integrity and work in an ethical manner.
- I will, to the best of my ability, not permit shame, judgement or guilt in my interactions.
- I will leave my personal life at home and commit to being present and mindful with each person.
- I will obey and uphold local and international laws in all business activities.
- I will refrain from any business conduct that would reflect adversely upon the best interest of CertfiedCuddlers.com and its ethical standards of practice.
- I understand and will uphold, both in letter and in spirit, the rules and guidelines governing my own conduct and that of my service.
Sure! For one on one training the costs are as follows:
One on one on site training at 1015 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214 with Samantha Hess: $100/hr including all training materials and certification. *Travel, food, accommodations, etc. are not covered under this cost.
If you’d prefer to have Samantha visit you somewhere in the United States to complete training this may also be possible. If you would like a quote for personalized on site training please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a phone or video consult for outbound training.
We would love to come to you for a training or event! Samantha has taught individual and group training for one on one professional cuddling, consent, communication, inner child workshops, youth group exercise, guided couples sessions, and more! If you have something in mind or if you’d like to collaborate on an idea you are welcome to set up a phone or video consultation with Samantha to discuss the details. She will then put together a quote for costs with no obligation. Email us at email@example.com to get started.