Now, more than likely, you’re going to be surprised by this.
A study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior says that men care more about cuddling than having sex. (Well, sort of. )
Wow, that’s a big claim, considering how important sex is to most men, and how much time men spend trying to get laid.
But I think the point we really need to focus on here is that men have a need for nonsexual touch. So, of course, do women.
Regardless of whether or not men really want a cuddle more than an orgasm, the truth is we all need nonsexual touch.
But the interesting thing is that apparently men require three times more touching than women to create the same amount of dopamine. As you might know, dopamine is a hormone linked to feeling good, feeling connected, feeling bonded to your partner.
I guess it’s not too surprising to hear this. Women are programmed genetically to be social creatures who want touch. Maybe that’s because of their role in child rearing and the importance of comforting children by holding them close.
And I guess when you think that within every grown man there’s a little boy who still wants to be cuddled and held, then it’s no wonder that men apparently feel that cuddling, caressing, kissing and tenderly holding each other contributes hugely to their relationship happiness. Apparently, in fact, they need cuddles more than women! (Maybe.)
So before we get onto the sexual things that you can do for your man, here are some tips to help him bond with you and get the comfort of nonsexual touch:
1 Make sure that you give him regular full body embraces.
Don’t just focus on the “A frame” hug where the bottom of your bodies are not in contact. Don’t just give him a quick pat on his back or shoulder. Give him some really close contact – a “bear hug” where you’re pressing right up against his body – either from the front or the back.
Bottom line: don’t hold back – make sure that you’re cuddling your man in a way he’ll remember forever.
2 Find out by trial and error what touch your man particularly likes.
There’s bound to be some particular stroking or kind of touch which is especially important to him. Maybe he likes his arms being lightly stroked.
Maybe he wants your fingers rubbing gently across his scalp as you pass them through his hair.
In fact, whatever touch he received when he was a little boy to soothe him is something now programmed into his nervous system. If you can find out what it is and repeat that kind of touch, you’re going to be taking the fast train to a close connection with him. And he’s gonna love you for it!
Now we know how much you love kissing: at least, you probably love it. (After all, most women say it’s the most romantic thing a man can do – to kiss passionately and tenderly.)
But did you know that a really passionate lingering 15 second (or more) kiss is going to really make your man feel wanted and loved?
We All Need Touch
You see, touch is a basic requirement for our physical and mental health. Right from the day we are born, touch is essential for us to thrive. (You might have heard of the famous – or infamous – experiments conducted by Harlow on young monkeys. Long story short, deprived of touch, they died. The same is true of human babies.)
But anyway, apart from this deep need to be touched, maintaining physical connection with each other isn’t just emotionally healthy. It can also maintain a mutual connection which reinforces your relationship.
And so the importance of touch goes well beyond being sexual. Just holding hands when you’re sitting on the sofa together can create a sense of connectedness and a relaxed comfort with each other.
Indeed, scientists have demonstrated that there are some nerve endings called C-tactile fibres which actually make you feel calm and happy when they are stroked slowly and gently. They are found over the arms legs back and forehead – which might just be the favourite places you like to be touched. No coincidence.
Also, touching releases oxytocin – and that’s another bonding hormone. (By the way, women respond very powerfully to touch by producing lots of oxytocin. And oxytocin is a hormone which produces stronger orgasms. That’s why so much touch during foreplay can really increase the power of your orgasm.)
And, as it happens, cuddling and staring into each other’s eyes also increases the amount of oxytocin your body produces. Again, this results in a stronger sense of connection and more powerful orgasms.
But well beyond this, the benefits of touching are quite extraordinary.
If you ever wondered why touching your partner, or being touched by your partner, makes you feel good – well, it turns out there’s more to it than the effects of oxytocin and dopamine!
That’s because nonsexual touching can lower your blood blood pressure and decrease your cortisol level (that’s the “stress hormone”). Nonsexual touching can strengthen your immune system, and it can help you live longer.
All this is extraordinary, but it proves how social we areas human beings.
So if you and your man are missing out on nonsexual touching, then you’re losing out on good emotional health, good physical health, and a better bond between the two of you.
And if there’s an assumption in your relationship that all touch has to lead to sex, and you’re having sexual problems, then you’re probably avoiding all touch….. which is sad, because that’s exactly what could help you reconnect with your partner.
There are good – and easy – ways to break that negative cycle and feel comfortable with each other’s touch. And when you can touch, you’ll also create a calm and relaxed environment within your relationship and within your own mind.
So please, find a way of touching each other in a nonsexual way! Kissing, hugs, stroking, and body massage are great ways to start reconnecting.