Touch has always been important to the human experience. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing, we’ve all become a little touch-starved. In a time when we needed comfort and reassurance to know that we are not alone, and yes, we may be struggling, but we’re all struggling together, a touch would have gone a long way. The best cuddling positions help provide each other with comfort and security, so the touch restrictions have taken their toll.
Now, with the world reopening and restrictions lifting, people are cautiously shaking hands, hugging, and kissing each other again. We’re all holding our loved ones tight and hoping we’ll never have to go so long without being able to touch them again. It reinvigorated our passion for cuddling.
Cuddling is a love language all on its own. While snuggling with your furbaby, or curling around a pillow offer its own comforts, the best cuddling positions are made even better with a partner. Cuddling is extremely important in long-term relationship satisfaction. Some people love to cuddle and attach themselves onto their partner at every opportunity and there are people that shy away from that much physical contact. They prefer to keep the cuddles contained in the bedroom. And while most people think that women are more fond of cuddling than men, they’re actually more fond of cuddling. Here are the best cuddling positions that you should add to your repertoire.
Benefits of Cuddling
Cuddling feels good, but it also has actual health benefits! Here are a few reasons you should indulge your inner cuddle bug.
1Increase in sexual satisfaction and intimacy.
While cuddling isn’t always foreplay, it can lead up to sex and that’s great! But don’t forget to cuddle after enjoying intercourse, too! It’s been studied that post-coitus cuddling results in higher sexual satisfaction and higher relationship satisfaction.
2Strengthens bonds in relationships.
Whether it’s with your family, friends, or your partner, cuddling can strengthen the bond of your relationships. Oxytocin released when cuddling creates feelings of being loved and connected. The cuddle hormone is also said to help you bond with those close to you.
We’ve mentioned the cuddle hormone, oxytocin. Another effect of oxytocin is that it calms you and makes it easier for you to deal with stress. It also actually lowers levels of cortisol which is known as the “stress hormone”. That’s probably why the need for physical comfort is so strong after a long hard day at work, or a bad week.
4Helps you sleep.
Cuddling can help you fall asleep! If you can’t sleep through the night in a cuddle, that’s fine. 10mins of cuddling before dozing off can do wonders for a good night’s rest.
5Helps communicate your emotions.
Studies have proven that touch is a great way to communicate important emotions. Love, understanding, thankfulness, concern, and many others can be conveyed through a simple touch. Shaking hands with a stranger already tells you so much about them, and them about you. So just imagine how much more cuddling can communicate with your loved ones.
6Boosts your immune system.
Massages are a great practice to incorporate into your cuddling routine! Swedish massages, in particular, are really great for your health. A study showed that Swedish massages encourage the production of white blood cells that fight disease, decrease existing cortisol levels, and decrease cytokines that may cause inflammation.
7Lowers blood pressure.
High blood pressure has been related to heart disease and stroke, so it’s comforting to know that cuddles can make a difference. Short periods of hand-holding and hugging have been proven to lower blood pressure. So get in those daily cuddles to keep your emotional and actual heart healthy.
8Helps relieve pain.
Therapeutic touch is when you place your hands on or near the body to help naturally heal the body by balancing its energy. Cuddling with the application of therapeutic touch techniques may have the power to reduce pain. And even if it doesn’t really help, just knowing that someone’s there to comfort you will make you feel a little bit better.
Oxytocin is a happy hormone, but it has other benefits. By reducing stress, oxytocin gives your body the opportunity to relax and fulfill all the body functions including digesti0n. Cuddles are able to help with your stomach health, too!
Hugs and cuddles from other people have been documented to increase feelings of self-confidence. The increase in self-esteem helps you recognize that you are worth caring for and this allows you to prioritize self-care. Putting yourself first makes you a better person, which also helps you be a better partner
Best Cuddling Positions When You’re Seated
Cuddling in a reclined position can get pretty intimate, and sometimes you want to hold and be held but aren’t quite ready for that step yet. Cuddling can be done in a seated position that allows either of you to subtly move away from it if the need arose.
Hold hands as you lean against each other, and voila! You’re in an innocent, but intimate cuddle. It’s an easy way to offer comfort and companionship. Simple adjustments can add more physical contact if you want, like scooting closer so you’re touching from shoulder to hand, or leaning your head on your partner’s shoulder. Do what makes both of you feel good.
