Cuddle Buddy: What It Is, 41 Positions, Rules & Must-Knows to Be a Good One

Who doesn’t want a cuddle buddy to snuggle up to? You don’t have to have a romantic partner for that to happen. But here are some rules to follow.

Cuddle Buddy

There is a fine line between cuddle buddy and f*ck buddy. Sometimes, people get carried away and their much-wanted cuddle buddy turns into something they dreaded all along: their f*ck buddy.

If you fall into the category of only wanting someone to exchange body heat with—and not body fluids—these rules are for you.

Cuddle versus f*ck

For those of you who are unfamiliar with these terms, we’ll break them down for you.

Cuddle Buddy: a person whom you only snuggle or cuddle with. No relationship extends beyond exchanging body heat and physical companionship.

F*ck Buddy: much like a cuddle buddy, only replace cuddling with sex. F*ck buddies are two people who are engaged in sexual acts but are not involved in a relationship. [Read: The guide to turning your friend into your f*ck buddy]

Why you need a cuddle buddy

Not many people have a regular cuddle buddy who isn’t their significant other. However, there are a lot of reasons why you should have one. Here they are.

1. Good for the winter

As we all know, people’s bodies give out a lot of heat. So, when you’re cold, it’s great to cuddle up close to someone in order to keep warm. 

And that’s why it’s perfect to have a cuddle buddy for the winter. You won’t ever be cold again. [Read: The surprising benefits of cuddling and how it makes your life better]

2. You can actually “Netflix and chill” *and nothing more*

Everyone knows that “Netflix and chill” is really just code for having sex. But if you have a cuddle buddy, it isn’t. 

It really means that you can just hold each other, chill on the couch, and watch a movie or TV show together – no sex is required.

3. You get all the relationship perks without the headaches

One of the best parts of being in a relationship is the cuddles, right?

You can be physically intimate with someone you’re in a relationship with, and that includes sex and intimate touches. [Read: No strings attached relationship – how to have it, end it, and 35 NSA rules]

But you don’t have to wait to be in a relationship to get this perk if you have a cuddle buddy. You can just have all the snuggly, fuzzy feelings inside without the fighting and other problems that come with a real relationship. 

4. Cuddling is good for your health

You’ve probably heard that a person needs 7 hugs a day – or at least have them on a regular basis. Well, cuddling takes hugging to the next level by having a whole-body hug.

So, if hugging is good for your health, imagine how much better cuddling is for you! It calms you down and makes you feel at peace with your life, the world, and everyone in it. [Read: Big health benefits of sex that’ll help you live longer!]

5. Cuddling makes us happy

When you cuddle with someone you care about, your body releases a hormone called oxytocin that makes you feel calm and happy. You might be more likely to laugh and feel silly because oxytocin has a positive effect on your body. 

6. Cuddles help us destress

Not only does oxytocin make you feel happier because it makes you feel calm, you are able to destress a lot better. It can also lower your blood pressure and it lowers your cortisol, which is called the “stress hormone.” 

7. Cuddles boost our self-esteem

When another person wants to touch and hold us in a loving way, it makes us feel good about ourselves.

After all, if someone didn’t like you, then they wouldn’t want to cuddle with you, right? How could we not feel better about ourselves? [Read: How to build self-esteem and love life with these simple life changes]

8. You won’t feel lonely

When you lay on the couch or in your bed all alone, it can make you feel lonely. You are hungry for human touch and connection. Well, cuddle buddy to the rescue! When you have someone to cuddle with, you will never feel lonely in those moments.

9. Cuddles feel amazing

Let’s face it – cuddling just feels good. It feels so amazing, so why wouldn’t you want to do it more often? And if you don’t have a cuddle buddy yet, what are you waiting for? It’ll help you feel better on a regular basis.

Who could be a cuddle buddy? 

Now that you know that having a cuddle buddy is such an awesome thing, where in the world do you find someone to do it with you? It’s not that difficult, and here are some ideas. [Read: How to cuddle someone – a guide to snuggle up and feel the love]

1. Friends

Now, this may or may not be a great idea depending on the friend. If it’s someone you have a crush on, then it could be tricky. 

But if it’s someone who you have complete platonic feelings for *and vice versa*, then this is a great option. Whether it’s someone of the same sex or the opposite sex is completely up to you and your comfort level.

2. Exes that you’re on really good terms with

This one might seem a little strange to you if you don’t talk to any of your exes. But for those of you who do, this could be an option. [Read: The good and bad of being friends with an ex – your helpful guide]

If one of your exes is a good friend, why not try to make them a cuddle buddy? After all, you’ve done it before and are familiar with each other. Therefore, you have a built-in comfort level.

3. Acquaintances that you’ve felt comfortable with every time you’ve met them

If you choose to go this route, then you want to make sure that the acquaintance of yours also likes to cuddle – and is interested in having a cuddle buddy too. 

You don’t want to freak someone out and ask them to do this with you out of the blue. So, you have to warm them up to the idea before you ask them. [Read: How to get to know someone – 18 ways to open up and make new friends]

4. Old crushes that never went anywhere

This may or may not be a great idea, but it’s possible. If you had a crush on someone but they didn’t feel the same about you romantically, then you need to be sure that you can handle it emotionally.

