Why Professional Cuddler
by Davidson King
In Hug It Out Teddy Harris is a professional cuddler. I always knew I was going to somehow write a book with a character who would have this occupation I just wasn’t sure where or when. About two years ago I was driving and there was a radio segment on unique and strange occupations. A man called in talking about his job as a professional cuddler and while it was a brief talk I was fascinated. I went home and began researching this job and why it would be appealing to others.
The more I researched the more I knew this was going to happen. I began picturing what type of person would do this, why, and who would be a challenge for them. I created Riordan from Teddy. He was the polar-opposite of Teddy. Riordan’s hands brought death, Teddy’s healing.
Reaching into the heart of an assassin would be a challenge for anyone but Riordan wanted to be saved and I think that is why Teddy was so perfect for him. There’s a scene by the poolside where Teddy explains to Riordan the medical side of human touch, it appeals to Riordan because he’s not a man of miracles he’s a man of facts.
Cuddling, human touch, it releases oxytocin, a chemical in our brains. Touch lowers blood pressure, stress, reduced social anxiety, relieves pain, and has proven to lessen PTSD. Pretty much all of these Riordan needs relief from.
I chose professional cuddling as an occupation for Teddy because it ids unique and I try to bring that to all my stories, but it was also eye opening. It was perfect for Riordan, and it made you see the parallels of these two characters. Touch is powerful.