Cuddling and intimacy

Do you still cuddle with your spouse?

Cuddling and affectionate touching may lead to overall healthier sex lives and happier marriages, according to a new study by the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University of middle-aged couples in committed relationships.

And wait for it, wait for it … that cuddling is more important to men than to women. Equally as surprising, the women were more likely to report being happy in their marriage if their sex life was good.

Hooray! It’s evidence of two things I’ve been telling my husband for years:

Affection outside the bedroom leads to intimacy. Women like sex. No, really we do. It’s true. Those two things may seem obvious, but I’ve found that they often get forgotten when you’ve been in a marriage for years. At least for me, kids, hormones and the general insanity of motherhood get in the way of an active sex life, leading my husband to believe I don’t find him attractive or don’t enjoy intimacy. That’s just not the case.

And as for the cuddling, well, doesn’t everyone love a good snugglefest now and again? And nothing makes me happier then an unsolicited back rub or affectionate touch by my husband in a setting where I don’t think he’s just trying to get me into bed.

Although those two things are great on their own, this study also had a third finding that I love: Men and women were happier the longer they stayed together, and women who had been with their partner for more than 15 years noted an increase in sexual satisfaction.

So all you married folk out there working on spicing up your bedroom life, listen up.

Men, your cover is blown. Don’t be ashamed. Be the little spoon if you want. We won’t tell.

Women, don’t hold back. You might find that better intimacy leads to a happier marriage.

And to both of you, just remember it gets better with commitment time — and a helping of good, old-fashioned cuddling.

Erin Stewart is a regular blogger for Deseret News. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, Stewart discusses it all while her 4-year-old daughter crams Mr. Potato Head pieces in her little sister’s nose.

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