We know this sounds like another name for a makeout session, but it’s really not. Sit side by side with your partner and look at each other. You can put your hand on their leg or wrap an arm around their shoulders. Another variation is to sit facing each other with your legs on the side of each other’s hips, making it more intimate, but still allowing for the space you may want.
3Head on Lap
This romantic position is seen so often. While one of you remains seated on the floor or the couch, the other lays down and rests their head on the lap. This allows the seated partner to play with the other’s hair or stroke their face. It’s the perfect position for those at-home movie dates. It puts the partner that is laying down in a more vulnerable position, displaying their trust. It’s a nice middle ground cuddle to holding hands and face-hugging.
This cuddle just calls for you to lay your legs over your partner’s lap. It shows that there is a deeper level of comfort and vulnerability present in your relationship. This position is usually one you fall into when you’re extremely cozy with your cuddle buddy.
This position offers both you and your partner support. As either of you lean against a headboard, chair arm, wall (or any upright surface, really) with legs set apart, the other can sit in front and lean back. This allows the receiving partner to feel supported, wanted, and protected. Likewise, it offers the giving partner confidence and pride in being able to offer comfort.
Best Cuddling Positions When You’re Lying Down
When you’re laying in bed with a partner, it can be comforting to be held. There are many different options and orientations available. So lay down with your partner, relax, and get to cuddling.
Probably the most popular cuddling position. Both partners lie on their sides facing the same direction. The big spoon secures the little spoon’s back against their stomach as their arms wrap around them. It offers both full bodily contact and security. Make sure to take turns being the little spoon and the big spoon because each position serves its own purpose in how it affects you mentally.
2Spoons in a Drawer
If the only aversion you and your partner have to spooning is having to lay on your sides, this position is one to try. The big spoon lies flat on their back as the little one lies face down on top of the big spoon, resting their head on the other’s stomach. Whether you get your arms and legs involved is entirely up to you. Opposite to the big spoon in the traditional spooning position, the little spoon offers more comfort here. The little spoon’s body weight can be comforting for the partner that acts as the big spoon. Just be sure to avoid applying pressure on and with the bonier body parts.
If full-on spooning has you feeling hot and heavy in the worst way, maybe the half-spoon is better suited to you. One of the partners lies on their back, with one arm out and ready to cradle their partner’s head. The other lies on their side and nestles their head into the crook of the open arm, laying their own arm over their partner’s chest. This position allows for forehead kisses. This is perfect for partners who may have different sleeping patterns but still want to cuddle as you doze off. While the other one falls into a cozy slumber, the other can lay back and scroll away on their phones until they feel tired.
If you love spooning but feel like you need a bit more entanglement, sporking will bridge that gap. In the classic spooning position, wrap your legs around each other. Figuring out the comfortable angles for your legs can take a bit of trial and error, but when you find it, the added physical contact can increase the feeling of closeness with your partner.
5Ball and Spoon
Sometimes one of you needs a little bit more support and reassurance. In the ball and spoon cuddle, you can give and get exactly that. The more vulnerable partner can curl up in a ball as the other takes a position as the big spoon with their legs stretched out. If either of you naturally sleeps in the fetal position, then this might be more comfortable than a traditional spooning position. On especially difficult days, when you aren’t really ready to talk yet, this will allow the provision of security without being overwhelming.
The sweetheart cradle is a pretty similar position to half-spooning, but instead of resting your head on your partner’s bicep, you rest it on their chest. It’s a very nurturing position and creates feelings of trust and well-being. It allows you to fall asleep to the steady heartbeat of your partner, and that can be extremely soothing.
When you’re in a new relationship, you often cannot get enough of each other, it’s no surprise that your cuddling can be a bit extreme too. You want to be so close that even in sleep you can’t help but intertwine your bodies. In the honeymoon hug, you and your partner lay facing each other with limbs interlocked or wrapped around the other. You wake up in a position so close to each other that you can smell the morning breath, but neither of you cares because you’re crazy for each other.
Sometimes all you want is physical touch, but a full-body cuddle can be a little too warm for you to fall asleep to. Leg hugs offer you this comfort. You and your partner stay on your own sides of the bed, but let your legs meet in the middle. Whether they overlap only at the ankle, or their thigh rests over yours, it’s the connection that matters. During the warmer nights, or when you’re both holding a grudge but still want to be physically connected, this is the move.
