10 Best Cuddle Positions for Any Relationship

Caucasian couple cuddling on couch hugging each other and smiling

Cuddling is one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have with another person. It’s not something unique to humans either. Animals enjoy cuddling too, for much the same reasons we do. And of course, cuddling with your fur baby is just as enjoyable as cuddling with another person. Finding comfortable cuddle positions with your significant other often comes naturally. But there are some cuddle positions that are better suited for certain situations. Read on to learn more about different cuddle positions and why cuddling is so important for your relationship.

The Benefits Of Cuddling

Cuddling feels good, there’s no doubt about that. But did you know that cuddling is also good for your health? When you cuddle with someone, your brain releases a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin is referred to as the “love hormone” because it increases bonding and intimacy with the person you’re cuddling with. Oxytocin is produced by both mothers and their children during breastfeeding. The hormone helps mothers bond with their babies. But the “love hormone” is not exclusive to mother/baby relationships. Even cuddling with your best friend produces oxytocin and increases your bond with them.

Cuddling Increases Sexual Satisfaction and Intimacy

Cuddling after intercourse can increase both sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction. According to one study, couples who engaged in post-coital snuggling, caressing, kissing, and affectionate touch reported more satisfaction in the bedroom and in their relationship. The study also found that the duration of the snuggle session was important. Longer periods of cuddling were linked to higher relationship satisfaction. While both men and women enjoy post-sex cuddle positions about equally, longer duration sessions were more important for women.

Cuddling Strengthens Your Immune System

When we’re in our favorite cuddle positions with our favorite person, our brain releases serotonin (the happy hormone) and oxytocin. Serotonin helps to strengthen the immune system to better fight off colds and viruses. Cuddling also puts us in a more relaxed and happy mood. It’s a natural stress reliever and since stress contributes to a weaker immune system, anything you can do to relieve stress helps you stay healthy.

couple lying in bed, woman stroking man's hair

Cuddling Relieves Stress and Anxiety

Cuddling and touching in the form of massage or stroking helps to relieve stress and anxiety. Physical touch increases the release of dopamine and serotonin in the body. These neurotransmitters regulate your mood and can increase your sense of wellbeing. When we’re in our favorite cuddle positions with our loved ones, the pathways to the pleasure centers in our brain light up. We associate physical touch with being a reward, or something that makes us happy. Cuddling with your loved ones increases your happiness and reduces stress and anxiety.

Cuddling Lowers Blood Pressure

Have high blood pressure? Cuddling has been linked to lower blood pressure. Hugging and hand holding for short periods of time can lower both diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Stress can raise your blood pressure temporarily by producing more stress hormones. Physical touch has a calming effect due to its ability to produce neurotransmitters that put us in a relaxing state. Your favorite cuddle positions may help improve your heart health.

Cuddling Conveys Emotions

Actions speak louder than words. The same can be said for cuddle positions. Touch is a human act that we use to communicate emotions such as gratitude, sympathy, and love. Sometimes a simple touch is all we need to know that we are cared for and loved. Cuddle positions with your partner shows your desire to be near them. When you’re unsure of what to say, a gentle touch, hug, kiss, or caress is all you need to do to show you care.

Cuddling Reduces Pain

The power of touch may even extend to reducing physical pain. Therapeutic touch is the practice of gently touching or placing your hands over another person's body. The practice of therapeutic touch believes that there is an energy source flowing from our bodies through our hands. It’s this energy source that, when directed towards someone in pain, can help to heal them. Intimate touching or cuddling with your partner may provide a healing benefit.

Affectionate young African American couple lovingly kissing while lying face to face in bed together in the morning

10 Best Cuddle Positions for Any Relationship

“The Cuddle Sutra: An Unabashed Celebration of the Ultimate Intimacy” written by Rob Grader, is an illustrated guidebook for 50 of the best cuddle positions for any relationship. Cuddling is an intimate act that can strengthen your relationship and improve your health in numerous ways. Below are some of the best cuddle positions from the cuddle sutra as well as some other beneficial cuddle positions you might want to try with your significant other.

