Intimacy in a relationship is built through many factors. It starts with the physical and emotional attraction which draws couples together then builds into a romantic relationship, filled with kissing, caressing and of course sex. There is one aspect of an activity that most couples do after sex, and even at times when sex is not part of the day that further builds their intimacy, and that is cuddling.
From the time we are born and placed in our mother’s arms, we feel the love associated with being close to another human being and wrapped in their warmth. When we are in a relationship there is no better feeling than having the one you love so deeply, wrapped in your arms, or vice versa, feeling their body against yours. There is much more to cuddling benefits than many people think, from both a relationship and a health benefits point of view.
Studies have found that engaging in after sex cuddling for at least 15 minutes has many positive effects on your body and relationship. If you have the ability to extend that 15 minutes into an extra 20 or 30, the benefits are further magnified and increased. The couple that snuggles together stays together and for that reason here are 7 benefits to being locked in each other’s arms.
Incredible Cuddling Benefits to a Relationship
Great for Your Sex Life
According to research out of the University of Toronto Mississauga, the first cuddling benefit is more satisfying sex. Those who make cuddling a mandatory ending to sex, report “higher levels of satisfaction with their sex lives.” It’s not just because there’s sex going on, but because taking the time for intimacy after the act reaffirms the emotional and sexual bond.
Develops a Happier Relationship
When we cuddle our bodies release the “feel good” hormone oxytocin. The longer we cuddle the more this hormone is released into our body not only makes us feel great but it also “it increases overall happiness,” says psychologist, Elizabeth Lombardo. While this builds intimacy in the relationship, the level of our happiness is a key factor in our health as well as satisfaction with our relationship.
Helps to Relieve Pain
The touch of another person can be all that is required to make things better. Again thinking back to when you were young, the minute anything hurt, your immediate response was to call your mom because it was her touch that was a cure-all. While nothing can outdo a mother’s touch, the oxytocin released during cuddling can actually ease pain in individuals. It’s a perfect combination of hormones and cuddles that can make a physical (or even emotional) ache bearable.
The release of oxytocin in our bodies when we cuddle is amplified when we cuddle after sex. Sex also releases other “feel good” hormones such as dopamine, when combined with cuddling allows for not only better affection but also allows us to communicate our affection without words, as a word can sometimes fail us. According to David Klow, a marriage and family therapist in Chicago, “Most people want to feel understood, and communication is the vehicle by which they transmit understanding and empathy.
Non-verbal communication can be a very powerful way to say to your partner, ‘I get you.’ Cuddling is a way of saying, ‘I know how you feel.’ It allows us to feel known by our partner in ways that words can’t convey.”
Boosts Your Immune System
How can cuddling help to boost our immune system? This again comes from oxytocin. If you have ever noticed, happy people get sick far fewer times throughout the year than others. The boost in oxytocin improves your mood and your ability to fight off sickness. Bottom line, cuddle more to say happy and healthy.
Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease
The cuddling benefits on heart disease contain many factors that contribute to heart disease – such as high blood pressure, stress, anxiety, and cuddling helps to reduce all of them.* The physical effects that a daily cuddle can have on your heart are amazing.
As Holistic Health Counselor, Jodi Geigle, says, “when it comes to health, cuddling is pretty much the new half marathon!” Spending some time every day holding the one you love will in effect give you more time with as you will both be protecting your hearts.
Leads to Round 2
We started these cuddling benefits off with a better sex life and we will also finish with another sex life benefit to cuddling, because the more you have sex, the more you will want to do it!
While you may have just come off of some mind-blowing sex, the dopamine that’s being released during your cuddle session, according to ob-Gyn Dr. Renee Horowitz, just increases that sexual desire again and again. While you may need time to rest, being close with your partner and cuddling instead of jumping out of bed right after, is just asking for another round of the good stuff. As we have shared, that good stuff is great for every inch of you.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.