Post-copulatory physical affection. Or cuddling, if you want to use the layperson’s terms. You know….the physical intimacy stuff you do with someone before or after sex (and by sex I mean any type of sexual activity)? That’s what I’m talkin about here…
I’d say cuddling is pretty important. Determining someone’s cuddling skills is key considering this study found that you spend an average of 47 minutes cuddling with someone/per cuddle. If they are a sucky cuddler, that’s gonna be a painful 47 min.
We don’t really know how many people would define themselves as cuddlers and we don’t have any measures of what makes a good cuddler. Seems like a lot of trial and error here.
So cuddling serves 2 purposes: it’s nurturing (exchange of warm, close, and loving touches) but can also lead to sexual activity. We know that kissing and cuddling are predictors of sexual satisfaction for men and women.
These researchers asked 514 men and women about their most recent cuddling experience and their typical cuddling experiences. Turns out there are few gender differences and whether or not you are hetero doesn’t affect your cuddling patterns – we’re equal opportunist cuddlers, folks!
So people on average are cuddling for 47 minutes.
Average cuddle events/week: 4.5 nights/week and 3.3 mornings/week (that’s a lot of cuddling, no?!)
74% talk during cuddling (mostly about the day, what’s happening in their lives, etc)
Who is the Cuddle Initiator? 50/50 split – regardless of gender or sexual orientation
Cuddle Activities: spooning, touching, rubbing, kissing, massaging
Cuddling Location: bed or couch are the hot spots for cuddling
Cuddling –> sex: 50% of the time, cuddling is leading to sexual activity
Sex –> cuddling: 1/3 of people reported expecting cuddling to happen post-sex
Why cuddle? Increase intimacy and affection (gotta strengthen those pair-bonds!). Turns out people who cuddle frequently and report that they like to cuddle – they also report more frequent and more enjoyable sexual activity with a partner.
Feelings experience mid-cuddle: women more likely to report feelings of love but overall, we’re all reporting that we feel protected and nurtured and just generally awesome because of cuddling.
Now you may want to refresh yourself on the pros and cons of being Big Spoon vs Little Spoon to really step up your cuddling game.
Sidenote: Cuddling in a casual sex situation can be tricky…too much non-sexual intimate touching and you’ll get red carded for being too clingy. Which is kind-of a bit effed, don’t you think? You just got naked and thrusted with this person but now you can’t hug them because that’s too intimate? Weird weird weird.
But regardless if your cuddle partner is new or old, I think we could all use a little more cuddling in the world.
Listen here for the 5 min podcast on this topic