For this weekends sexperiment I would like to go back to the fundamentals of relationship and bonding by offering the idea that cuddling will build both emotional and physical benefits as well as develop healthy connection.
Cuddling releases oxytocin.
Oxytocin is a hormone that does everything from making you feel good to helping you feel connected to others. Oxytocin is crucial in the act of cuddling, as you’ll see from its benefits popping up in the list below.
Cuddling boosts your immune system.
When you’re so in love you feel invincible, you’re experiencing oxytocin release. This feel-good hormone makes you feel like nothing can hurt you—which is an amazing benefit! It also increases hormones that help fight infection. So, basically, you’re boosting your immune system because you’re feeling too good and healthy to get sick. The power of positive thinking—and feeling loved and secure—actually works!
Cuddling relieves pain.
Just as it boosts your immune system, cuddling and releasing oxytocin will decrease your pain levels. Whenever your neck hurts, what do you do? Rub it, right? Even simple touches like that release enough oxytocin to make you feel better, so imagine the effect cuddling has!
Cuddling helps deepen your relationships.
Communication is important in relationships, but people often forget how effective and meaningful touch can be. When your career is so stressful you come home and can’t stop thinking about the job, you’re taking a negative toll on your relationship. Instead, imagine coming home and cuddling with your partner for even ten minutes a day. This brief break from the stress of everyday life will not only give you all the other benefits listed here, but will also deepen your relationship. You’ll be taking time to focus solely on your partner and what you feel for them.
Cuddling can lead to more.
Even non-erotic touch can release dopamine, which is a hormone that increases sexual desire. Getting a sweet hug or massage from your partner after a long day can lead to more, which is win-win for both of you! Regular sexual activity will strengthen your relationship as well. Also, sex is a good stress reliever, and an easy way to get in some physical activity.
Cuddling helps women bond.
Have you heard the term “oxytocin” in relation to childbirth and breastfeeding? It’s because this chemical doesn’t just inspire good feelings between couples—it also works for women and their babies. Oxytocin helps relax the mother, so that breastfeeding may come more easily. It also enables sleep, even when the mother might have difficulty sleeping with a newborn in the house. This too translates to couples as well!
Cuddling reduces social anxiety.
Oxytocin inspires positive thinking. It helps you have an optimistic outlook on the world. Which means when you get a hug right as you arrive at the party where you only know one person, you’re going to feel happier and more social going in. You’ll feel like you can charm everyone at the party. And with oxytocin coursing through your system, you will!
Cuddling reduces stress.
It’s obvious by now, right? Oxytocin is an amazing natural hormone that has so many benefits for the human body. It’s only natural that all these positive effects are going to release stress, also. You’re feeling more connected with your partner, you’re feeling confident in social situations, your immune system is stronger—what do you have to be stressed about? You have a great, cuddle-filled, loving life. Enjoy it!
Cuddling lowers your risk of heart disease.
Yup—oxytocin again! All the benefits listed above add together to mean less stress, less anxiety, lower blood pressure and—you got it—a lower risk of heart disease! Because your heart is happier and not working as hard to combat the effects of stress and sickness, you’ll be healthier, longer.
Cuddling doesn’t have a definition.
Cuddling doesn’t have to be between you and your romantic partner. It doesn’t even have to be with another person—you can rub your own shoulders! You can also hug friends or play with your pets. If you don’t want to be social or don’t have a furry friend, never fear! You can take a warm bath or get a massage. Feeling warm and connected by some sort of touch is enough to release oxytocin into your system and get you feelin’ good!
Cuddling is not the most profound sexual experience; though it is the most fundamental. Enjoy the embrace!!
Ryan is a sex therapist in the twin cites area specializing in healthy sexuality and relationships. Please contact him at 952-261-5269 or healingsoulsllc.com.