Is Your Cuddling Style a Physical Preference or Something Deeper?

26 10 2011

The other day, C – Murder and I were having a conversation about cuddling. No, not about how I feel about cuddling. Everyone pretty much knows that by now… I think. No, we were talking about the different cuddling styles and what they say about the men who use them.

I mean, let’s face it – most men have a cuddling preference, whether they admit it to their boys or not. For instance, I’ve dated guys who strictly implore the front to front cuddle. While others have liked the ever popular spoon position. And even with those folks who like to switch it up every once in a while – chances are if you sat down and thought about it, there’s one way they tend to use more than the others.

So why is this?

Is it simply a matter of preference for what portion of your mate’s body you’d like pressed against yours or is it something deeper? I tend to think that while we may believe it’s the former, it’s probably the latter (as is most things in life). But I could be wrong. For example, I dated this one guy who took the spooning position to another level. He not only would wrap his arms around me (tightly), but he liked to intertwine his legs, feet, and hands with mine as well.  We were so tightly wrapped together that if someone were to look at us in this position, there couldn’t possibly have been any part of our bodies not joined together.

At the time, I thought that was special to me and to us. I mean, my feet were always cold and his were always warm, so that was kismet – right? (gag here…) BUT now when I think about it, chances are that was just his thing. He liked to intertwine – probably with all the ladies he was with. So it’s possible that was just his physical preference.

On the opposite end of that spectrum, there’s the lazy cuddler. Now, y‘all know I don’t go around cuddling with just anyone, so the lazy cuddler annoys me to no end. You know who he is. The guy who lays on his back, places you to his side, facing him with his arm outstretched and barely puts his hand on your shoulder.

What, sir?!?!

For all this we could just sleep on separate sides of the bed, buddy! I definitely don’t need or want your pity cuddle. Heck, I probably didn’t want to cuddle either. (Sorry for the rant.)

Anyway, between the lazy cuddler and the extra cuddler, we can see that men have some form of preferences. But we still haven’t solved whether it’s purely physical or indicative of their feelings for the person they’re cuddling. Cosmo says it’s the latter in their web article entitled “What His Cuddling Body Language Reveals.” Here are a few excerpts:

He pulls you onto his chest: While this dude may present himself as a tough guy, he’s really a big softie. “By bringing you close to his heart, he’s symbolically showing you that he’s attached,” explains communication expert Audrey Nelson, PhD, author of You Don’t Say. “Holding you against a masculine part of his body — his chest — is also his way of letting you know he can protect you.”


He spoons you: “He’s a really physical person who enjoys the feeling of your form against his, and he may have a high sex drive as well,” says Nelson. “But while he truly enjoys the contact of cuddling, he might not be as comfortable expressing himself emotionally.” Expect him to show you his affection with his gestures and actions, rather than with words…

They continue to go through some of the more popular styles, analyzing what each one means through their series on body language. And a large part of me thinks they may be on to something here. Could it be that the spooner holds you so tight because he wants to express his feelings, but can’t? Or that the front to front cuddler (ie your head on his chest) is showing you his softer side while still trying to protect you? And it’s all happening unconsciously?

Maybe. Maybe not. What do you all think? Does a man’s cuddling preferences say more about him than even he realizes? And how come when I searched for input into this concept, Cosmo was one of the few places I saw admit that men like to cuddle? If you look at, they’d make you believe it was just the women, but I know for a fact that’s not true. Every guy I’ve ever slept with was a cuddler – whether I wanted to or not.




4 responses

30 06 2012
Alejandro Ripol

I believe you may have misunderstood the Cosmo article and the talk about the subconscious meaning of cuddling behavior.

You say: “But we still haven’t solved whether it’s purely physical or indicative of their feelings for the person they’re cuddling.”

That’s a really oversimplified dichotomy right there. The talk about preference is as well. Basically, why would the deeper, unconscious meaning have to be the affection for one’s partner, but the internal machinations – life, experience, emotions, personality, etc. – of men don’t count as subconscious? They’re just physical preference?

Your own article seems to support the idea that there is a subconscious meaning that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the partner. If you know a man has a certain style of his own that he uses on all the women he dates, how is there nothing subconscious to that?

It seems odd that you focus on physical preference or physical something or other when cuddling behavior isn’t motivated by a particular woman for a man. Why? It seems like it’s your idea and nothing in the materials you bring up spell it out the way you do. Where is the pure physical preference part of your entry coming from? I’m just curious.

2 07 2012

Hi there! Thanks for commenting.

If you notice, I stated that we hadn’t solved the physical vs emotional debate over cuddling BEFORE I quoted Cosmo. Therefore, I was using their article as a way to possibly settle the question. I think that cuddling tends to be a deeper thing than most people realize, whether that has more to do with the guy or with the person he’s cuddling or not. You’ll see I said, “I tend to think that while we may believe it’s the former, it’s probably the latter (as is most things in life). But I could be wrong.” early on in the blog post…

To be clear, this post was not one with a definitive position. It was written to spark discussion and despite not doing so on the blog until this weekend, it did over text/facebook when I first posted it.

So thanks for adding your two cents into the conversation! Feel free to peruse the rest of the posts and comment there as well.

13 11 2012
Season of Change… « Through Cougar Eyes

[…] On a side note,  here’s something I found interesting about cuddling. […]

25 01 2015

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