The Importance of Cuddling
Cuddling is for singles, couples, and more than two. It can be comforting, romantic, intimate, and sexual.
Cuddling is a type of affection that releases the hormone oxytocin. Some scientists call this the “love hormone” that promotes social interaction and bonding with a romantic partner.
“Couples with the highest levels were the ones still together six months later. They were also more attuned to each other than the low-oxytocin couples when asked… about a shared positive experience.” – Scientific American
Cuddling also boosts sexual intimacy. It’s how a lot of foreplay begins, as cuddling is a turn on in itself for many.
Cuddling can not only bring a couple closer, it can also help to reduce stress and blood pressure. This calming effect of cuddling can also help individuals fall asleep faster and maintain a better night’s sleep overall.
Cuddling compatibility—how much each partner wants to cuddle—is an important factor for many when dating, but it isn’t the only challenge when it comes to cuddling.
Some partners snore or are too restless to cuddle while sleeping or desire space to have their best sleep. Some lovers find it too hot to cuddle during the night.
The great thing about cuddling is that there are many different positions and places to get your cuddle on and to enjoy the bonding benefits of this kind of touch.
Cuddling Positions on the Couch
Cuddling on the couch often happens very naturally, but it can also take a bit of effort depending on the shape and size of your couch and the comfort level of each person. What position you choose will depend if you are just canoodling or watching TV.
In this position one person, usually the bigger partner, will lie on their back with their head propped while the smaller partner will lie on top with their head on their chest. A long couch is necessary for this position. Body weight will also be a factor in determining comfortability.
Perhaps the first position we think of when cuddling and the most popular position in bed and for sleeping, spooning has both partners on their side, one in front of the other.
You can get a nice tight fit in this position, with the person behind wrapping their arm around. This cuddling position requires a deep couch or removable cushions as well as pillows for the person in the back to see if you’re watching TV.
Cuddling in this position has one partner sitting upright with their partner lying sideways with their head in the lap of the sitter.
This position works if one partner prefers or needs to sit for comfortability and the other partner prefers to lie in a resting position or is tired. The sitter can stroke their partner’s hair, arm, back, or buttocks.
Facing on Backs
Not as intimate as the previous cuddling positions, facing each other from both ends of the couch can still promote bonding through physical contact.
One partner can splay their legs over their partners or legs can intertwine with partners facing sideways. This position can take a little twisting and turning to get just right, but that’s half the fun.
Cuddling Positions in Bed
Cuddling on the couch is perfect for dating, but cuddling in bed is made for deeper connections. Some long-term couples forget how important cuddling is, so it’s one way to reconnect when things become stale.
Spooning is the number one position for cuddling in bed before and during sleep. Both partners lie on the same side, one behind the other, like two interlocking puzzle pieces.
Who goes behind who will depend on what feels best for both individuals. How long you spoon before bed, while sleeping, or in the morning is up to you as a couple.
This cuddling position has one partner on their back while their lover spoons into them from the side position. Often the spooner will drape one arm over their partner’s chest or abdomen and the corresponding leg over their legs. This is a wonderfully snuggly position for intimate conversation before sleep… or sex.
Some couples like this position for cuddling, which sees the smaller partner burying their head into their lover’s chest. Legs can be tucked up or intertwined. This position can feel very comforting to both partners and is ideal for kissing and staying warm.
At a Distance
Not all cuddling has to be super close, especially if couples find it hard to sleep when pressed together. Many couples like to stay in contact while asleep by touching feet, a hand on back, spooning with space between, sleeping back to back or bum to bum.
Cuddling After Sex
Post-coital cuddling is natural for most couples after sex, especially those in new or long-term relationships. Because cuddling is so intimate, men and women hooking up don’t always want or need cuddling as part of the sexual experience.
You can cuddle in any position after sex as a way to stay connected to your partner, stay in the moment, reflect on the experience, or as a segue to sleep.
Some individuals like a short post-sex cuddle before drifting off while others enjoy cuddling while sleeping. There are also those who will want skip cuddling and turn over or head straight to the shower, and this is why cuddling compatibility matters.
Cuddling in Public
Wherever you go, you will see cuddling between humans. Cuddling is a simple, tender way to express affection, and it can be done just about anywhere. Wherever you are able to sit or lie down near your partner for an extended period of time is an ideal place to cuddle.
Read: Read: Non-Monogamous Dating Tips
Long trips on buses, trains, and planes with a partner are much better with a little cuddling. This might see one partner asleep with their head on the other’s shoulder or lap, hands on knees, or one leg over another’s. Take this time to connect while traveling together.
At the Movies
The darkness at movies lends itself to cuddling with a first date or a long-term partner. Wrap one arm behind your partner’s shoulder or hold hands to cuddle when the lights go low. Cuddling is also ideal in the car at a drive-in.
On the Beach
Cuddling beneath the warmth of the sun with the sound of waves lapping is perfect for romantic cuddling in public. This can be done at the ocean while on vacation or beside a nearby lake. Pack a picnic, and spend the day.
At a Cuddle Party
Polyamorous people know all about cuddle puddles and parties. Many of these events are planned and organized as non-sexual meet and greets.
Cuddle parties can also happen at sex clubs, sex parties, orgies, or after a group sex experience between your partners. With more than two bodies, it’s difficult to get into cuddle position descriptions… enjoy the beautiful challenge!
How important is cuddling in your relationship(s)? What’s your favorite position to cuddle in?