HOUSTON (KTRK) --Cuddling is an intimate act -- the touching, hugging and caressing. But for some, it's strictly business.
"There's very strict rules," said Stefanie Villanueva.
Villanueva works in a unique industry in very high demand.
"Most people who are interested are curious," she said. "Some are married, some are not. They want to see what it's all about."
She makes a living out of cuddling -- for $80 an hour plus travel, she can be at your doorstep, ready for a cuddle session.
"Human touch is a necessity," she said.
Eyewitness News spoke to one of Villanueva's clients, "Jake." He wants to stay anonymous because he feels society has yet to accept and even understand why someone would pay for such a service.
"I battle with anxiety and depression," he said, admitting this has become therapy for him.
Last September, Jake felt there was a big void in his life after being single almost two years.
"I heard about this kind of service and I googled it," he said.
There it was, a service that's strictly platonic.
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"I was very nervous," he said. "It was strange situation because I never met a stranger and got into a bed with them and cuddled."
Whether you want to be the big spoon or little spoon, this type of service can be found just about anywhere.
"I think there's a place for it," said Rosalinda Morales with the school of nursing at UH Sugar Land.
She said humans need touch in order to stay healthy.
"Research shows that the touch sensation reduces a hormone oxytocin. That is a cuddle hormone and it makes us feel good," she said.
Therefore, reducing stress and anxiety. While this is a natural human emotion, Morales said people have steered away from it over the years.
"This generation especially, everybody is so disconnected," she said.
Some of Villanueva's clients do a couple sessions a month.
"Other people, one session. They're like, 'This is not what I want to pay for,'" she said.
Despite the critics, Jake is perfectly fine with a cuddle session here and there at least for now.
"It's all about touch and nurturing," he added.