Why You Should Cuddle

cuddlingBy Elite Daily (reposted at The Good Men Project)

Cuddling is a pretty stellar activity. It usually involves a nice, comfy bed. You’re usually with someone you care about. And there’s probably a television somewhere in your proximity. Not to mention, it almost always segues into either sex or sleep, sometime soon after.

This is why I don’t understand why cuddling carries with it a very feminine connotation. Like, cuddling doesn’t even have a formal definition. It’s more or less the act of doing nothing. I’m pretty sure there aren’t too many men who would be opposed to doing that – especially with a lady adjacent.

When you factor in that cuddling provides a number of different health benefits, I’m sure you’ll digress from any original anti-cuddling stance you might have harbored, immediately. Yeah, that’s right – cuddling is healthy. Here are 5 reasons why every guy should proactively try and cuddle this autumn.

It will help you maintain long-term relationships

According to a study done by ABC News, cuddling is vital for any type of long-term relationship. This notion lies within the greater concepts of happiness, for men, and sexual satisfaction for women. As it seems, a little bit of spooning may go a long way in benefitting both of these aspects, respectively.

Statistically speaking, generally, men will report more sexual satisfaction than ladies. However, cuddling is proven to improve women’s self-reported sexual satisfaction and, in the process, improve their man’s happiness.

The reason behind this revolves around the aspect of “touch.” Touch from a loved one is a great way to combat poor moods and unhappiness, says psychologist Aline Zoldbrod, who also explains how touch from a loved one can easily lead to more intimate time with a loved one, and couples who promote intimacy are “bound to be happier.”

It lowers our blood pressure

Human touch, alone, can do wonders. Every time you make human contact, your body will excrete the neuropeptide “oxytocin,” which, no, isn’t an illicit drug. Oxytocin is a “brain chemical” that serves a variety of different purposes, most of which are extremely beneficial.

According to our friends at the Good Men Project, lower blood pressure levels is one of those purposes. Every time you touch someone, or hug someone, and your brain releases some oxytocin – your body will respond and step back from that “fight-or-flight” mentality that you uphold when you’re stressing – and also lower your blood pressure in the process.

So before you’re about to tell your dad you totaled his car after borrowing it, remember to give dad a hug.

It will make you happier

As mentioned earlier, cuddling can improve sexual satisfaction in women. What hasn’t been mentioned, however, is how improved sexual satisfaction in women can improve overall happiness in men. Yeah, who said men are jealous lovers?

Men reported increased happiness proportional to more hugging and kissing with their partners and, additionally, more orgasms experienced by their PARTNERS. Cuddling, which is almost entirely extended periods of hugging and kissing, has been known to help women orgasm more easily and, in the process, make men happier.

It can lead to more sex

Whether you’re in bed or not, human contact will promote the body to produce and release the hormone dopamine, which is a naturally occurring aphrodisiac, or something that increases your level of sexual drive.

This shouldn’t be too much of a shocker, however, it’s important to note that cuddling doesn’t just lead to sex because you both are in bed together – there’s actually science to it. Although, I’m sure the fact that you’re both lying together without much clothing on doesn’t hurt the initiative for more.

It makes you a better communicator

Cuddling will allow you and your partner to communicate better for a bunch of different reasons. Firstly – and most obviously – by lying in bed together with frequency, you’ll always have time to speak about matters that might be upsetting you or preoccupying you.

It is quite possible that during relationships, especially where both involved have work and other obligations, for certain matters to tend to “slip through the cracks,” so to speak.

Also, as Shape explains, cuddling will promote a brand of “unspoken” body language that words could never replicate. Certain things, like holding a loved one, demonstrate a more authentic level of empathy that your partner will be able to notice immediately.

Reposted with permission from The Good Men Project. You might also like:
Online Dating: Avoiding Disappointment When You Finally Meet Offline 

You might also like this at Elite Daily:
11 Things You Can Do To Win The Heart Of An Independent Woman

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on March 21, 2016, in relationships, sex and sexuality and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. I totally agree with this post, cuddling can “save lives” I mean it can if it lowers blood pressure (hypertension) down?? Cuddling with the person you love and care about it probably the best thing in the world, the awesome part is, that person doesnt have to be your boyfriend, significant other, partner. It can be anyone! Your best friend, your mom, your dad, your siblings, anyone! And it is truly amazing what it can do.

    Without cuddling I have no idea what I would do, it warms my heart and just makes me feel safe in that persons arms, like I dont give a damn in the world because you feel safe.

