Safe hugs

Thanks to Calia’s hug protector, Alie can finally hug you tight and still protect you against the coronavirus! In this period of physical distancing, hugs have become a rare commodity, or even totally discontinued for some people. The hug protector, commonly known as hug machine, is a plastic wall that allows two people to hug and stay protected from COVID-19 infections. Isn’t this an interesting compromise in this pandemic period?

Description of Calia’s hug protector

Image credit: Talhi Briones

The hug protector, also called “hug-machine” is a transparent, resistant and disinfectable plastic wall allowing two people to hug without the risk of contamination.
Installation : At Calia, the hug protector is installed in the second door of the entrance, which allows you to stay sheltered from bad weather and prying eyes by closing the first door (the space between the two doors is approximately 3’5″ (1 m) large by 4′ (1,2 m) long by 9′ (2,70 m) high.
The plastic wall of the hug protector is therefore installed in the door frame and fixed on the four sides to prevent the risk of contamination by the passage of air from one side to the other. Thanks to integrated plastic ‘sleeves’, the arms and hands of the two people are also protected.
Calia’s hug protector is made so that it can adapt to all heights of people and a system allows to fix, on the plastic wall, a piece of fabric at the level of the head so that it is more comfortable for the face.
Disinfection : All the surfaces of the hug protector that are in contact with the client are completely cleaned and disinfected between each client using a microfiber cloth soaked (using a spray bottle) with a solution of soapy water (dish soap)1. The pieces of fabric used for the comfort of the face are washed between each client2.
For more details on the preventive measures implemented, see the prevention section.

Darleen Wong from Boudoir Therapy had tested Calia’s hug protector for you. Watch the video to see how hers and Alie’s safe hug went.

Process of the safe hugs appointments

1 Book your appointment
By making an appointment right here on the website, you have access to all availability and can choose the one that suits you best. Select the day and time that suits you, then enter your name and email address. You will then receive a confirmation email with Calia’s address and a reminder of the instructions; please answer “yes” in the email to confirm your reservation, thank you.


2 Go to Calia’s
Considering the national situation, health precautions are required. So when traveling, keep a distance of 6 feet (2 meters) with others and do not touch your face without first having washed your hands. If using public transportation, wear a mask/face cover.


3 The appointment
The appointment will have a total and maximum duration of 30 min and will take place as follows:

  1. When you arrive at the door, DISINFECT YOUR HANDS, using the disinfectant at your disposal, before ringing and then entering (I will not be able to open the door for you).
  2. The hug protector will have been disinfected before your arrival, but if you want, you can re-disinfect it by soaking the microfiber cloth with the soapy water from the spray bottle which will both be at your disposal1.
  3. Before starting to hug we will talk about Calia’s concepts of consent.
  4. Ask for my consent for a platonic and comforting hug of the type you need (face-to-face, back-to-back, face-to-back, arms up/down, etc.).
  5. Insert your arms into the hug protector’s sleeves (or turn your back for a hug from behind). If you want, you can install a piece of fabric on the hug protector, specially designed to be more comfortable for your face (they are washed between each use2).
  6. The HUG: Take a deep breath and enjoy the comfort up until one of the two people wants to stop.
  7. Let’s thank each other.
  8. Repeat steps 4 to 7 as necessary; due to the standing position, the cuddling period can only last a maximum of 10 min (breaks included).
  9. Clean and disinfect the entire surface using a microfiber cloth soaked in soapy water from the spray bottle1.

Obviously, since the respect of consent and personal boundaries also apply to safe hugs, you and I can both stop, at any time, decide to take a break or even end the appointment.


4 After the appointment
When you return home, be sure to take your same health precautions.
After the appointment, you will receive an email inviting you to complete a satisfaction survey so that I can improve my safe hugs service.
If the safe hugs will have made you produce a large amount of oxytocin, it is likely that some time after the appointment, you experience a drop of oxytocin which could be characterized, in the worst case, by feelings of depression, isolation or withdrawal. Be aware that these effects is completely natural and should pass. The best way to overcome these effects is to pay close attention to your basic needs (hydrating, eating, sleeping, moving, etc.) and to your desires whether by indulging in some pleasures (see 10 ways to increase your happiness hormones despite isolation) or by self-cuddling yourself (see the DIY: 5 steps for a self-cuddling session). If you need to talk, don’t hesitate to book a Virtual Session with me.


Cuddle therapy does not include, under any circumstances, any form of explicit or implicit sexuality. ?

Cuddle therapy is not a licensed medical practice and should not replace the consultation of a health professional, either physical or psychological. ?

Safe hugs price

The appointment will have a maximum duration of 30 min, including reception, explanations, disinfections and safe hugs as such.

The safe hugging period will therefore have a maximum duration of 10 minutes (including breaks) (see description of the process).

The appointment is entirely free.

It is however possible to make a voluntary contribution by Interac transfer to the following address: (secret answer : calin).

COVID-19 prevention measures

People that should abstain themselves

People with a weak immune system, a chronic disease and/or aged 70 and over should remain in isolation.

People with symptoms of cough or fever, difficulty breathing, sudden loss of smell or taste without nasal congestion, or any other symptom associated with COVID-19 should remain in isolation and wait at least 48 hours after the disappearance of symptoms before making an appointment.

People who have traveled outside of the Montreal region and/or have been with a person who has traveled outside and/or has been declared positive for the COVID-19 test, in the last 14 days, should remain in isolation for 14 days.

People’s transport

When traveling to and from Calia, people are requested to keep a distance of 6 feet (2 meters) with any other person, to not touch their face without having washed their hands first and to wear a mask/face cover in public places and public transport.

At Calia

Upon arrival, people are asked to disinfect their hands with the disinfectant available before touching anything, such as the doorbell and door handle.

The plastic surface is cleaned and disinfected using a microfiber cloth soaked (using a spray bottle) with a solution of soapy water (dish soap)1 at least once between each person. The microfiber cloth and spray bottle of soapy water are made available to people for additional disinfection if desired. Microfiber cloths are cleaned at least once a day using laundry soap and hot water2.

The pieces of fabric used for the comfort of the face are changed and cleaned using laundry soap and hot water between each person.2

1 The use of a microfiber cloth soaked (thanks to a spray bottle) with a solution of soapy water (dish soap) is the method recommended by both my pharmacist and my dentist, considering that alcohol-based disinfectants can damage the plastic and therefore reduce its effectiveness.
2 Washing fabrics with hot water and laundry soap is the method recommended by the Government of Quebec.

Book now

for your safe hugs appointment with Alie

Alie Valérie Hébert-Gentile

Alie ValérieProfessional cuddler since January 2018
Founder of Calia Cuddle Therapy

Age: 36
Pronouns: She/Her
Origine: Quebec (Abitibi) and Italy
Spoken languages: Français, English, Italiano

Other passions (besides cuddling!): Plant biology, Car mechanic, Teaching, Barista, Orderly in CHSLD

Story: Alie has always liked to cuddle, but hasn’t always known how to enforce her own boundaries or even where these boundaries were. It’s thanks to her training as a professional cuddler at that Alie realizes the power of consent and the importance of respect for personal boundaries; not only in cuddles, but in all interpersonal relationships. It was then that Alie decided to create Calia, Montreal Cuddle Therapy, and to offer Cuddle therapy services in the form of One-on-one Cuddle Therapy Sessions and Cuddle Group Workshops in order to not only fill the lack of affection of the population, but also to teach and spread the magic of consent in our society.

Book a Session with Alie

If you mostly need to talk, consider a Virtual Cuddle Therapy Session