Cuddle meaning: To hold close for warmth, comfort, or for affection – Cuddle definition from Merriam Webster Dictionary.
Cuddling in bed isn’t just a precursor to sex or something you do after a tumble in the sheets. Couples cuddling is an important part of bonding, showing affection, and satisfying our human need for physical contact.
Everyone has their favorite cuddling positions, from a quick cute hug to being the big spoon all night. Let’s see if we can’t figure out just how you like to be cuddled.
Benefits of Cuddling
What’s the largest organ in your body? It’s your skin! Skin deals with the sensation of touch, and touch is so powerful to us in many ways. Think of all the different ways we touch each other in everyday life:
- Shaking hands or fist bumps
- Squeezing a shoulder in comfort
- Ruffling hair or a pat on the head
- Massage and other physical therapies
- Hugging and cuddling
Touch is the first sense we develop as babies, and the last we tend to lose as we get older. Benefits of touch and cuddling include:
- Repression of stress hormones
- Increase of oxytocin, the love hormone
- Triggers the release of dopamine, the pleasure hormone
Cuddling can help you feel closer to your partner, and don’t believe the gender stereotypes: men love cuddling just as much as women, if not more so! Learning how to cuddle in a way that’s comfortable and satisfying for you and any partner means you gain all these benefits in your own life.
Ways to Cuddle: Cuddling Positions to Try
According to cuddle expert Sam Hess, there are 58 cuddle positions – but you don’t have to learn them all right away! Here are just a few of our favorites. Which have you tried, and which are new to you?
Spooning Someone: How to Spoon
Whenever you see a cute couple cuddling in bed in a movie, it’s nearly always a guy wrapped around a girl like a big spoon. Heteronormativity aside, there’s no rule saying that just because you’re the dude or the larger partner, you have to be the big spoon. In fact, many couples naturally take turns.
Spooning means both laying on your sides. The small spoon has their back to the big spoon’s chest. Legs are generally tucked together. The big spoon can wrap their arms around the little spoon. It’s a safe, warm cuddle position and easy to roll away from if it gets too warm.
Face to Face
Cuddling face to face is incredibly intimate. It’s not quite the same as a friendly hug, where you have your head over your friend’s shoulder and give them a pat on the back.
Face-to-face cuddling can involve gazing into each other’s eyes as you lay down, intertwining hands or legs, or even rubbing your cheeks together.
One partner lies on their back while the other sprawls over them. Most commonly seen is the smaller partner with their head on the other’s chest or shoulder, arm around their waist, leg slung over both their legs. This is a great cuddle position for a ton of physical contact.
Side by Side
Sitting on the couch can still be a great cuddle opportunity. Lean into your partner and put your head on their shoulder, or turn around so that you’re leaning into their chest.
For extra pampering, get your partner to lay with their head in your lap while you play with their hair, or swap it and give them a foot rub instead.
Back to Back
Perfect for couples who have clearly delineated sides of the bed! Lying back to back can be super affectionate. Let your back touch your partner’s, and appreciate the warmth and sensation of their skin. Lean over and touch your partner’s hand, or talk to them while lying down like this, to increase intimacy further.
Many people get very warm while cuddling, but touch doesn’t have to be big to be affectionate. Think about laying side by side, holding hands, or simply rubbing your arms together every so often. You could have your legs touching while watching a movie or just stroke your partner’s shoulders every so often.
All these small touches are like mini cuddles, conveying affection, and providing those pleasurable hormones.
Of course, cuddling can lead to sex. Some couples understand that certain types of cuddling mean something more is on the menu can get very spicy indeed. Tips for turning a sensual cuddle into something sexy:
- Reach an arm around your partner to gently stroke or tweak a nipple
- Stroke their skin in places you know drives them wild, like their neck or inner thigh
- Murmur softly or blow gently in their ear
- Don’t hold too tight, so they can move away if they want to
- Slide one of your legs gently over or in between theirs
Remember, consent is sexy. If your partner isn’t up for sexy cuddles, keep it sweet and remember those benefits listed above!
Cuddling is such a key part of any relationship, from little touches to bear hugs. Try out your new favorite cuddle position on your partner today.
From spooning to touching shoulders as you lay side by side, there are so many ways to cuddle! Cuddling releases hormones that make you feel happy and safe and bring you closer to your partner.