  2. Vanessa Velazquez

    I totally agree with the post. Cuddling is a very important staple in a relationship. From personal experience when im cuddling with my significant other we do end up having deep conversations about just anything so I see why its proven to make relationships last longer.

  3. a very interesting post! for a long time now, I’ve often struggled with whether there is a difference between hugging someone and cuddling them because to me both terms are just thrown around quite loosely as if the meaning is the same. In my mind cuddling is more of an intimate embrace where a hug is where you just put your arm around somebody’s shoulders then let go. I myself am often encouraged to hug members of my family but I shy away from such things probably because I feel I’ve grown out of hugging my mother or other family members as when you’re getting dropped off at the school gate nobody wants to hug their parent goodbye at the school gate for fear of being judged for it and another factor that makes me think that cuddling is more intimate is you have to sometimes be in a relationship to really give somebody a “cuddle”

  4. Growing up in this biased world I was generally picked on for being an emotional male. When I came home each day after being picked on my dad would respond to me when I was looking for comfort by saying ” You need to toughen up, because this will not stop when you finish school.” That was the beginning of my parents distancing themselves from me. They were letting me fend for myself. This is an example of how deeply engraved these stereotypes of males being the rough, violent individuals, and women need to be protected at all costs. Because cuddling is not seen as violent it can be seen as being feminine to cuddle. Even in cuddling there are stereotypes. For this example, imagine the dog as a guy and the cat to be female in the picture at the top of this blog thread. It can be viewed as the “girl” being protected by the “Guy.” Also, the guy seems to be in a more dominate position

    • It’s too bad that men are put in such emotional straitjackets. And you are right about the picture. Of course, one could look at it the opposite way: she’s protected because she’s so valuable. Like the President who has so much protection.

  5. This is a wonderful blog post. I definitely love cuddling because it makes me feel so loved and just happy. Especially cuddling with my significant other, it makes me feel that we are more connected than we already were. My favorite is sometime in the middle of the night when I know that he’s fast asleep but he reaches across the bed just to hold me. I definitely feel myself happier with my boyfriend and just in general.

  6. I totally agree with this article. In my own experience, my husband has never been one to cuddle me even without it getting intimate. It wasn’t until after we had a conversation about it really connecting us did he finally show effort in cuddling me and really trying to connect with me on that level. This article can open up anyone’s eyes to why it is so important to have that connection with your partner and really show each other the love and affection you have for one another. It is amazing and brings about such an amazing feeling between he 2 of you. I know it has to be my favorite part of the day. Without that connection, you could really lose that sense of knowing you are content in your relationship and will always have that flame between the both of you. Once you lose that, it could potentially be gone forever.

  7. Trang-Thuy Mai

    Reading this post was both educational and interesting at the same time. Relating to my own experience, I’ve never really been much of a cuddle person will my pass partners. My current partner now is the one who slowly changed my habits. He always thought it was strange since I love getting hugs, but I didn’t like to cuddle. I’ve always thought that since I grew out of sleeping with teddy bears, I didn’t really have much interest in cuddling with anything else. However ever since dating my partner, I’ve learned that cuddle is one of the ways I am able to sleep peacefully at night and it is one of the constant habits of both my partner and I do every day.

  8. I can relate to a lot of these points in regards to cuddling. Whenever my boyfriend and I cuddle, it tends to cheer me up and make me feel closer to him emotionally as well. Usually when we cuddle, we don’t have as many distractions like television or other people talking, and so we end up talking about whatever is on our minds. Through this, we end up getting pretty invested and sometimes the topics can be rather intense. Cuddling gives off this rather calming vibe to it, and I feel more comfortable both in the relationship and overall. In fact, it’s not only limited to my boyfriend. I have a cat who tends to crawl into my bed for nightly and morning cuddles, of which I encourage (except when it’s before 8 AM). Hearing the purrs and feeling the soft fur always calms me down when I’m upset or anxious. Though I don’t actively seek out cuddling too often, it does help me through tough times and make me feel happier.

  9. happy easter by the way

  10. I think cuddling has many health benefits and bonding benefits for couples, because it’s a sign of affection. And it’s very natural and important for human beings to feel loved. It’s in our core. I find it interesting with how, not just psychology but mother nature and how we are created and living animals for that matter. We are made to be loved and to feel loved. It’s a natural instinct and why it’s so important for out emotional health and why cuddling has such benefits. It just seems apart of being social creatures and living, and being “alive”. And it’s not just us human beings. You showed the cute pic of the kitten and puppy, but it just shows how it’s a natural part of living animals that have feelings and intelligence to feel loved.

