Spooning enthusiasts, assume position: Couples who spend more time being affectionate after sex (yep, more cuddling) feel more satisfied with their sex lives, according to new research in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. [Tweet this tip!]
The researchers conducted two studies: In the first, 335 men and women filled out a survey about relationship satisfaction, specifics on their sex lives, as well as how much snuggle time they logged post-sex. Surprisingly, duration of sex and foreplay didn't predict relationship satisfaction. But those who put more effort into being lovey dovey after the deed was done—caressing, kissing, and cuddling—reported increases in both relationship and sexual satisfaction.
For the second study, 101 couples filled out daily questionnaires about their sex lives, affection levels, and overall relationship satisfaction. “On days when couples spent more time showing post-sex affection, they reported more satisfaction with their sex lives and relationship than usual,” says Amy Muise, Ph.D., lead study author and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto.
And moms, good news: The boost in happiness was especially true for people with children. But even if you’re kid-free, a little love post romp session is a good habit to make: Those who reaped the benefits from the post-coital cuddling continued to feel smitten three months down the road.
So what’s the secret in spooning? Researchers aren’t quite sure. But Muise explains that there’s something special about the after-sex moments that people sometimes miss out on: “We become so focused on orgasms, the so-called ‘goal’ of sex, that we often neglect the surrounding acts that sandwich the sex.” But the surges of feel-good hormones that are released during intercourse can linger if you snuggle up with him for a few minutes after, leading to improved satisfaction all around.
How’s that for a good start to the day?