Cuddle therapist faces sexual misconduct charges after her nipple ends up in client’s mouth

Women used to be expected to do anything, work all day, have children, maintain their marriages, and have a healthy social life.

Now that more women are taking the harshness of everyday life seriously, self-care is a concept that many of us have become much more familiar with. For some, self-care means taking time for yourself with a good book and a good cup of coffee.

But for others, self-care can be a little less traditional. A woman looking for self-care decided to try professional cuddling.

Who is Susanne Woodward?

The professional cuddler who crossed the line and got people talking about how we regulate close-contact services.

A massage therapist named Susanne Woodward recently got into hot water for providing a service that one of her clients found totally unacceptable.

You see, Woodward was not only a masseuse, but also offered her services as a professional cuddler.

That’s right when you first hear about it, professional cuddlers are people you pay to cuddle with you platonically. However, according to this client of Woodward’s, the therapist violated the terms of her agreement by spending more than five minutes with Woodward’s nipple in her mouth during her $80 session. whoops

RELATED: The relationship advice that will save your marriage (and no, it’s not about sex)

Immediately after her experience with Woodward, the client in question called the police.

She was shocked and hurt and ready for someone to help her feel like everything would be fine. Unfortunately, the police didn’t blink and informed the customer that Woodward had done nothing wrong. So the client called a group that certifies stuffed animals, including Woodward, and told them about her nipple surprise.

These stuffed animals may be peaceful people, but even they were stunned and immediately took away Woodward’s certification as a professional stuffed animal. If she were to cuddle right now, it would have to be with consenting people she knows. Unless there’s a black market for illegal cuddles. There probably is.

But this client wouldn’t stop there.

After stripping Woodward of her credentials, she filed an official complaint with the state agency that regulates massage therapy because Woodward was also a licensed therapist and it is illegal for her to have sex with her clients.

But Woodward’s attorney would not allow this further humiliation. They argued that the board had no say in the case because it was an issue that arose during a cuddle session, not a massage therapy session. Attorney Flynn Carey said they would change the board’s role if they heard the case. “You’re actually going to be the massage therapy board and the cuddle therapy board now,” he added wryly.

RELATED: 6 things guys wish they could tell you about spooning

The board agreed, saying that technically there was no violation of massage practice rules because the nipple slipped into the mouth during the snuggle. But the board insisted that Woodward separate her snuggles from her massage, making the two separate companies with separate websites.

We think that self-care treatments that we receive are well regulated, but the fact that cuddling isn’t underscores one of the problems in finding newer alternative forms of treatment that involve close physical contact. We want to do it right ourselves, but it’s not always safe.

Believe it or not, “professional cuddling” has been around for a little over 20 years.

Yes, and it’s still unregulated.

Professional cuddling, in case you don’t know, is exactly what it sounds like: you pay someone to cuddle with you in a non-sexual way. This can be done one-on-one with a professional cuddle partner or at larger gatherings known as cuddle parties.

The idea behind professional cuddling is heartfelt: many people grow up without much physical contact, and in our digital age disconnection is common – professional cuddling hopes to counteract that.

Although there are some companies that offer the certification and training of professionals stuffed animals, cuddle list is one that has been around for a long time and seems to offer the best approach to what it offers.

Cuddlist makes it very clear that cuddling is a “platonic service,” with a code of conduct that includes a rule that all parties must be clothed during a session. It was Cuddlist where Woodward trained and was certified, and it was Cuddlist who removed that certification when they found out what she was up to. A company representative says, “It breaks everything in our code of conduct.”

To date, Cuddlist has trained more than 1,300 people to be professional cuddlers, with fewer than five eventually losing their certification.

RELATED: Meet the Woman Who’s Dating Her…Backpack

More for you on YourTango:

Rebecca Jane Stokes writes about lifestyle, geek news, pop culture and true crime.

Get breaking news and relationship advice in your inbox daily!

Comments are closed.