    For example affection is very important for pets too. I love the John Tesch radio show, it’s a radio show with music but inbetween a man, john tesch brings up different interesting studies. He brought up how not only do we like to pet out cats or dogs, but petting out pet cat is very important for them too. The study showed how pet cats who were consistently loved and petted and snuggled with, were reported to have a boosted immune system and like lower levels of anxiety or something compared to cats who weren’t getting physical affection from their owners who had depleted immune systems and were depressed. I know this was about couples cuddling, but I brought this up because that’s affection and why it does wonders for couples because affection is good and important and I just showed under the umbrella of affection why and how it;s so powerful, because people and animals with emotions and feelings, well love has and always is very important to our existence, so naturally phsyical affection that shows and exemplifies love, makes us, people, cats, dogs feel happy, and loved, therefore healthier physically and emotionally.

    • Yeah, it’s interesting how much people and even animals need love. It’s a word that is used a lot because it’s so important, and since it’s used a lot we can forget how important it is. But when you really think about it, it’s power is striking. Truly, the most important thing in the world.

  11. I completely agree with this article’s stance on cuddling. Though I may seem as a tougher person with my friends and family a good majority of times, I adore cuddling. I would have to say from my person experiences, a majority of the facts you had laid out are correct, that it calms people down because that’s how I feel. It factors into anyone’s life when they’re struggling when all you need to the end of the day is a hug. I would’ve liked to know the difference between cuddling with a significant other over something different such as a child or your beloved pet. I find that cuddling with either my furry friends or my boyfriend leads to the same amount of affection, but that’s just me personally. I don’t feel that guys feel the same way since they don’t typically show me the same amount of gratification, but it just may be the lifestyle behind being a guy in general.

  12. Yeah! It is very good… 🙂 🙂

  13. I agree. If not anything else, a cuddle always makes me happy… 🙂

  14. I totally agree.In my opinion, cuddling is one of the most important thing in human relationship. If any couple can cuddle well that will make their relationship better and their communication. Also I really like the pic.

  15. Looking forward to details in Chapter 2: “Spooning”

  16. that is a cute picture with the puppy and kitten lol. It’s weird that it’s seen as feminine though as from reports and just hearing from others guys admitting and seeing elsewhere, it seems just as many guys like to cuddle, snuggle or spoon as much as women. Actually you’d be surprised there are a decent number of women who are more “cold” in that way and don’t like cuddling even if they are in a relationship and love a man and just less touchy/ affectionate than their man. Women are the nurturers and emotional, but you’d be surprised how it’s in reverse with the boyfriend or husband being more affectionate than his wife or girlfriend. And this is a happy relationship and it’s just how that woman is, where she just isn’t a touch person and likes affection, but just a little.

    I don’t think it has to do with a relationship though as I like to cuddle as I’m affectionate person. I think that’s the real difference. Where you can see the difference between an individual man or woman and who likes to cuddle or cuddle more is whether that person is very affectionate or not. I think men and women who are affectionate or very affectionate naturally, just will naturally probably be hugger, kisser and cuddlers or more so compared to less affectionate people, which can possibly be a personality difference from the individual.

    • Yeah, I thought that cats were girls and dogs were boys when I was a little kid. Maybe it’s something about the physicality?

      And yes, I have also seen some research on how important cuddling can be for men. I wonder if some ways it can be even more important for them simply because it’s one of the few ways that it’s OK for men to express that part of themselves. And of course, it always depends on the person.

      • Oh so you’re saying cat’s rule and dogs drool as in girls rule and boy’s drool? lol just kidding. (Homeward Bound movie reference). It might be why men might hold off on cuddling if they hook up or have a one night stand if they don’t want to have a relationship, because bonding like that could cause them to “catch the feelings” and get close and sabotage their effort of staying single and so forth. But when in a relationship, love to cuddle with the girl/woman they want to be with and like a lot/love. care for.

      • That makes sense.

        And I must admit to being a cat fan. I do like dogs, but I like cats better — mostly because they’re softer and cuddlier! Like the lap cats.

  17. I have never belonged to the anti-cuddling lobby, Georgia; hence would like to underwrite all the health and wellness benefits detailed herein. May the good cuddles increase exponentially…

  18. I totally agree, can’t live without cuddles.

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