Not exactly my first thought when I need cuddling —-and we all do, especially in today’s complicated world. But professional cuddler Melissa Hatten is making a go at the professional cuddling biz in Kernersville:

NC Cuddles opened May 1 in Hatten’s basement, joining a growing list of cuddling companies popping up across the country. She quickly outgrew the basement, though, and three weeks ago she moved to her current location on S. Cherry Street.

The business offers intimate, nonsexual cuddling sessions that can last anywhere from 15 minutes up to several hours — the most popular session length is 60 minutes, Hatten says — at a cost of a dollar per minute.

For your money, you get an hour (or whatever length of time you pay for) in a private room with one of the company’s three cuddlers, who will hug you, spoon you or otherwise snuggle with you in any number of comfortable, relaxing positions. If you like, the cuddler will provide other kinds of touch — say, for example, gently massaging your forehead, lightly stroking your arm or simply holding your hand — but again, there are definite boundaries.

Like–you guessed it —no naked cuddling, as one client requested. And —as you can also imagine—questions arise about whether or not NC Cuddles is a “smokescreen” for prostitution, a question to which Hatten responds “we make it very clear this is a nonsexual experience.”