Corwin Duncan cuddles people for a living. Seriously.
From the moment he rolls up to a house or apartment on his sleek, black motorcycle and reveals a long, ginger mane from underneath his helmet, Corwin means business.
The 28-year-old, six-foot-tall man may look a bit intimidating at first, but as soon as he speaks all qualms about a stranger coming into your home and cuddling are squashed. His soft, stern, and slow voice could put a baby to sleep or seduce the most prude among us. The first thing he goes for is a strong yet gentle hug. Then, he cuddles you.
“What happens really depends on what each client wants,” Corwin said. “What it usually looks like is just lying down and cuddling. Sometimes there is spooning with a head rested on someone’s chest and an arm around the shoulders. It can be a gentle massage, a back rub, or something similar to that. I’m not licensed in massage nor have I been trained in it, but I’m happy to give a shoulder rub here or there.”
Cuddling Corwin started when he saw an advertisement similar to the ones on cuddlist.com.
In his past, Corwin struggled with touch. His unique experiences with trauma and overcoming it made him the perfect candidate to jump into the growing cuddle movement.
Cuddling provides a service to anybody seeking empowerment through physical touch or individuals who have had bad experiences with physical touch in the past. For some, a need for healthy and positive cuddle therapy is essential.
Professional cuddling is a non-sexual service. There is no sexual activity (physical or verbal) permitted during a cuddle session. Consent is always given both ways. Clients can cry, laugh, sneeze, cough, pass gas, excuse themselves to go to the bathroom, request alone time, and conclude the cuddle any time during the session.
Before a cuddling session begins, clients discuss boundaries and what they are comfortable with when it comes to physical touch.
“I believe that there are some things in life that you can not be bad at. Cuddling is one of them,” Corwin said. “The number one thing you can work on to be a better cuddler is expressing what you are and are not comfortable with.”
Corwin’s goal is to empower each client to have a great experience with being physical anywhere, even with people who are not him — although he provides the magic touch.
“I don’t want to be the only safe place,” Corwin said. “I want my clients to be able to get that anywhere. I want them to be able to communicate, respect other people, and be comfortable asking for the respect they desire. I am not just here to make my clients feel good; overall this is a therapeutic healing practice and experience.”
The sessions can include whatever you want. Cuddling is different for everyone and he’s down for anything, whether it be a relaxing session of Netflix and chill, cuddling to some of your favorite songs, a talkative session, or simply letting silence fill the air. He’s willing to cuddle on the couch, chair, bed, or floor. But every session is strictly non-sexual.
Clothes have to remain on at all times and neither party is permitted to touch above the knee or in waist regions. There is no encouraging or pursuing sexual arousal, even though the occasional boner is natural and acceptable. In addition to that, standard of hygiene must be upheld so that there is no smelly spooning.
“Both the client and practitioners agree that we will not encourage or pursue any kind of sexual arousal,” Corwin said. “Cuddling services are a great way to feel relaxed, to feel comfortable, to de-stress, and get your mind off of something.”
According to cuddlist.com, cuddling can release oxytocin, which is a hormone that makes you feel relaxed and pleasant. Studies suggest cuddling can significantly reduce stress and boost your immune system.
Although Corwin has only been cuddling professionally for a few months, his cliental is constantly growing and he’s even picked up a few regulars.
To schedule a session with Corwin, you must go to cuddlist.com and create an account. Through this account you can request various professional cuddlers who have all gone through extensive training, in which they focus on the emphasis of positive verbal and physical communication. You can set your personal boundaries and start cuddling. Corwin is open to cuddling no matter the time, setting, or person.
“I cuddle with everyone,” he said.
Jeremiah Ntepp is a senior at East High School. He is interning with OUT FRONT during his final semester of and is an ally to the community!