Almost Local

September 2015


We don’t have the clip, but Aloha Cuddle Company was featured on the Almost Local television show on OC16 TV in September 2015. Founder, Lealyn Poponi was interviewed by comedian Fernando Pacheco and had a blast demonstrating some of her favorite cuddling positions with him.

Flux Hawaii Magazine

March 15, 2016


by Katie Caldwell

Images by John Hook & Jonas Maon


Lealyn Poponi, professional cuddler and founder of Aloha Cuddle Company, hugs and cradles a woman she has just met, squeezing her gently. They are sitting in Poponi’s Palolo home, getting to know one another while limbs and bodies intertwine innocently. The woman in her arms seems nervous and apprehensive, but as time passes she appears to relax, allowing her body to soften into Poponi’s.

The only service of its kind in the state, Aloha Cuddle Company offers scheduled snuggles that range anywhere from 30 minutes to five hours at a rate of $1 per minute. Cuddles are available to individuals looking for what The Cuddle Sutra calls “the ultimate in intimacy” (“more intimate than a candlelit dinner, more than a joint tax return and yes, even more than sex,” according to the book).

Poponi discovered the calming impact of touch while volunteering with the elderly in Colorado; how a simple handhold or pat on the arm could soothe and calm the receiver. After witnessing the power of this connection, she began researching the art of touch and discovered its many benefits, including relaxation but also stress reduction and improved mental health. These discoveries spurred a newfound personal goal for Poponi: to be more comfortable with touch. “I did not grow up in a touchy-feely family,” she explains. “So I wasn’t very comfortable with it, even hugging.” She decided she needed to get up close and personal, with being up close and personal. Poponi began making a conscious effort to use touching and hugging more frequently with people in her life. As she became more comfortable with it, she noticed that her friends and acquaintances were warmer and more open with her.

Read the entire article here——> Flux Hawaii

KA MANA’O – The Thought


January 06, 2016
by Chance Nakazato photos by Almendro Fernandez

Lealyn Poponi is a professional cuddler. For $1 a minute and with sessions of 30 minutes to five hours, Aloha Cuddle will come to any O‘ahu location for a platonic cuddle session.

Poponi, who previously worked at an early childhood education nonprofit in Kalihi, is an inherently affectionate individual. With no issues with physical contact and her active involvement in the cuddling community, many of her friends — including recently hired professional cuddler Tyler Miller — persuaded her to start Hawai‘i’s first cuddle company.

“I just really want to be there for people who don’t live in the (cuddle) community that Tyler and I enjoy,” Poponi said. “We have friends that are constantly holding hands, we’re having ‘cuddle puddles,’ we’re hugging each other. We have the type of friends that hug upon greeting each other, a kiss on the cheek, and are very affectionate. Not just physically but verbally with each other saying ‘I love you’ and ‘you’re awesome’ and ‘I care about you.’ A lot of people don’t have that.”

Modeled after a successful Portland, Oregon, cuddle company called Cuddle Up To Me, Aloha Cuddle has numerous appointments under its belt as well as its own website, Facebook page and advertising.

The Service

Cuddling-for-hire is becoming a popular service. In places like Detroit, Houston, Oregon and even Japan, thousands of clients book regular sessions. One cuddling session can consist of anything from talking story to watching a movie. Cuddle sessions are strictly platonic making massage, nudity, sex and any form of sexual contact impermissible.

Potential clients are encouraged to book a free, initial screening appointment. Initial screenings are also effective to determine compatibility with a professional cuddler.

“You shouldn’t make (a) decision before you’ve even met with us,” Poponi said. “Because your fears may be coming from a place of uncertainty, and there’s no hard feelings if you meet us and it’s not your thing. But you shouldn’t make up your mind before you’ve met with us and let us answer your questions.”

Since Aloha Cuddle has no official location, sessions can be held anywhere on the island from public parks, beaches and even Magic Island. As Aloha Cuddle continues to grow and more professional cuddlers are hired, clients will be able to book multiple cuddlers for one session, with an increased fee.

“(Cuddling) is about having someone there with you, to have that physical connection but also having someone to listen to you,” Miller said. “We’re there to listen, we’ll be your therapist for an hour — we can’t really give you psychological help or anything that you can get with a real therapist — but if you just need someone to listen to you, talk about your day, about your week, whatever you feel like you need a stranger for, we provide that, too.”

Read the entire article here—-> Ka Mana’o[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


celeste article


March 2017

By Jackie M. Young

NAME: Celeste Indvik
AGE: 25
PART-TIME JOB: Professional cuddler and co-owner of Aloha Cuddle Co.

START: Indvik was born and raised in Orange County, California, received her B.S. in nursing from Hawaii Pacific University, and is now a full-time labor and delivery nurse.

“I’ve been a professional cuddler for a year and a half. I think touch is so important. I also practice ‘healing hands,’ which uses energy to aid in healing. Cuddling is another form of energy healing for me.

“I feel like I was gifted with a huge heart – I have so much love to give, and it is such an honor to be able to cradle and comfort someone else’s soul. We all crave touch. Being able to hold someone to help take away some of their negativity/anxiety/depression/loneliness is so rewarding.”

Read the entire article here —–> Hawaii Business Magazine


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October 2018

By: Stewart Yerton

Read the article ———> Civil Beat