According to this new study, currently inspiring breathless headlines exclaiming that even big old manly men (men? even men!) like to cuddle, "Men with long-term partners are more likely to be satisfied with their relationships if they're getting lots of hugs, cuddles and other signs of physical affection."
So, duh, men like cuddling. Everyone should like cuddling, because it's awesome. Liking cuddling is akin to liking cheese, or pie, or finding $5 dollars in your jeans pocket from the last time you wore them.
I have not always felt this way, however. I used to put a lot of baggage on the act of getting close to someone physically, because I was so very far away emotionally that I could hardly see my partner du jour.
After my first date with current boyfriend, as we collapsed sweatingly onto his outer space sheets, he reached out and grabbed hold of NOT my boobs or vagina, but just like, my waist. In the manner of the large spoon.
And I said, "Uh, you don't have to do that," because back then I thought that anyone expressing non-sexual intimacy was somehow trying to trick me? So I set lots of traps in which I said things like "I don't mind if you get a blowjob from your ex-girlfriend" and then waited to see what happened. And I guess I thought that cuddling was the equivalent of telling a girl you love her just to get in her pants, but as he had already gotten in my pants, I was all-in-all just kind of confused and suspicious.
And then he just matter-of-factly told me of said cuddling, "I like it."
Oh. Well, OK then.
And that's how I learned to like cuddling. And I still like it, although now we are often too hot and/or tired and/or full of pie and cheese to cuddle for more than a few minutes before rolling over to our individuals halves of bed. And on our recent vacation, we expressed joy and wonderment at the fact that we, a rather large couple, could stretch out our whole arms without even touching each other or having to know there was someone else in the bed at all! Such are the ravages of time.
Where was I? The next part of this study, which I don't even get, says that "men are more likely to say they're happy in their relationships, while women are more likely to say that they're sexually satisfied."
Huh? Like, researchers asked women how they feel about their relationships and they yelled out, "SEXUALLY SATISFIED" of their own accord? Or they chose from a list or what? And what else was on it besides sexually sastisfied and happy?
And are all you actually walking around feeling sexually satisfied? Like, affirmatively? I think at best I have only ever been tentatively sexually satisfied and it definitely isn't the first word I'd use to describe any relationship I've been in that was any good. The guys who left me "sexually satisfied" were just as likely to steal my car or hide a shoebox full of unpaid bills in the back of their closets while buying hundreds of dollars worth of comic books every week. Both true stories, by the way.
I almost refuse to believe that this complete sexual satisfaction exists in real couples who talk about money and lug heavy bags of groceries and clean the bathroom together. A sexually satisfying experience for me would be an hour of frenzied anonymous sex with a large-tooled deaf-mute who lets himself out immediately afterward. Don't worry, I'm in therapy.
This part is good, too: "Those findings were opposite of what the researchers expected, said study author Julia Heiman." Oh, researchers. I hypothesize that if you didn't put so many expectations on people, you wouldn't be so disappointed all the time.
God, so many questions. Are you sexually satisfied? Do you like to cuddle? Do you think I have intimacy issues (just kidding, I already know the answer to that one).