If you’re a natural cuddler, it’s time to embrace your touchy-feely side and enjoy these rather interesting benefits of cuddling!
For most couples, nothing sounds better on a lazy Sunday than to Netflix and chill while spooning with their partner. For those who haven’t had the pleasure, spooning is a lovely act between two people that by definition refers to kissing and all-around cuddling.
What is spooning?
Human touch is very important to people both mentally and physically. And cuddling is a great way for people to express this need.
For the majority of people, spooning means a couple cuddling in the “back to stomach” position. In other words, two people lie facing the same direction, and one person’s back presses against the other person’s body.
Arms and legs can be in any position where they are comfortable. Some people put their arms around each other, and their legs can be stacked on top of each other or intertwined.
They call this spooning because it’s what spoons look like when they fit together. The person on the outside is the “big spoon” and the person inside is the “little spoon.” But when people do this, how tall someone is, their body shape, and their gender doesn’t matter. Anyone can be the big or little spoon. And some couples who sleep like this switch roles throughout the night.
As we already mentioned, there aren’t any rules about gender or size when it comes to spooning. Most would think that the taller person is the big spoon while the shorter person is the little spoon.
But it doesn’t really matter. Anyone can choose to spoon however they want and do whatever makes both people happy.
What’s the difference between spooning and cuddling?
While they are very similar because they are both a form of physical touch, there are some differences. You can cuddle with someone without spooning them. Therefore, spooning is a specific kind of cuddling.
Although most people think of spooning as a romantic and sexual type of touch, people can also do it platonically too. Friends who are emotionally bonded can spoon or cuddle with each other.
Why do some people like spooning?
Here’s a little history lesson about spooning. Back in the caveman days, humans didn’t have any actual clothes, so they slept naked. So, having a partner sleep next to you was a great way to keep warm and protect you from any predators.
Also, hugging and touching make your brain release oxytocin, which is the bonding and “feel-good” hormone in your body. It reduces stress, eases pain, and strengthens your immune system. Because of this, spooning helps you bond positively with your partners.
Some people love spooning because it makes them feel safe and loved. They think that when their partner spoons them, it means they care for them. In essence, they see it as a very loving gesture.
Why don’t some people like spooning?
While spooning makes some people feel safe and loved, not everyone feels that way about it. For some, it might make them feel trapped.
For example, if you’re the little spoon, you might feel like the big spoon has you in a “tight hold.” If you want to turn over because your back hurts, you will disturb your partner. So, they feel like they are frozen in the same position and are at the mercy of the big spoon.
For the big spoon, they might not like having to hold someone all night. Perhaps they get hot from the physical touch, or they just want the ability to move too, just like the little spoon. When you spoon with someone, you can’t really spread out and take up a lot of space in the bed.
Some people are just uncomfortable with touch of any kind at all. They don’t like hugging people or holding hands. It’s just a preference that some people have. It has nothing to do with not liking people, they just don’t like the physical sensation of touching.
5 ways to make spooning more intimate
Want to know why spooning is good for your health, or how to make your romantic cuddle even more awe-inducing? Whether you’re the big spoon or the little spoon, we’re looking at five ways to make spooning even more intimate with your lover.
1. Change up your positions
There is surprising variation when it comes to spooning positions. For example, you could sleep with your legs interlocked, you could sleep back to back, or in the classic “big spoon/little spoon” side by side.
You can cuddle face-to-face, cuddle side by side with the little spoon’s legs up, or you could be two spoons tussled in a drawer by having the big spoon lay on their back with the little spoon lying on their partner’s chest.
Much like with sex, different positions add different levels of intimacy with their partner.
2. Kissing while you cuddle
Kissing is one of the ultimate bonding experiences and can add intimacy to nearly any scenario when done right. This means no licking of the face or tongue down the throat.
Soft, passionate kissing adds intimacy to your cuddling, and who knows … may lead to a passionate end to the night. Figure out which position works best for your personal smooch sesh and get to it.
3. Breathe in unison
A study done by the University of California found couples in a relationship tend to synchronize their heart rates and breathing patterns when holed up in a snuggle-fest.
Furthermore, behavioral psychologist Robert Epstein found that couples who synchronized their breathing had a stronger bond of romance and intimacy. Holding one another’s bodies so close is the perfect time to practice breathing in sync!
4. Use cuddling as foreplay
Spooning often leads to boners, and boners often lead to sex … so why not use your cuddling time as excellent foreplay? Allow your hands to wander the little spoon’s body.