Whether you’re avoiding close contact, feeling submissive, or just looking for a cushier place to rest your head, the butt pillow position is a treat. It’s not usually a position you and your partner can sleep through the night in, but that doesn’t mean it’s not great for a nap. It’s a pretty playful position, and if you enjoy their booty, resting your head on their tush lets you turn and drop a nibble or two.
Think of it like 69, but wholesome. As you lay with your heads on opposite ends of each other, you can pillow your heads on each other’s legs and face one another. This allows a flow of giving and receiving in equal parts for each partner. It’s an excellent position to increase intimacy and reconnection with each other.
Tips to Improve Your Cuddles
Everything good can always be better. Cuddles are no exception. A little adjustment here and there can allow for better and longer snuggle sessions with your partner. Here a few tweaks you can make.
1Match your breathing.
Sync up your breathing so that you’re not inhaling as they’re exhaling. Sometimes this just happens naturally, but sometimes you’ll have to consciously match up your breathing. Take this opportunity to feel closer to your partner. This might help you be a little less conscious about morning breath and stay in a cuddle longer in the morning.
2Maximize the opportunity to touch.
Some of the best cuddling positions leave a hand free to roam. If you’re both awake, you can use that free hand to massage, rub or lightly rake your fingers over the parts of their body that are within your reach.
3Have an abundance of pillows.
Use pillows to make sure you’re both comfortable. A pillow between the legs, under your head, and wherever else you need it. Usually, partners will need a break during cuddling to adjust because of soreness or numbness. Incorporating pillows into your favorite cuddling positions help prevent discomfort.
4Keep the cuddling room cool.
Cuddling can get hot and sweaty after extended periods of time. Keeping your room cool allows for longer and more comfortable cuddles.
Cuddling puts you in extremely close contact with your partner for extended periods of time, so make sure you smell good! Smells are some of the strongest emotional triggers, and if you like to cuddle as foreplay, a sexy scent will help get you and your partner in the mood.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cuddling can seem pretty straightforward, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have questions. We’ve got a few answers to a couple of your inquiries, so let’s get to it.
1Does cuddling always lead to sex?
Only if you and your partner want to! Cuddling may seem like a precursor to sex, but some people simply like the comfort of it and like falling asleep in a cuddle. However, when extremely comfortable, it can lead to sexual activities. Penetrative sex in this position isn’t always on the table because you’re both tired, but toys and fingers can help make the best cuddling positions even better.
2I want to be the little spoon, but they look so comfy in my arms. What do I do?
Ask them to switch positions when you’re spooning! We get that they look so cute in your embrace, but you deserve that comfort too. We’re sure that they would love to see you feeling snuggly and safe in their arms, just as much as you enjoy seeing them in that position. Different positions in the cuddle offer different things, so it’s really no shocker that you’ll want to swap places every now and then. Communicate your needs so that you both get what you need from the cuddle.
3As much as I love cuddling, I can’t sleep through the night. Is it okay to uncuddle?
A lot of people can’t sleep through the night in a cuddle, so you’re not alone. Adjust your arms and limbs to find a position you can sustain – though there’s a chance that still won’t get you through an entire night. Instead of stealthily disengaging in the middle of the night, just tell your partner that it’s uncomfortable for you. Pushing them away while they’re sleeping may cause them to think that you’re rejecting them, and not just the cuddling. If your partner insists on physical contact during the entire sleep cycle, check out the positions we’ve cited above, you’re sure to find the best cuddling position for you.
4Is it still a cuddle if we kiss?
If you’re seeking comfort in each other, then yes. There’s no right or wrong way to cuddle, and you shouldn’t feel the need to stunt your impulses just to stay within a definition. The cuddling activity is meant to fulfill your need for affection through touch. So if a simple snuggle is all you need or a calming massage, or in this case, kisses, then yes, you can still call it cuddling.
5Why do none of the positions you recommended work for me?
It’s because you are an individual who may have different needs. Whether you just can’t get comfy in the positions we recommended, or you simply don’t like being in positions that intimate, it’s totally fine. We can make suggestions on how to improve your cuddling life, but ultimately, you have to do what’s best for you.
The best cuddling positions are the ones you and your partner enjoy. Much like anything else involving two people, it’ll take a couple of tries to find the perfect position for both of you. The bright side is that you’re figuring it out together. Whether it’s cuddling positions to binge-watch your favorite series in or to fall asleep to, cuddling can make those activities even more enjoyable.