1. The 68 ½

The 68 ½ is the 69-sex position tamer cousin. No, this cuddle position does not involve being naked (although you certainly well could be) or oral sex. But you and your partner will be relaxing in much the same position. Lie on the bed or a soft surface in a C-shape facing your partner. You will both be on opposite ends of one another, your feet in the direction of their head. Rest your heads on each other's thighs as you stare longingly back at one another. You can hold hands as you relax comfortably using your partner’s thigh as your pillow.

The 68 ½ is great for couples who are comfortable with one another. New couples might find the 68 ½ to be too intimate. But couples in long term relationships will find the position both playful and sweet. Cuddle positions that allow you to be intimate and playful can strengthen your bond and comfort level.

2. The 9:30

Cuddle positions come from all directions. The 9:30 involves you and your partner lying in the 9:30 position like on a clock. One partner will be lying on their back with their head on the pillow and their feet at the end of the bed. The other partner will lie across the bed horizontally. Their head will rest on their partner’s chest while their legs and feet lie horizontally on the bed. In the 9:30 position, the vertical lying partner can wrap their arms around their partner’s waist or shoulders. They can use one hand to stroke their partner’s hair or give them a neck massage. The horizontally lying partner can simply rest and enjoy the sound of their partner’s heartbeat and the feel of their arms around them.

Cuddle positions like the 9:30 are perfect for short- or long-term couples. It’s a cuddle position that’s meant to be comforting for the horizontally lying partner. Imagine having a long day at work and wanting nothing more than the embrace of your significant other. Some cuddle positions happen naturally when we seek comfort from another person. In the 9:30 position, you get your partner’s primary focus and attention. While you’re lying on their chest, they can’t do much besides embrace you lovingly.

couple lying in bed, the woman's head on the man's chest

3. Spooning

Spooning is one of the most popular and well-known cuddle positions in the world. Spooning involves one person taking on the role of “big spoon” while the other acts as the “little spoon.” To do it, lie with your partner on the bed on your sides. You should both be facing the same direction. Get as close to your partner as possible so that your bodies conform with one another. The “little spoon” will be on the inside, with their backside against their partner’s chest. The “big spoon” will be on the outside, wrapping their arms around their partner.

Spooning feels wonderful for both partners involved. It can feel protective and safe, especially for the little spoon. There’s nothing better than being close to your partner and feeling their warmth. Spooning also makes for a great beginner sex position.

Man sleeping and dreaming together in a deep sleep, an embrace in bed

4. The Main Squeeze

Imagine jumping into your partner’s arms and wrapping your legs around their waist. That’s what the main squeeze cuddle position looks like, but while lying in bed. You and your partner will be lying on your sides facing one another. Wrap your arms around your partner’s neck and your legs around their waist. Just as you would if you jumped in their arms while they were standing. Your partner can then wrap their arms around your waist and pull you close. Cuddle positions like the main squeeze aim to get you as close to your partner as possible. It’s an incredibly intimate position for both partners.

But it’s not one of the best cuddle positions for sleep. As the top partner, your leg will be beneath your partner’s weight. After a short time, your leg might become numb or “fall asleep” due to compression of nerves. So, save this position for waking hours when you’re simply looking to relax.

5. Seated Hug

Everyone needs a hug sometimes and the seated hug doesn’t disappoint. Sit next to your partner either on a couch, bench, or even on the floor. Reach one arm around their shoulders and the other around their chest. Your torso will be slightly turned towards them to pull them into your chest. From here, you can rest your head on their shoulder or top of their head (depending on your height differences). They can return the embrace or enjoy resting in your arms as you both stare off into the distance. The seated hug can be romantic or platonic. It’s one of the better cuddle positions for when you’re in public because it’s not inherently sexual. Hugs are generally acceptable forms of PDA (public display of affection). You hug your family members and friends as well as your significant other. The seated hug is a sweet, innocent cuddle position that can work for both short and long term couples.

