Cuddling, whether with your partner, a favourite four-legged friend, or a comfortable body support pillow, is an excellent way to de-stress and create intimacy. But cuddling entails more than just wrapping your arms around someone and holding tight. Cuddling is its own love language.
Some people live to cuddle and cling to their partner whenever possible. Others, however, are less enthusiastic. They save cuddling for the bedroom as a warm-up for the main event. And forget the stereotype that men aren't natural cuddlers. It turns out that they crave cuddling more than women.
Kisses, hugs, and snuggling all fall under the umbrella of cuddling. Although there's no right or wrong way to cuddle, these common cuddling positions can set the mood for a memorable cuddle session.
Best Cuddling Positions
1. Spooning Cuddling
Spooning is the ultimate cuddling position. And, let's be honest, it can also be sexual. Anyone can be the "big spoon," but it's usually the larger or more dominant partner when cuddling. When you're the "big spoon," you wrap your arms around your partner while lying on your side with your stomach against their back. Your partner wraps their arms around you, and your back rests against their stomach when you're the "little spoon."
How to do it:
Both partners should lie on their sides, facing each other. Little spoon: Lean against their stomach. Big spoon: Place your stomach against your partner's back and wrap your arms around them.
2. Crook of the Arm (Aka "Half-spooning")
Consider the "half spoon" if traditional spooning leaves you a hot mess (and not in a good way). It allows you to be close enough to your partner to feel warm and fuzzy while remaining far enough away to avoid feeling claustrophobic.
How to do it:
One partner is on their back, while the other is on their side. The partner on their side places their head in the crook of their partner's arm and rests their arm across their partner's chest.
3. The “Honeymoon Hug”
When your relationship is in its honeymoon phase, and you and your partner can't get enough of each other, cuddling is excessive. Even while sleeping, you want to entwine yourselves. You and your partner face each other and entangle limbs in the "honeymoon hug" position. You can smell the morning breath because you're so close. But it doesn't matter because you're madly in love with each other.
How to do it:
You and your partners lie face to face. Your bodies are fully entwined. The more contact, the better!
4. The “Sweetheart Cradle”
This position is frequently used when you require nurturing. Your partner is lying on their back, holding you with your head on their chest. It is a soothing type of cuddling that instils feelings of trust and well-being. This position can help you soften and connect with your partner. We may be reminded of the sacredness of our humanity while resting on our partner's chest, listening to their breathing, and feeling their heartbeats.
How to do it:
Lie down next to each other with one partner resting their head on the other's chest.
5. The “Lap Pillow”
It's a fun position to put your head in your partner's lap. It also demonstrates trust because it makes your partner more vulnerable. This position makes it simple to steal a kiss or two... or three. It's ideal for binge-watching your favourite Netflix show.
How to do it:
Cross your legs on the couch or the floor. Allow your partner to lie down and rest their head in your lap before petting their hair.
6. Holding Hands
Holding hands can be both innocent and intimate. It's also simple to get out of by simply letting go to reach for a glass of water or something in your pocket. The key thing to look for in new relationship cuddling positions is the option of closeness with the option of creating more space without making a big deal out of it.
How to do it:
Just sit or stand side by side, lean against each other, and hold hands. :)
Why You Should Cuddle More
Cuddling feels good in the obvious sense, but it’s also good for your health. Here’s how:
1. Helps You Communicate Emotions
Research confirms that touch is a way to communicate emotions such as love, gratitude, and sympathy between loved ones. Touch can also communicate happiness and sadness. Surprisingly, one 2009 study discovered that touch promotes emotional communication between strangers.
2. Increases Bonding
Oxytocin isn't known as the "cuddle hormone" for nothing. When you cuddle, it is released, leaving you feeling loving and connected. Oxytocin also has a social bonding effect. According to research, oxytocin helps you bond with those in your inner circle. To put it another way, the more you cuddle with your closest friends, the stronger your bond will become.
3. Helps Relieve Pain
Cuddling in the form of therapeutic touch may even be able to alleviate pain. Therapeutic touch balances energy and promotes natural healing by placing your hands on or near the body.
4. Boosts Immune System
Your immune system will significantly improve if you incorporate Swedish massage into your cuddling routine. Swedish massage is a type of massage that employs long, gliding strokes, firm kneading, and tapping. A 2010 study found that people who received Swedish massage had:
- more white blood cells that fight disease (lymphocytes)
- less of a hormone (arginine vasopressin) that increases the stress hormone cortisol
- a decrease in existing cortisol levels
- a reduction of cytokines that may cause inflammation
5. Creates More Sexual Satisfaction and Intimacy
Cuddling frequently leads to physical intimacy, but it is also important to cuddle after making love. A 2014 study found that couples who cuddled after sex had higher sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction.
6. Relieves Stress and Anxiety
According to one 2004 study, massage in the form of stroking, squeezing, and stretching can help relieve stress and anxiety by increasing dopamine and serotonin in the body. These two neurotransmitters aid in mood regulation. Dopamine also regulates your brain's pleasure centre.
7. Lowers Blood Pressure
Touch has a calming effect and may help to lower blood pressure. Short periods of hand-holding and hugging have been shown in studies to lower both diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Because high blood pressure is associated with heart disease and stroke, regular cuddling should be included in any high blood pressure treatment plan.
It's easy to sacrifice intimacy in today's hectic world, and it's difficult to find time to relax and recharge. Cuddling allows you to do both while remaining connected to those you care about. So, what are you holding out for? Hug, snuggle, kiss, and stroke whenever possible. Find the best cuddling positions for you and snuggle up with your partner, friends, and pets. It's good for both your body and your soul.
What Does Cuddling Do to a Guy?
Cuddling and getting cosy usually indicates that your partner is more at ease being intimate and close to you. Some couples enjoy cuddling before or after they make love at night. Cuddling may also indicate that they have strong feelings for you and want to be close to you.
Do Men Like Cuddling?
In a study conducted by the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, researchers examined couples in long-term relationships. They discovered that men value cuddling and caressing more than women do.
Why Do I Crave Cuddling?
When we hug someone, the physical contact causes the body to release a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone makes us feel nice and warm. It makes us feel at ease and upbeat. So, psychologically, we feel like we can trust someone, feel warm towards someone, and feel the love effect. This may explain why you may be craving cuddling.
- Mark Hyman Rapaport, October 2018; A Preliminary Study of the Effects of a Single Session of Swedish Massage on Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal and Immune Function in Normal Individuals - https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/acm.2009.0634
- Stephanie Pappas, October 2021; Oxytocin: Facts about the 'cuddle hormone' - https://www.livescience.com/42198-what-is-oxytocin.html
- Hertenstein, Matthew J, The communication of emotion via touch - https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2009-11528-017
- Kathleen C. Light PhD, March 2010; Warm Partner Contact Is Related to Lower Cardiovascular Reactivity - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08964280309596065
- New Research on Therapeutic Touch and Persons With Fibromyalgia Syndrome - https://journals.lww.com/hnpjournal/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2004&issue=05000&article=00006&type=abstract
- Therapeutic Touch - https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/therapeutic-touch