In the hookup culture that we live in, post-sex cuddling can often turn into an awkward and uncomfortable encounter. If you’re just sleeping with someone, no strings attached, should you cuddle after sex? Doesn’t cuddling imply some sort of emotional attachment? While it would seem that the act of getting naked and having sex would be much more intimidating than simply spooning, this isn’t always the case. Obviously, the best way to avoid this uncertainty is to ensure that you and your partner are both on the same page in regards to what you’re wanting out of your relationship. While unwanted snuggling can be awkward, it’s not nearly as bad as being scurried out after just giving yourself to someone intimately. Once your intentions have been established, it’s important to make sure that your cuddling doesn’t cross boundaries that can turn it into smothering.
Honestly, who can truly get a good night’s sleep with someone else literally breathing down your neck? Do you not overheat from having another person’s body attach onto your own?
Personally, I enjoy the occasional cuddling. It can feel comforting and reassuring, especially when a romantic connection is involved. However, when it comes to sleeping, I prefer to maintain my own space. My all-time favorite sleeping position is by far on my side. I feel like it gives me the opportunity to be the most flexible, as well as being the optimal positioning for temperature control (one leg out of the covers, one leg in, etc.). However, I’ve come to the realization that this position seems to appear as an invitation for spooning when laying in bed with someone else, especially post-sex. Originally, I figured the body language associated with this position was, “Ok, I’ve rolled over away from you now, don’t touch me.” Unfortunately, I have been proven wrong. Honestly, who can truly get a good night’s sleep with someone else literally breathing down your neck? Do you not overheat from having another person’s body attach onto your own? Especially in Isla Vista, where air conditioning is basically non-existent, how does anyone deal with the sweltering conditions that come with having someone lay basically all of their body weight on top of you? It’s a phenomenon that I can’t seem to figure out, along with handholding. I think holding hands when cuddling is sweet and romantic, but when you’re trying to pass out, it’s not exactly ideal. It’s rather restricting and uncomfortable. Having your fingers intertwined with anyone else’s while unconscious doesn’t seem pleasant, nor safe, especially if you roll around a lot like me. I completely understand wanting to show affection after hooking up, and I firmly believe that it helps to create and sustain a bond, but at the same time, a restful slumber is not something to be compromised.
Of course the feeling of waking up next to a loved one is beautiful and sensual, but no one looks good at 7 a.m.
Cuddling can also take a wrong turn the morning after; when you’ve just woken up groggy, unprepared and unattractive. Of course the feeling of waking up next to a loved one is beautiful and sensual, but no one looks good at 7 a.m. You have yet to freshen up your hair and face. You have yet to brush your teeth. And chances are, you probably really have to pee. It can be unbelievably unpleasant to be woken up with an embrace, especially when it’s unexpected. Mornings are meant to be peaceful, easy and slow, not awkward and stressful. Waking up to being grabbed and kissed is sometimes startling and quite honestly, annoying. I prefer to have a little bit of time to collect myself and come together before being overwhelmed with tenderness and care. After I’ve gargled some Listerine and fully come to, I think some morning-time endearment is great. But until then, I need some space to start my day off right.
Regardless of what your relationship status is, some people find post-sex cuddling to be a necessity, while others can do without it. I personally think finding a healthy balance is the best route to go. Boundaries are necessary in every aspect of a relationship, even when it comes to something as small as cuddling. Finding that comfortable middle can help ensure that you still feel desired and loved, without feeling suffocated.
Allie Lebos advocates for a healthy amount of cuddling, done at the right time.