WASHINGTON — A shop focusing on the “platonic touch of another human being” will be opening at the end of the month in Linthicum.

Tender Embrace LLC announced the opening Thursday. In a press release, the company says they are opening the first Baltimore-Washington area cuddle shop “designed to be a relaxing and stress releasing environment” on Aug. 31.

Last month, owner Robert Andrews spoke with WNEW about the success of other cuddle shops around the country.

“I thought it was a good idea to essentially bring platonic cuddling and platonic holding to the area,” Andrews said. “A lot of people are missing that personal connection.”

Customers will be introduced to their “cuddler” prior to the session “to ensure that everyone is comfortable and aware of exactly what the services provided will entail.”

“The focus of the session will always be on the positive attributes of cuddling and on the deep, meaningful connection that clients are searching for,” the press release states. “Participants may choose to remain silent during their sessions or engage in conversation – whichever option they feel they need for complete relaxation is thoroughly encouraged.”

What if a “natural reaction” occurs during the cuddle session? No worries. The “cuddler” with change positions “to ensure that the focus of the session remains on the cuddle and not the reaction to maintain a comfortable and safe environment for everyone.”

The shop ensures a video camera will be in the room “to ensure safety and compliance is maintained during a session.”

Andrews says the “platonic touch can be considered a therapeutic treatment” and offers a wide range of health benefits including decreases stress, reduced PTSD suffering and improved self-esteem.

Cuddle sessions cost $40 and up, with the option to have an overnight cuddle. There is a hygiene policy, so customers are asked to have nice breath and to have recently showered.

The shop will host an open house to meet staff and view the office on Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. at their new location, located at 518 Camp Meade Rd. Suite 1.

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