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Cuddling is one of the most important things you can do for your relationship. Cuddling offers many benefits for your physical health and for your relationship. Every expert – from sex educators to doctors to therapists – recommend cuddling. Most people love some element of cuddling – either the physical affection or the emotional intimacy.
But cuddling does offer some challenges that are rarely talked about! From dead limb syndrome to mismatched desires for cuddling, cuddling can actually create conflict in a relationship if it is not approached with the right skills and strategies!
In this podcast (hit the “play” button at the top of this page to start listening!)
Let’s be clear: cuddling is a very healthy practice. Skin to skin contact releases the healthy hormones oxytocin and dopamine, both of which offer a range of benefits from boosting your immune system to regulating your sleep patterns. But most of us don’t cuddle for the medicinal effects. We cuddle to express love and affection, to feel close to our loved ones and to slow down long enough to really connect. A good cuddle session can leave you feeling loved, relaxed and nourished with love.
Since cuddling is so great, let’s explore how you can enjoy even more of it in your relationship.
First, find your cuddle style!
Not everyone likes the intense physical closeness of spooning, for example. Try lots of positions and notice the emotional energetics of each one. Some cuddling positions feel more mutual while others feel like one partner is “holding” the other. Spooning offers the closeness of full body-to-body contact, while other positions minimize physical contact while maintaining the intimacy of cuddling. Try a whole range of positions and notice the emotional and physical feelings of each one!
Don’t get stuck in a cuddling rut! Trying new positions allows each of you to experience the whole range of cuddling experiences. The term “jetpacking” refers to the physically smaller partner being on the outside of the spooning position. We love this nickname and encourage you to not limit your cuddling based on assumptions due to physical size or gender norms!
Do you like to cuddle in front of the TV? before sleep? upon waking? Do you want to create dedicated cuddle time? There are many opportunities for cuddling. While cuddling in front of the TV can offer many of the physical benefits of cuddling, your emotional attention is directed at the screen rather than at one another, so it may feel less intimate.
Just like everyone has a different level of libido, everyone craves a certain amount of cuddling. This means that between you and your partner, it is quite normal to have a gap between how much cuddling you each want. Discuss this openly and don’t make it a problem. Try to meet one another’s needs without either of you becoming a martyr. We discuss this issue in depth in the podcast episode (just hit “play” at the top of this page!)
When navigating your cuddling times with your partner, try to be specific about what you need. Do you just want to relax in your lover’s arms? Do you want to connect emotionally and talk? Are you in the mood for sex and using cuddling as the first steps of foreplay? The more clear and specific you can be about what you need, the more likely you are to get it!
Some people avoid cuddling because of specific annoyances. Rather than giving up the benefits of cuddling, it is worthwhile exploring solutions. Here are some of the more common cuddling annoyances we hear about and a few possible solutions!
- Temperature: Does one of you burn up while the other basks in the heat? Regulate your individual temperatures with clothing and blankets so you can both be comfortable. You don’t have to both be under the same blanket to be intimate! Give yourself permission to take cuddling breaks to roll over, cool off and then come back to cuddling when you are ready!
- Dead Limb Syndrome: Don’t ever feel stuck in one position, especially if it means one of your limbs falling asleep. There are no martyrs in cuddling! Always adjust for comfort. This requires exploring a range of positions so you never feel stuck or smothered. Changing positions doesn’t have to mean breaking the intimacy. Remember, unless both of you are comfortable you’ll never sink into that exquisite zone of intimacy, so it is well worth the time to find the positions that work best for your unique combination of bodies and move between them as you need!
- Hair Management: Sometimes it can be hard to relax if a big beautiful head of hair is choking one of you! If hair is getting in the way of enjoying cuddling, consider using a headwrap, scarf or other hair management tool! Or, making smoothing the hair away a part of the cuddling experience.
Take Cuddling To The Next Level:
Cuddling can be a pathway to profound intimacy and physical pleasure. On the podcast we cover 5 techniques for making cuddling even better. Listen in (hit the “play” button at the top of the page!) to hear about:
- Two simple tools to deepen your physical and emotional connection
- A game for couples to strengthen your intimate bond
- Two touch techniques to add to cuddling for more physical pleasure
May you enjoy the profound pleasures of cuddling your whole life long!
Ready to unlock the power of foreplay? Add massage to your cuddling with our Couples Massage Mastery Course and then check out the Foreplay Mastery Online Course to take your love life to the next level of orgasmic pleasure!