Yes, you read that right–cuddling. When talking about levels of intimacy, it is my belief that snuggling with someone is a lot more affectionate than engaging in the hormonal no-pants dance, and I’m going to try and explain why that is the best I can by sharing a little story with you first.
Once upon a time, I was a young, single woman who decided to casually hook up with my neighbor, because A.) He was attractive, B.) I actually enjoyed his company, and C.) Hello, convenience. It didn’t take long at all before I was greeted with the fun fact that my suitable suitor was also quite the cuddler.
I was into him, so I wasn’t bothered by it. I just didn’t expect it, I guess, and that whole scenario–plus the fact that I overanalyze and jump into streams of thought too easily–made me think about the idea of cuddling even more.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a very affectionate person. In fact, I have plenty of people who would vouch that I’m one of the best huggers you’ll meet. But I think I’ve been single and in the non-committal dating game for so long, that to be vulnerable in someone else’s arms seemed astronomically scarier than actually sleeping with him.
Even typing that makes me sad.
We’ve come to a point in society when having sex with someone seems like nothing, but letting someone cradle you in his or her arms seems incredibly uncomfortable. You’re lying there and wondering what the heck is happening. Do I move? Do I cuddle back? How long is this going to go on for? I’m fairly convinced that it’s only uncomfortable because there’s more emotion involved. Yes, more emotion than doing something that creates another human being.
The more time I spent with my summer fling, the more I became comfortable in his arms, and so, our cuddling became organic and constant. That’s when I realized that I hadn’t really allowed myself to be held by another man since breaking up with my ex-boyfriend.
For three years, I forgot what it felt like to be tangled up in the limbs of another human being, hearing their heart beat, feeling their body heat and the warmth of their hand as it rubs your back. Furthermore, I forgot what it felt like to feel the heat rush through my own body just from the innocent touch of their hand on mine or having my heart beat so intensely that I’d have to make a quick glance to see if he could also feel the beastly thumps under my chest.
It’d been so long since I felt any of that because I became rigid. Letting my guard down just seemed scary and dangerous, but I know letting someone in is a beautiful thing when it’s done for the right reasons.
I think the whole experience also reminded me about what I look for most in a relationship–security. Being able to feel safe in someone’s arms and feeling secure in knowing that I can be comfortable around someone and it being easy, effortless and natural. Man, that’s a luxury.
Sex is many things. It can be euphoric, it can be horrible, it can be embarrassing, it can be life-changing–but it’s something that our generation doesn’t place much emphasis on. Yes, we do it with people we love, but we also do it with people we barely know (and in some instances, don’t care to ever know).
You might even find yourself scoff at past sexual experiences. Geez, I can’t believe I did that. I just wanna forget it ever happened.
But think of the last time you let someone really hold you. That was something more.
It’s always something more.