6. Seated Back Hug

Every couple needs cuddle positions for when they’re lounging around the campfire with friends or sitting on the beach watching the sunset. The seated back hug is one of the most romantic cuddle positions for PDA. It’s intimate enough that you most likely wouldn’t do it with friends. But it’s still innocent enough to do in public settings. The seated back hug requires both partners to be sitting. One partner will be in front of the other sitting between their legs. The partner in the back will wrap their arms around the front partner in a comfortable embrace. As the front partner, you can place your hands on top of theirs. Or you can reach up and wrap your arms around the back of their neck. The seated back hug is perfect for couples in every stage of their relationship. It’s great for when you both are keen on enjoying a quiet moment in the arms of one another. You won’t be facing one another, so conversation should be limited. Instead, enjoy being close to each other as you gaze off into the distance.

lesbian couple cuddling and looking at a smartphone

7. The Leg Hug

Surprisingly, many cuddle positions are not the most comfortable for sleeping. Cuddle positions feel great when you’re relaxing. But sleeping is a whole different ball game. For many finicky sleepers, the idea of being neck-to-neck with their partner sounds suffocating. Many people need room to breathe when they sleep, which makes the leg hug an attractive position. The leg hug involves placing one leg over your partner’s leg while both of you sleep on your side of the bed. That’s it. You can sleep in whatever position you want (face up, belly, or side). It’s one of the best cuddle positions for couples who like their space but want to be touching. You’ll still feel intimate with one another without feeling suffocated. But you may have to rearrange your leg position from time to time. If too much pressure is put on the bottom partner’s leg, it could cause discomfort. Make sure both of you are comfortable before falling asleep doing the leg hug.

8. Butt Cheek to Butt Cheek

Like the leg hug, the butt cheek to butt cheek is one of the better cuddle positions for finicky sleepers. You and your partner will lie on your sides facing away from each other. But you’ll be close enough that your butts will touch. What’s so intimate about your butt cheeks touching? Butt cheek to butt cheek might sound silly, but it’s a perfectly normal sleeping position for couples. Often couples assume this position while asleep unintentionally. It’s an ideal position for when you need space but want to be touching some part of your partner. Having the comfort of your partner beside you is all you need for a good night's sleep. Even if all you can feel are their butt cheeks.

Black couple sleeping back to back

9. Face to Face

Cuddle positions are a great way to bond with your partner. They are also a good way to bring up difficult or emotional conversations. When we’re in a relaxed state, we’re more receptive to new ideas. You’re less likely to overreact to something your partner says when you’re both in a good mood. Face to face cuddling positions can be either seated or lying down. The idea is to be, well, face to face with your partner. If you’re in a seated position, move as close to your partner as possible. Sit yourself in between their legs and wrap your legs around their waist. Grab both their hands with your hands or wrap your arms around their neck. You can look your partner in the eye or rest your forehead against theirs. The face to face is a good position for having a conversation with your partner because you can maintain eye contact. You can also try the face-to-face cuddle positions while lying on your sides in bed. But this version may be better suited for when you both are trying to sleep.

10. The Half Spoon

Cuddle positions like the half spoon are great for relaxing before bedtime. One of you will lie on your back on the bed while the other partner will lie on their side. The partner on their side will rest their head on the other partner’s chest. Their top leg will be wrapped across their partner’s legs or lower torso. Both partners can embrace each other as you each talk about your day. The half spoon is a comforting cuddle position that most couples in long term relationships are familiar with. The partner lying on their back takes the role of the comforter. The spooning partner feels comforted by their partner’s embrace. It’s a sweet position that’s easy for many to fall asleep in. Thus, it makes for great pre-bedtime cuddling.

Loving millennial couple sleeping in bed in morning and hugging

The Takeaway

Cuddle positions are a perfect way to relax while bonding with your significant other. Every relationship benefits from cuddle positions that allow you to be close to your partner. Cuddling improves your health, lowers blood pressure, reduces depression, and increases feelings of love for your partner. What’s not love about cuddling? Favorite cuddle positions vary from couple to couple. Find your favorite cuddle positions and get to cuddling. You’ll improve your health and your relationship.

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