Naked Cuddling

You know how people have “staples” in their diet?  Well, I have recently re-learned the benefits of what I highly, highly recommend as a daily staple in your relationship:  naked cuddling.

First, although it may sound self-explanatory, allow me to elaborate on what daily naked cuddling is.  It is literally getting fully naked with you partner and then lying down in a comfortable place together.  Generally, my primary partner and I do it in bed, although it can be done on a couch, or on a blanket outdoors, or anywhere else you have the inclination and imagination to do it.  And then cuddle.  You can spoon, lie your head on each others chests, lightly touch or massage each other, or lie side by side…it doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as there is skin to skin contact and you both are enjoying it.  And I recommend doing this for a minimum of fifteen to twenty minutes at a time.

I sometimes joke with my partner that we need to get our daily quota of naked cuddling, making it mandatory in our relationship.  And, although I make light of it, I am not actually joking about my desire to do it daily.  Most of the time we do meet that goal.  Sometimes we do it more than once a day.  (And by “do it”, I do not mean have sex, although sometimes we do that more than once a day, too 😉 )

I also, as you may know, advise couples to have frequent S.E.X., although that is not the focus of this blog.  By the way, we have a term for S.E.X. in this paradigm, too- it’s extreme naked cuddling.  Extreme naked cuddling also satisfies the daily requirement for naked cuddling, and can be lots more fun.  You may have noticed!

However, that is one of the beautiful things about naked cuddling.  It makes it a lot more “normal” for  couples to touch each other whether or not they end up having S.E.X. in that process.  There are many couples I’ve worked with who barely touch each other, never mind have S.E.X. often.  One of the reasons for this is that the person with the lower sex drive in the relationship is fearful of initiating touch lest that gesture be interpreted as an invitation for S.E.X.  And then not touching each other leads to feeling less connected, which then leads to continued absence of touch, and it becomes an unhealthy, opposite-of-fun cycle.

With naked cuddling, that whole conflict ceases to exist.  In fact, one of the biggest reasons to adopt naked cuddling as a regular practice in your relationship is that the skin to skin contact involved literally causes endorphins and oxytocin to be released.    These feel-good hormones trigger the “pleasure center” in your brain, create a feeling of intimacy and relaxation, and also ward off anxiety and depression.  Show me an addictive drug that does all that, plus has no negative side effects and is even free and legal!

Of course, you will get an even bigger surge of these hormones if you do end up having S.E.X. and experience an orgasm or seven :).  And, naked cuddling can give you the same effects in a lower dose.

Lest my single readers out there be in despair while reading all this, there are ways for you to get these benefits too!  One is: invite your platonic friends to do naked cuddling with you.  There is nothing wrong with it!  I have a friend who used to do that regularly with her friends after her divorce, as she knew herself well enough to know (and I would say we all fall into this category) that she could not thrive without enough skin to skin touch in her life.  The other way is of course your old friend self-pleasuring.  You will not get all of the benefits that way, and you will still get some of them!

So there you have it.  My suggested New Year’s resolution for you, if you will:  more naked cuddling!  Now get out there and have some of that good stuff for yourself!

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