A Cuddle Therapist Explains the Best Cuddling Positions of All Time
Peace out social distancing, we're ready to hug again.
Is it just us or has the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic given us an entirely new appreciation for touch? Touch is a fundamental sense that humans use to heal, provide comfort, and security, so the lack of touch from our loved ones due to social distancing has made us long for touch and for some, experience touch starvation. When physical touch is limited, it can offset anxiety, depression, and stress. So not only does positive, consented touch feel good, but it's necessary for our well-being.
"When you think about a parent-child bond or two friends or romantic partners, a lot of how we connect and trust and collaborate are founded in touch," says Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley in a Time Magazine article.
Now with the world reopening and gatherings deemed safe again, we're holding onto our loved ones extra tight—and kissing, hugging, and cuddling have never felt so good. In fact, according to clinical psychologist, Dr. Kim Chronister M.D., cuddling is associated with oxytocin release. "Oxytocin is your brain's signal that it's safe to let down your guard," she tells HelloGiggles. "More oxytocin is stimulated by cuddling because your brain accepts vulnerability when you enjoy the safety of connecting."
If you're searching for new cuddle positions to try, Keeley a certified cuddle therapist at Cuddlist, a professional cuddling service that can connect you with trained cuddle therapist, says the best positions are the ones you create with your partner based on listening and consent.
To get some inspiration, keep reading for some seated and laying down cuddling positions you can try with the ones you love most as a way to deepen your relationship and bond.
Best sitting down cuddling positions:
Companioning is a seated position that you can tailor to how you and your partner feel most comfortable. The basis is sitting next to each other, but Keeley says you can choose to hold hands, rest your head on the other's shoulder, or put your leg on top of your partner's while sitting next to each other. It's all about whatever makes you both feel good.
2. Face hugging
If you want to get a bit more intimate, try face hugging. "It's a very comfortable sustainable hug position that cancels out some of the inequality of height differences," says Kassandra Brown, relationship coach, and certified cuddle therapist at Cuddlist.
3. Head on lap
Laying your head on someone's lap allows for them to play with your hair, which is arguably one of the best feelings in the world. It's a little less intrusive as face-hugging but more intimate than companioning.
4. Leg over
Sitting with your legs over your partner or friend shows a deeper level of comfort and vulnerability.
5. Lounge chair
The next time you're watching a movie with someone, cozy up and try the lounge chair position. Just make sure the person in the back is laying on something supportive, so you're both comfortable. This position creates a sense of security and protection.
Best laying down cuddling positions:
According to Dr. Chronister, face-to-face cuddling is typical at the beginning of a relationship. She says it's a good position to come back to (even if just for a few minutes) to share a moment of intimacy.
The half spoon is the perfect compromise when one partner is tired, but the other still wants to stay up on scrolling social media. It also allows for all of the forehead kisses and lets one person fall asleep while listening to the other's heartbeat.
3. Legs intertwined
On the days you need a little more snuggles, try resting your head on your partner's chest and wrapping your legs together to establish closeness. If you need some extra space, though (which is normal), you can also intertwine legs while sleeping on opposite sides of the bed. This way you both get some more room but remain connected.
Spooning is one of the best positions for falling asleep, says Brown. "There is a lot of full body contact and, once you sort out where the arms go, it's very relaxing," she says.
5. Yin Yang
This position is great for those who have established a deep connection and feel extremely comfortable with one another. It can be as platonic or romantic as you'd like. Brown says romantic couples can use this position as a sort of foreplay.
At the end of the day, the best cuddle positions are the ones you and your partner pick together. "The most important thing is that whatever touch a particular person is comfortable with is honored, validated, and they never feel like they are weird for wanting something," says Keeley. "Once that environment of trust and safety is established, a couple can explore countless positions based on what is most comfortable."