Plus why you shouldn't worry if you don't cuddle much.
Cuddling with a hookup can sometimes feel like a bad idea. If this is someone you’re casually seeing or hoping to keep at an emotional distance, you might be hesitant to do it. But what does cuddling after sex mean, really? Does it mean your relationship with this person is emotionally intimate and maybe even a little codependent? Cuddling after sex means more time spent together, more physical contact, more pillow talk, and (potentially) more emotional involvement or even commitment. Cuddling is personal. It's no wonder most people argue that cuddling with someone other than your partner is a form of cheating.
But regardless of anyone who is against cuddling, it can be a great thing. It’s often best reserved for relationships that are more clearly defined than a casual hookup or ones that seem like they're heading in that direction. But if you and your casual hookup are DTC (down to cuddle) after sex, that’s fine, too! It’s your sex life, and you make the rules.
Frankly, there are plenty of reasons to cuddle with someone, particularly if you battle with depression or anxiety. Cuddling triggers two chemical reactions in your body that may improve your mood and strengthen your interpersonal relationships. The first is your brain's release of oxytocin — the feel-good hormone, which enhances your empathetic behaviors — and dopamine — the pleasure hormone. The second is the consequent reduction of cortisol — the stress hormone. Basically, cuddling makes you happier, if only temporarily, which is reason enough to get up close and personal. And as for what cuddling means for guys and girls, rest assured that it’s pretty much the same for anyone. We all have these chemicals in our brains.
According to body language expert Yana German, cuddling is good for your relationship, too. Here's what it means if you and your partner cuddle regularly after sex and how.
Yana German, body language expert