On the contrary, if this person had a crush on you and you didn’t feel the same way, you have to be careful with their feelings. You don’t want to hurt them and lead them on with false hope.

5. Online dating websites/apps

This is a pretty good option if you don’t necessarily want to cuddle with someone you already know.

But you’ll have to be explicitly clear in your profile that you want a cuddle buddy. You don’t want to surprise them with it. [Read: 17 new dating app terms and their meanings for easy online dating]

However, you also have to be careful with this. Cuddling is an intimate act to do with a stranger. So, you have to keep your own safety in mind before you go down this road.

Pre-cuddling etiquette

Now that you know who you might try to get to be your cuddle buddy, you have to keep some etiquette in mind so you can do it right. Make sure you do these things.

1. Grooming

No one wants to cuddle with someone who hasn’t showered, doesn’t wear deodorant, has smelly clothes, or has a bushy beard *well maybe some people don’t mind the beard*. [Read: Physical attraction – 20 hot secrets to look way more desirable instantly]

Just make sure that you keep your hygiene in good condition so the person is happy to cuddle with you and not turned off.

2. Environment 

Sure, you can just lay on the couch and watch TV or a movie, but you can also set the mood a little better too. You could prepare music, a cool lighting setup, burn some incense, or light some candles. 

Just make sure that you don’t make the setting too romantic so that one or both of you doesn’t start feeling romantic and frisky. [Read: The secrets to spoon someone and make spooning feel romantic and intimate]

3. Revisiting agreed-upon boundaries

As with anything in life, you should have ground rules with your cuddle buddy. Talk about them ahead of time or even write them down. 

And then, revisit them on a regular basis and go over them before cuddling. That way, no one’s feelings will get hurt.

The cardinal rules of having a cuddle buddy

Most people only want a cuddle buddy because they miss the physical contact and snuggling they used to have when they were in a relationship. [Read: Platonic friendship – what it is, 25 friend rules, and ways to avoid sexual drama]

However, they don’t want to have a relationship, due to other circumstances. Nor do they want to further things sexually.

If you’re someone who loves having a person to come over and cuddle with while watching your favorite movie, but really want to avoid things going any further, these are the standard rules you need to follow.

1. Clothes stay on

It doesn’t matter how hot you two get, turn down the heat, turn on the air, and remove the blankets, but keep your clothes on!

Even removing a sweater can take things to a different level. And you want to avoid that level. [Read: Opposite sex friendships – 24 rules, boundaries, and where we go wrong]


If there are any feelings involved, whatsoever, then you cannot be cuddle buddies. Feelings lead to sexual desire, and if you two are already snuggling up close, it will happen sooner or later. 

Stay away if you or they have feelings. [Read: Lusty signs of sexual attraction to keep an eye on]

3. You cannot get jealous

Jealousy implies that you like them. If they’re sleeping with someone else and you know about it, it should not bother you—at all—if you two are just cuddle buddies. 

If you’re getting angry that someone else is sleeping with them, you must want to sleep with them—which may turn into a f*ck buddy situation, rather than a cuddle buddy one.

4. Hand check

Keep your hands above the blankets at all times. Keep your hands away from any area that may be construed as inappropriate. [Read: Sexual tension between friends – how to handle it like a platonic pro]

Even putting your hands on their chest or stomach can cause all sorts of feelings to get stirred up down under. Stick to simple, PG-rated hand placement.

5. Avoid movies with a sex scene

Watching sex scenes when you’re cuddling tends to make things a little steamier than you may want them to be. 

The visuals may get the two of you going, without even realizing it, and that can lead to bad decision-making. Try to watch movies with less-steamy sex scenes, or none at all. [Read: The best inspirational movies for when your motivation lags]

6. Don’t lay directly on top of them

Of course, it may be tempting for the girl to lay right on top of the guy—because for real, it is SO comfortable. 

But when you’re laying or have someone laying right on top, body parts can be in places that will make said body parts have a field day. 

Avoid this position in order to avoid turning into f*ck buddies. [Read: Are guy BFFs nothing but trouble for girls?]

7. No dinner dates

Dates = feelings, and the impression that there will be more than just casual cuddling for the night. If they are your cuddle buddy, then that is ALL they are. 

Dates are reserved for people that you would someday like to have a relationship with—and that is not your cuddle buddy.

8. Make your intentions clear

This should really be the first rule, so there’s no confusion. This rule is vitally important. [Read: Mixed signals from a guy – the guide to interpret his intentions]

If you’re inviting someone over *often* to cuddle, and they don’t know that’s ALL you want, things can get taken the wrong way. 

And they might end up trying for something more. Talk to them and let them know you only want to cuddle.

9. Cut things off if they get handsy

If your cuddle buddy isn’t abiding by the “hands off” rule, then you need to cut things off. [Read: Surefire ways to just stay friends even if you end up having sex]

If all you’re looking for is somebody to cuddle, and they just keep trying to take things further, the rule is that you have to stop things and end your cuddle buddy relationship.

