If you’re one of those people who freeze up when someone wants to cuddle, it’s time you started learning how to do it the right way and actually enjoy it.
Cuddling is a serious matter. It’s big enough to warrant actual studies on it about how it benefits humankind. Seriously!
Why do you think so many people are making a fuss about it? It’s because people want it just as much as they do romance, chocolate, and drugs.
As funny as the name sounds, even after all these years, cuddling is actually quite good for the body and mind. We’re really not kidding. If you look at the studies that honest-to-goodness, real live scientists did on the subject, their findings correlate with how people react to cuddling.
What does science say about cuddling
According to a study, cuddling releases oxytocin in the brain. This is what scientists call the love hormone, and not surprisingly, the cuddle hormone as well.
It is a powerful hormone that plays a huge role in the human sexual response cycle, as well as the pair bonding we experience when we find a suitable mate.
Oxytocin is released when people fall in love or when they’re aroused. When these two things happen to an individual, the effect is akin to eating a bar of chocolate and sniffing a line of coke *not the soda.* The same thing happens when you cuddle, which means that it’s not just a way for you to chill after watching Netflix.
It’s actually a precursor to how you and your partner will continue bonding in the future. The more you cuddle, the more you will feel good about that person.
Since people are so into cuddling, many of us consider it a skill – an art form even! If you’re wondering which one you are, take a look at the list below.
#1 The Monkey Cuddler. This person cuddles everywhere, and I mean everywhere. They try to cuddle with you at the movies, while waiting for your food, while in a cab – cuddle, cuddle, cuddle. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s actually my favorite!
#2 The Little Spoon. The little spoon is the person who will always pull your hand over their body until you snuggle up behind them. They feel that your big spoon is their security blanket, and it makes them feel safe, knowing that you have their back.
#3 The Big Spoon. The big spoon is the one who will pull you toward them and wrap you in a big bear cuddle from behind. There’s no better place than the spot that you’re in when your partner’s the big spoon. Unless you prefer being the big spoon.
#4 The Semi-Cuddler. The semi-cuddler is the one who usually uses one arm to cuddle with you. It may seem like they don’t like cuddling at all, but they just want to free their hands to do more stuff while they cuddle. Efficient? We think so, too!
#5 The Non-Cuddler. Don’t be fooled by the name we made up. The non-cuddler cuddles just as much as anybody else, except they don’t really initiate it. They don’t even do anything except allow themselves to be cuddled. The only thing you need to know is that they like it, but aren’t keen on admitting it.
#6 The Unintentional Cuddler. The unintentional cuddler says they don’t like cuddling, but they always end up doing it anyway. It’s usually obvious when they’re asleep and they wake up cuddling their partner, or when they watch TV with their partner and don’t realize that they look like they’re holding on to their partner’s torso as if it were a lifesaver.
Train yourself to be a better cuddler
There’s no exact science to cuddling – the scientists just wrapped up on the oxytocin research – but it’s pretty obvious how you’re supposed to do it.
The issue here is how you can make it better for your partner or anyone else you’d like to cuddle with. Remember, cuddling is for everybody – not just for lovers.
#1 Use your instinct. You can’t expect to cuddle someone anytime you want to. What if you ended up with an unintentional cuddler? Or a big spoon? Just wait for the right moment. If you’re not sure when it’s okay to cuddle, you can always ask your partner.
#2 Just go for it. If you don’t feel like asking your partner, you can just start by putting your arm over their shoulder or around their waist. If they don’t mind it, you can then proceed to cuddle any which way you like.
#3 Don’t crowd them. Do remember that your partner is not a scratching post or a beanbag. You should not overwhelm them with all your limbs, unless prompted – see monkey cuddler. An arm around them is good enough, and you can always get closer as you get more comfortable. [Read: 20 ingenious ways to keep your relationship fun and exciting]
#4 Know which type of cuddling to use. There are different types of cuddling for various occasions and locations. These are as follows:
a. The Arm Cuddle. You can do this anywhere and anytime. Just put your arm over your partner’s shoulder or around their waist. Pull them closer, et voila! A cuddle.
b. The Hug Cuddle. This is when you hug a person and end up in that position for a bit longer than necessary. Perfect when you’re just lying on the bed and want a little bit of contact from your loved one.
c. The Full-Body Cuddle. The monkey cuddler’s favorite. The full-body cuddle is when you use all your limbs, including your legs, to cuddle with your partner. This can’t last very long because you are in danger of asphyxiation and certain fractures. But it can work if a monkey cuddler is partnered with a non-cuddler.
d. The Little Spoon Cuddle. This is when the little spoon scoots back toward the big spoon in order to initiate the start of the cuddling session. This is how sneaky little spoons get their partners to cuddle them without any prompting.
e. The Lap Cuddle. The lap cuddle is when one of you is sitting down on the couch. Either one of you can do all the cuddling while the other sits on the couch or on the other’s lap. This is perfect for watching movies or when you’re on a road trip. Make sure that someone else is driving, though.
f. The Thigh Cuddle. The thigh cuddle is when you cuddle with your partner’s thigh instead of their whole body. This usually happens when you’re lying down on your partner’s lap, or if they’re reading on the couch, and you’re just lounging around on the rug beside them.
g. The Waist Cuddle. The waist cuddle is a higher variation of the lap cuddle. Just as efficient, but with more surface area to cuddle, especially if your partner has a beer belly.
h. The Back Cuddle. The back cuddle happens when your partner is standing and you decide to cuddle them from behind. This is perfect if you’re taller than your partner, but a bit of a stretch if you can’t reach their shoulders in order to actually do it. It can easily be done while you’re waiting in line for something. [Read: 8 little habits that bring couples closer together]
#5 Know when to stop cuddling. Like the liquor bottle warnings, the same goes for cuddling. Cuddle moderately, because it’s not something that you can do for hours on end. It’s hardly possible when you’re sleeping as well, because our bodies are programmed to right themselves when placed in an uncomfortable position.
Even if it feels really awesome, you have to let go at some point. Let your partner eat and stretch out their muscles. After that, you may resume your cuddling.