Cuddling is one of the most essential habits of a strong relationship. Prolonged affectionate touch offers tons of benefits to both of your bodies and to your relationship as a whole. It may sound incredibly simple but when we look a bit deeper, there are many things that you can get from a good cuddle.
Let’s get back to the very basics. First, what is a cuddle, exactly? The definition of cuddling is: to hold close in one’s arms as a way of showing love or affection. This is a good starting point, but we think cuddling should be a full body activity! You can cuddle with as much or as little body contact as you’d like. The intention of prolonged, affectionate touch is what defines the cuddling experience.
Cuddling offers a wide range of benefits. Skin-to-skin contact releases both oxytocin and dopamine, which offer a ton of health benefits, including:
- boosted immune system
- relieves pain
- reduces stress
- lowers blood pressure
- helps regulate sleep
Beyond the health benefits, cuddling is a bonding experience. It is a way of showing one another love and care as well as an opportunity to slow down and relax together.
Cuddling goes way beyond spooning (though of course it made the list), so here are some great cuddling positions to explore. Try a whole range of positions and notice the emotional and physical experience of each one:
Cuddling in the spooning position is a classic for a reason! Spooning offers maximum body-to-body contact. Experiment with taking turns being in front and behind. A great cuddling term is “jetpacking” when describing the position where the physically smaller partner is behind the larger partner.
2. Face-To-Face Embrace
Relax in bed together, face-to-face. Get as close as is comfortable for both of you. Cuddle with your hands, stroking one another’s skin. Hold hands, make eye contact, and talk. This is a great position for people who don’t love super close cuddling but still want the intimate connection that cuddling offers.
3. Chest Embrace
Cuddle up next to your partner and rest your head on their chest. This position is a beautifully intimate and romantic one. Many people feel very cared for and held with love. Again, take turns cuddling in this position and notice how it feels to hold and be held.
4. Belly Embrace
Rest your head a bit lower on your lover’s body and rest your head on their belly. Feel the rise and fall of their breath. This cuddle position may be a great one to fall asleep doing!
5. Prayer Pose
This is a more “sexy” cuddle. Get between your lover’s legs on your knees and then fall forward, allowing your torso to fall over your partner’s body. Your heart will land somewhere around their pelvic area, a very intimate and erotic connection. Your lover can stroke your hair, a tender act that can feel quite comforting.
6. Spinal Embrace
This may be one you’ve never heard of. Sit up together, facing away from one another, your backs pressed to one another. Focus your attention on your spine and notice the sensations of your lover’s breath. Try to breath in time with one another. This is a highly meditative way of cuddling and can be way more intimate than it sounds at first!