As the big spoon, touch your girlfriend *the little spoon* between her legs, and, ladies, use your bum to grind up against your man’s hard-on. Spooning is a great way to enjoy each other’s bodies on an emotionally and physically intimate level.
5. The spooning position for sex
Spooning is an amazing position for sex. First of all, it’s lazy—who doesn’t love that? Neither partner has a lot of work to do in the spooning position. Second, it’s really romantic. Third, as the male big spoon, your hands are entirely free to touch your lover’s breasts and clit while you go at it.
Spooning sex has a great relaxing factor of laying down, all while having the dirty back entry that usually comes with doggy style. An even bigger benefit? You’re both in the perfect position afterward to head off to sleep!
Health benefits of spooning
The intimate gesture of spooning is commonly enjoyed post-sex and can actually provide tons of health benefits. It’s way more than just a post-coital cuddle. Spooning has plenty of health benefits that should definitely put this couple’s pastime on your radar. Here are a couple of our favorites:
1. How to get closer with your mate
By spooning, of course! Many studies have been done about the scientific benefits of spooning. One study found couples who spoon rated higher relationship satisfaction than couples who didn’t. This also leads to better communication and overall happiness in relationships. What’s not to love?
2. Cuddling = less stress
Did you know that spooning releases oxytocin? It’s true! Oxytocin, sometimes called the love drug, is released during bonding experiences, such as during orgasm or in post-coital cuddles.
This beautiful hormone lowers stress, eases anxiety, and can even combat physical pain. Did we mention it also increases hormones that help boost your immune system? Yeah, it’s basically magic.
3. Spooning is good for your sleep
Sleep is linked to pretty much all healthy qualities of your body: brain function, mood, heart health, energy levels … You name it, sleep helps with it! This bodes well for snugglers since a study done by the University of Pittsburgh found that women who snuggled their partners to bed reported a better night’s sleep than single women participating in the study.
Couples participating in a similar spooning study reported a closer bond and a feeling of safety during slumber.
3 ways you’re spooning all wrong
Still not getting the hang of the up-close and cuddle? Spooning isn’t always easy, and there are plenty of ways your intimate gesture can turn into a crick in the neck—literally. Here are three ways you’re spooning all wrong, and what you can do about it.
1. Neck cramps
Here lies the most common spooning problem: the sore neck! Cuddling into the crook of your man’s arms feels like the most amazing bonding experience ever… for about five minutes! After that, your neck gets totally sore.
Not wanting to end the spooning session you soldier on, only to end up with a giant pain in your neck. The solution? Cuddle him with both of his arms lying flat so you can support your neck under a pillow, while still getting the chance to drape your arm and leg over him. Problem solved!
Whether you’re spooning your way to a good night’s sleep, or are just enveloped in one another’s arms during a Netflix binge, a hard-on is probably in your spooning future. Some women love it, some aren’t so thrilled.
For those who love the feeling of a rock-hard dick against their backside, party on and enjoy the ride! But those who don’t? Simply adjust so your bum isn’t hitting his groin, or switch positions so you’re lying on his chest instead of giving his member a chance to figuratively feel you up.
3. Getting crushed
Do you know what fails to make spooning more intimate with your partner? Getting crushed by your mate’s body weight in their failed attempt at cuddling!
Fix your crushing cuddling flop by readjusting your position so the little spoon’s back is straight against the big spoon’s stomach. Or, try having the female *or smaller mate* be the big spoon. This will protect your partner from feeling like a mashed potato underneath your cuddle and also does wonders for hurt necks!
How to get your partner to spoon you
If you are one of the people who see cuddling and spooning as a loving gesture, you probably want to know how you can get your partner to spoon you. Well, it’s easy to do if they are on the same page and think the same thing. As long as they like spooning, you won’t have to really try very hard.
However, if your partner doesn’t like spooning, then it will be more of a challenge. You might even take it personally if your partner doesn’t want to cuddle or spoon. It makes sense to you that everyone would love this kind of physical touch, so you don’t understand why they don’t.
First of all, don’t take their dislike of spooning personally. It’s nothing against you. But as we said earlier, some people just don’t like it for a variety of reasons.
Second, you need to talk to your partner and tell them how much you love physical touch. Tell them how it makes you feel loved and safe. Once they understand how passionately you feel about it, they will probably be more likely to engage in it with you.
However, keep their feelings in mind too. If they decide to spoon with you, be kind and don’t expect them to do it the whole night. Maybe they like their space or it is an uncomfortable position for them.
The bottom line is this – compromise. If you two are not on the same page about how much you like spooning, then you both will have to meet somewhere in the middle so you are both partially satisfied.