You see mothers do this with their newborn(s), you see it every time someone is upset and in the arms of their lover, you even see your pet(s) do it too. What you see is cuddling.
Activities to do as couples vary, but when alone together, one of the best activities to do is to cuddle.
Cuddling is a mostly innocent activity that couples can do together to form intimacy. I say “mostly” because it can lead to other non-innocent activities. When the cuddling session is innocent, it can also be an experience that is more intimate than sex.
Note: The information below is not an in-depth analysis, and is purely based on experience alone.
By examining what happens when confronted with the five senses, such as taste, sight, touch, smell, and sound, as well as how one may feel mentally, emotionally, and physically in comparison, it is easier to spot the difference on what experience is more intimate and why that is.
Keep in mind that to create intimacy, there needs to be a vulnerability and a willingness to trust your partner.
Remember that consent is needed for both activities to occur. If the other person says “No”, you must listen to them. Never force someone to do something they don’t want to do, especially when sex is involved.
A sexually charged kiss may make your heart flutter with excitement, almost as if fireworks are going off in the distance. The kiss can be anywhere, from the lips to the body. However, if you are in an open relationship with the person you are dating, this experience may have less intimacy attached to it, though it still may feel just as good.
During sex, there may be less eye contact and therefore less intimacy. The focus of attention is usually on the naked body more, making intimacy harder to experience. Even if there is eye contact, it may not be prolonged.
Skin to skin contact during sex is the most intimate way to connect sexually with someone as you give your body to another person to explore.
This is one of the least ways to sexually connect with your partner, simply because in order to smell, you must breathe. You may not like the smell of your partner, maybe due to the smell of sweat that is more overpowering than their natural scent, which you would notice more if you weren’t heating things up in the bedroom.
Hearing your partner’s breathing as they get turned on may make you feel just as turned on. However, be careful to distinguish when it is genuine and when it is forced as this can be a sign that they may be only pleasing you, and the pleasure should be going both ways to create intimacy.
Kissing while cuddling doesn’t necessarily need to be on the lips or on the body, like in the act of sex, but in places such as the forehead and the general area of the face which may make both of you feel more loved.
Without sex, the focus is on the person you are cuddling with, not their body. Eye contact is the main focus of attention unless both of you fall asleep while cuddling, which happens.
Being in the arms of a lover is more intimate than sex. The reason for this is that cuddling does not require any performance. Quite the opposite, cuddling requires being emotionally available to another person while lying still.
If you are scared of intimacy, cuddling is the most innocent activity you can do together.
If your partner is wearing perfume or cologne, you may notice this more, and it may make you feel more attracted to them, as well as smelling their natural scent.
Hearing the sound of your partner breathing in and out peacefully gives you the sense of safety and security that you may be longing for, which you may not have noticed when their breathing was heavy with lust for you.
Now that the five senses have been compared when in the act of sex and cuddling, let’s take a look into how you might be feeling overall when involved in these two very different situations.
During sex you are turned on, so your thoughts are based on how attractive you find the other person. You may also not be aware of what is going on around you as much.
When cuddling, thoughts of the other person lying beside you enter your mind. You may be thinking about how much you love them, how they are feeling or what you want to do later, etc. Thoughts of what is going on around you may invade your mind more too.
Feeling emotional during sex is common, especially for women. You are making love with someone, and that is a beautiful sight to behold, which can make you feel vulnerable as well as excited to feel so much pleasure all at once.
Feeling emotional while cuddling is even more of an emotional experience because you are not only feeling loved, but you are being held by someone.
While in the act of sex or cuddling, physically you feel the other person near you, and depending on how vulnerable you allow yourself to be, it can a good or bad experience.
If your body is tense, you may find yourself trying to find a way out to protect yourself. This is your body’s way of protecting you emotionally. If your body is relaxed, you may want to find a way to keep on enjoying what is happening.
Sex and cuddling are two activities for couples to do together, but cuddling may have more of an impact for allowing intimacy to grow.
That is why cuddling is an easy date idea, especially as the five senses and how one feels mentally, emotionally, and physically all combine into that experience.
By sharing consent, vulnerability, and trust with each other, cuddling can easily surpass sex in the level of intimacy shared.