Did you know cuddling is beneficial for your mental health? This type of touch releases an abundance of the “love hormone,” also known as oxytocin. It can improve sleep, reduce anxiety and stress, and even help relieve pain. It also draws couples closer together by increasing intimacy, and who doesn’t need more of that? Here’s what your favorite cuddling position says about your relationship.
- The half-spoon In this position, one partner is flat on their back and the other partner is on their side. The partner on their back wraps one arm under the other person’s head and the person on their side lays their head on the other’s chest. It’s an intimate position because the person on their side can hear their partner’s heartbeat. They feel safe and protected. The person on their back feels the warmth of body heat and is usually the partner that acts as the protector in the relationship.
- Spooning This traditional cuddle position works in two ways. You can be the big spoon or the little spoon. As the big spoon, you wrap your body around your partner, chest to back. As the little spoon, your partner is behind you. Both options can be enjoyable and suggest closeness. If your male partner is behind you, it also shows that you have impeccable trust in him because if you’re both naked, he could easily start something with very little effort (and this is an amazing position for transitioning into sex). If you’re the big spoon, it puts you in a more controlled position. Both options involve a lot of skin-on-skin contact, so they’re very intimate cuddles.
- The butt-touch cuddle This is the type of cuddle that is common in relationships that have lasted past the honeymoon phase. You still want to be in touch with your partner, you still want to feel the heat of their body against yours, but you’re more independent and don’t need to cling to each other. It often takes place after an initial before sleep cuddle of a different kind, like spooning, but it gives you more space to sleep peacefully.
- Intertwined facing cuddles This is possibly the most intimate of all cuddles. The two of you are facing each other, skin against skin, and completely in each other’s space. Arms are wrapped around each other and legs are entwined. One partner might rest their head against the other’s shoulder or you might be face to chest. If you cuddle in this position, it means as a couple; you are completely enmeshed and there’s a high degree of interdependence. You spend a lot of time together, talk about your feelings, and feel completely free to be vulnerable with each other.
- The baby girl cuddle You know how parents will lay on the bed with their child laying directly on their chest? It’s like that. One partner – usually the physically bigger of the two – lies on their back and the other partner finds a comfortable spot right on the other’s chest. It’s great for giving back and tushie rubs. It’s incredibly comforting for the partner on top. Often couples who use this position for cuddling have a dominant/submissive relationship. The partner on the bottom is the dominant partner and takes their role as protector very seriously.
- Non-sleeping cuddles Cuddles are not just for bedtime. You can cuddle in public, on the couch, or on a chair. When you’re watching movies, you snuggle into the crook of your partner’s arm. They might drape their arm around you, run their fingers through your hair, or caress your arm. You can hold hands while you cuddle too. If you cuddle in a chair, one partner can drape their legs over the edge of the arm of the chair and rest their head on their partner’s chest. Lounge chairs are great for casual cuddles. One partner sits with their back against the chair, legs open. The other partner sits between the other’s legs and leans back. This is a great cuddle position for neck kisses, full-body hugs, and just a simple end-of-the-day chat. You can even cuddle as you walk down the street, arms around shoulders, hips bumping.
Cuddling can take all sorts of forms and how you choose to cuddle with your partner can say a lot about you. Ultimately, a good cuddle contributes to a strong relationship. Touching, holding hands, hugging, and cuddling all increase intimacy. They build on the bond that the two of you have.