Snuggling…it’s one of those things you sometimes take for granted- whether with your children , grandchildren, pets or partner.
As i have begun a new relationship recently it has brought to mind the absolute benefits of snuggling. In fact, if i had to put my finger on one thing i missed most while being single it would be cuddle time with worthy partner. Fortunately , after years of going without this vital form of therapy, i now have (at last!) someone who knows how to do it right!
For me, it’s not just the show of affection, nor is it the expression of love. It’s the security and comfort felt when you slide right into someones arms like a well fitting glove and remain embraced until both of you are calmer , happier and more connected. And there is a right way and a wrong way to participate( these mostly apply to intimate partners and not so much pets).
- make sure your partner of choice actually wants to be held or embraced. There are times when it is uncomfortable or inappropriate. Gently suggest or ask if it would help first
- make sure you not wet/damp with sweat and grime( like immediately after gardening or working on a car in hot weather. This can be a huge turn off for many. Take a shower or at least a quick hygiene clean up.
- be aware of cues that someone is ready to stop- it may be due to pain, stiffness to even a hot flash!
- ask before you touch sensitive areas( hair,belly buttons, breast, buttocks,lovetc) .If you aren’t sure just say “are there any areas off limits?” Some of us have phobias.
- hold too tightly- this is definitely uncomfortable and can ruin an otherwise great therapy session
- try to make sexual moves during snuggling- not usually the time.
- have bad breath , dirty clothes , or smell like a brewery or smoke factory .
- fidget too much- it can turn relaxation onto frustration
I’m sure there are other suggestions as we are all individuals. And i realize not everyone enjoys this type of close, intimate contact. With small children we have to judge the appropriateness based on family preference, child comfort and timing- bedtime snuggles can go a long way with bonding while reading a bed time story or to calm a fussy toddler. For pets- they are either affectionate and wanting to be snuggly or they aren’t- use caution and do not ever force them.I know that should be common sense but you never know.
At any rate, i believe deeply in this close contact therapy for building relationships, repairing trust and restoring security in light of past emotional damage . It’s free, shows compassion and can be done on a regular basis without side effects and i truly think it can make the world a better place , especially during these trying times…