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Cuddle Therapist Accused Of Sexual Misconduct After Nipple Incident

There are calls to regulate the 'cuddling therapy' industry after a therapist, accused of sexual misconduct, was able to continue practising.

Susanne Woodward was reported to the massage board in Tempe, Arizona, after her client found herself with the therapist's nipple in her mouth for five minutes.

According to the Arizona Republic, the client was in her fourth session in April when she was asked to place her forehead on Woodward's breasts.

She contacted police immediately after the session but Woodward was never arrested or charged because, under current laws, her actions weren't illegal.

The woman at the centre of the allegation admitted to the therapist in one of the first sessions that she had fantasised about being naked with another woman and was hoping the therapy could help her recover from sexual trauma.

It can be one-on-one or a group session. Photo: Getty

“Specifically in her complaint, [the] complainant says, 'I told her it has always been my dream to be held naked by a woman.' Police reached the same conclusion,” Flynn Carey, Woodward’s attorney said when speaking before the massage board in late July.

The main argument was that the board did not have the authority to oversee professional cuddling.

No one currently oversees the growing industry, so if a line is crossed during the intimate session there is little recourse for the victim.

There are now calls for action to be taken to ensure that both therapists and clients have protections in place.

Photo: Google Maps

The qualified masseuse, who charges US$80 an hour for her sessions, has been practising since 2008 with no prior complaints against her, and still has her license.

The webpage for her business Restoration Healing Spa requires a password to log-in and the Facebook page has been shut down.

Professional cuddling has been around for roughly 20 years and involves paying somebody to snuggle in a consensual, non-sexual manner.

The theory behind it is that it helps individuals or groups feel more connected to the people and world around them and increases overall happiness.

It's purely a platonic service that also exists right here in Australia.