10. Cut things off if you start to have feelings—emotional or physical

Yes, we covered this. But it’s very important: if you’re starting to get feelings for your cuddle buddy, then you should just cut things off. 

Feelings almost always lead to something more… especially if you’re already in a position where the two of you are very close physically. [Read: Friend crush – what it is, the signs you have one and what to do next]

If you want to remain cuddle buddies and not f*ck buddies or partners, you can’t have feelings. No emotions, no physical yearning—NO.

11. If things go a little far for your liking, talk about it

If their or your hands end up making a detour down the wrong road, you should talk about it right away. 

When things get a little too close to f*ck buddy territory, and you don’t want it going there, talk to them and put a stop to it before it gets any further. [Read: 19 steps to get over a crush on a friend and why we fall for them easily]

12. If your mom would be uncomfortable, it’s too much

A good rule for not crossing that cuddle buddy line is this: if your mom would be uncomfortable seeing the two of you cuddling, it is crossing that ever-fine line, and you should do some serious backtracking and cut back a little.

13. Your cuddle buddy should NEVER be someone you’ve dated

Ex-boyfriends or girlfriends are off-limits as cuddle buddies… for obvious reasons. 

You’ve already been down a romantic and sexual road, you can never be “just cuddle buddies.” [Read: 16 non-sexual touches that’ll make the two of you feel overly connected and loved]

14. Don’t introduce them to family

Introducing your cuddle buddy to the family is a no-no unless you plan on it turning into a f*ck buddy relationship.

Families are serious. You can’t expect to remain only cuddle buddies after they meet your family.

15. If you ever want to date them, do NOT make them a cuddle buddy

Never make someone you’re genuinely interested in your cuddle buddy. That’s just looking for a way to put them in the wrong zone. 

Plus, then you clearly soul-crushing have feelings for them, which is also a no-no in cuddle buddy relationships—have we mentioned that? [Read: 27 painful and soul-crushing signs your crush doesn’t like you back]

Best positions with your cuddle buddy

Of course, you want your cuddle experience to be the most comfortable one you can have, so you need to know some of the positions you can do. Try a few of them with your cuddle buddy and see which ones are your favorites.

1. The spoon

Most people are familiar with the spoon cuddle position. This is where both people lay on the same side *both on their right sides or both on their left sides.*

Then, one person is behind the other one and puts their arms around them. That person is the “big spoon” while the other one is the “little spoon.” [Read: The secrets to spoon someone and make spooning feel romantic and intimate]

2. The half spoon

You might not be as familiar with the half spoon. But essentially, it is the same as the spoon with just a little more space between the two people.

This might be more appropriate for a non-romantic cuddle buddy because of the space between you.

3. The butt “cheek to cheek” 

In the butt cheek-to-cheek cuddling position, you and your partner face opposite directions. [Read: How to cuddle with a guy and snuggle up to feel cozy or turn him on]

However, you are close enough to let your butt cheeks and lower backs touch. The knees can also be in the bent position, or you can stretch a leg out and play footsie if you want to.

4. The honeymoon hug

For the honeymoon hug, you and your partner intertwine your bodies, even if you are sleeping. You should face each other and entangle your limbs.

This is very intimate because you are so close to each other’s faces. So, make sure you brush your teeth so your breath doesn’t smell bad! [Read: Do guys like to cuddle? 19 truths you never before knew]

5. The sweetheart cradle

Most of us are familiar with this cuddle position too. One partner should rest their head on the other partner’s chest while they are laying on their back.

This position is used when people want to feel nurtured and safe. It’s comforting and creates feelings of trust.

6. The leg hug

This is a little similar to the cheek-to-cheek position and it’s popular for cuddling during the night when you’re sleeping. [Read: How to flirt by touch and use subtle body language to seduce anyone]

When you are laying down, one of you puts your leg on top of the other one’s leg. Keep adjusting until you both feel comfortable.

7. The butt pillow

If you are cuddling with your buddy on a large bed or on the floor, you can try the butt pillow position. It’s pretty much what it sounds like.

One of you uses the other one’s butt as a pillow for your head. This one doesn’t allow much close intimate contact with someone’s face – just their butt! [Read: Skin hunger – the human need to touch someone and why it matters]

8. The lap pillow

If the thought of laying your head on someone’s butt doesn’t sound appealing to you, then you can try the lap pillow position.

All you need to do is lay your head in their lap *or vice versa.* It’s playful and also makes the person whose head is in the lap more vulnerable. [Read: Platonic crush – what this means and how to proceed platonically]

9. The arm draper

This one is almost the opposite of the spoon position. Instead of facing the same direction, you and your partner are facing with your arms wrapped around each other.

This is intimate too because you are staring right into the other person’s face.

[Read: The guide to cuddling, and the best positions for the perfect cuddle]

Having someone as your cuddle buddy can be one of the best things. They’re there to keep you warm, comfortable, and feeling cared about—even if it’s not romantic. That being said, you need to follow these rules in order to keep them away from the f*ck buddy zone!

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...