Sex involves two bodies being close to one another. Attached, even. But what we can sometimes forget is that two humans can be physically close to one another without sex as a necessity. Sensual touch does not always dictate sex to follow. Just as following sex we are not always obliged to hold each other. There are plenty of ways to express affection to a partner without crossing the line where sensuality becomes sexual.
We all know how to physically express affection. The lightest kiss and body contact is sometimes the sexiest way to silently communicate with a partner. While closeness prior to sex is praised and we are mindful of making demonstrative contact, once the deed’s been done, heavy handling isn’t always a given. Everyone knows how it goes after a great fuck. Depending on the nature of your relationship with your partner in crime, cuddling can be expected. But even then, for some, it is still not welcome.
Plenty of studies have taken place in an effort to identify the correlations between sex, love, and cuddling. While we often attribute the gushy love stuff to something we call “emotions,” there is legitimate biological groundwork that mandates a lot of our expression as a species. Common perception of heterosexual intimacy is that its women who are most aware of a continuation of sensuality and closeness following sex.
Science has attributed this trend to what’s been pegged the “cuddle hormone,” oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the mammalian brain, and oxytocin receptors exist across species and sexes. In human women, specifically those who have given birth, oxytocin is thought to be responsible for bonding between mother and infant, as it is released as an infant moves down the birth canal. Similarly, cervical or uterine stimulation during sex causes the release of this bonding booster, causing women to seek intimate touch following intercourse.
But its not just chicks who are looking for some affection following a roll in the hay. In a recent study published by WebMD Health News, experts suggest that it is men , more than women, who desire a post poke embrace. From a study including over 1,000 heterosexual couples that spanned across five countries, results suggested that in long-term relationships, men were more satisfied with cuddling as part of their sexual standard, while women were more concerned with sexual functioning.
Love it or hate it, cuddling is a component of sex and intimacy. While men are particularly notorious for being deterred by a post coital cuddle, they are just as guilty of their female counterparts of falling victim to hormones and, ultimately, emotions. While its probably not feasible to be restfully intertwined after every sex act, getting close to your partner should not be so chronically undervalued.