Category: blog basics


Cuddle Labs’ Plan

Here at Cuddle Labs, we believe that our knowledge of practical cuddling technique is what separates us from other cuddling theorists. We are, if you will, the world’s leading Cuddle Engineers. (We prefer to leave the more-expensive, less-soft scientific inquiry into the reason for our existence—oxytocin—in better-suited hands.) While an earlier post laid out our overarching cuddling framework, we’ve yet to tell you what the future of the site holds in store.

Magic 8-Ball Response: "Don't Count on It."

"Are you going to become a webcomic?"

In upcoming posts, Cuddle Labs will provide a great deal of “cuddling position” posts, suggesting different cuddling techniques and detailing their important features. Because Cuddle Labs is concerned with the optimization of all your physical social contact, these positions will fall into a number of categories. To find out more, read on. Continue reading

Advertisements

Defining Cuddling, Spooning, and Other Comfy Words

When discussing scientific phenomena, it’s important to define your terms. After all, if you think that spooning and cuddling are the same thing (as some people seem to,) you’ll be awfully confused when we rail against the former and celebrate the latter. As a result, we felt it was necessary to dedicate a post to explaining what we intend when we use many common touch-related words. See our definitions after the jump! Continue reading

Oxytocin: The Real Elixir of Love

I don’t know about you, but I always dreamed of discovering a magical potion that would melt away my sorrows and fill me with a sense of warmth and love for all humanity.

Love Potion

Of course, as I grew older, I realized this was an unrealistic goal. And then I started my research on cuddling!

Turns out, humans naturally produce an amazing chemical that really can improve our lives all around. If you’ve read other Cuddle Labs posts (or the title of this post) you’ll know the chemical to which I refer is… OXYTOCIN!

Continue reading

Do Guys Like Cuddling?

Only girls like to cuddle, right?

It’s generally accepted in Western culture that cuddling is an activity that women like, and that men agree to because we like sex. This belief has confused me a great deal, as someone with a Y chromosome and a “why wouldn’t you cuddle” attitude… After all, I’m pretty sure I could convert any theoretical male cuddling skeptic in one move, with the question: “you do realize that boobs are often involved in cuddling, don’t you?”

Cute Girl Hugging Koala to Her Chest

Male koalas, in particular, have reaped the rewards of this principle.

As is always the case when we are presented with a belief that contradicts our personal experience, or vice-versa, we should investigate using scientific principles. Borrowing from the field of psychology, the easiest (but least rigorous) method of inquiry we can employ is the case study. And by far the easiest and least rigorous case study I can drum up is… me.

Physical social contact relaxes me, makes me happy, and makes me feel more comfortable around those I’m interacting with—and I like that it makes them feel the same way. My very existence logically disproves the maxim that “guys don’t like to cuddle”.

If you came here from Yahoo! Answers, that should about solve your problem, but feel free to stick around. For everyone else, this is a laboratory, and I don’t expect you to believe me “because I say so.” In order to evaluate the more plausible claim that “most guys don’t like to cuddle,” we’ll need to start talking quantitative analysis. Continue reading

How to Cuddle Without Spooning

In our last post, we made a case that the spoons position is totally played out. But infuriatingly, we failed to give you a better option. That was our evil plan… we were hoping to get you to come back.

Now that you have, we can present you with our first recommended cuddling position. Of course, one of the reasons we’d like to reduce your spooning time is so that you can experiment with new ways to cuddle for yourselves. But, just in case you need some scientific inspiration, allow us to present the structurally-sound PROM DANCE.

Scientists Cuddling Face-to-Face... A sort of floor hug.

Pajamas Recommended for Cuddling--Lab Coats for Doing Science Only. (We promise to get better pictures soon.)

Read on to learn more about this wonderful position. Continue reading

Is Spooning the Best Way to Cuddle?

Picture people cuddling.

Most people instructed to do so will imagine a couple laying in bed, one behind the other. This is, of course, the classic spooning position:

Human Figures Spooning

Indeed, spooning is how people generally tend to get their cuddling in. It’s convenient: if you’re already lying down, the spoon position is just a half-turn away. And, it’s intuitive… just hugging someone from behind while lying down, really.

But, are you really in love with spooning? It certainly does have its downsides. From the well-documented standup fodder that is the “spooning dead-arm”, to its universally dismaying but rarely discussed heat-transfer issues (no cuddling in summertime?), spooning presents cuddlers with a number of challenges. The more persistent among you have no doubt powered through these, possibly even attempting solutions (arm up under the big spoon’s head? creatively placed pillows? thermostat at 45 degrees?) None of these fixes, though, is totally successful—they fail to maximize comfort and closeness, or do so only at the expense of spontaneity.

So, have we come up with the ultimate solution to spooning’s flaws? No. In fact, this post isn’t about perfecting the spoon. It’s about dethroning it. Let’s get this out in the open: spooning sucks!

Don’t get your PJs in a twist, Spooninites. We’re clearly not about to cut in on your cuddling time. We’re not even saying you should never spoon again… necessarily. But we do think that if you give us a page or two, we can at least convince you that the spoon is undeserving of its place at the top of the cuddling hierarchy. And frankly, you’ll be a better person for it.

The word “spooning” must cease to be synonymous with the word “cuddling.” Let the revolution begin. Continue reading

The Basis of Cuddling Technique

In our first post, we claimed to have isolated the variables that lead to good cuddling. Today, we’re actually going to teach them to you. And just as any good recipe begins with its ingredients, a good cuddling position takes the human body into account first and foremost.

Over the course of our history, humankind has made astonishing progress in the study of the body as a weapon. The martial arts have formalized the use of the most dangerous parts of human anatomy, developing precise techniques to handle nearly any situation. It is easy enough to think of the “weapon” parts of the body—the fist and foot as used for punches and kicks; the elbow, knee and shin as traditionally utilized in muay thai; even the head can be brought to bear in devastating attacks.

Football Headbutt

Not a recommended cuddling position.

Allow us to be the first to suggest that the human body is at least as much pillow as it is weapon. While the peripheral parts of the body mentioned above can be quite uncomfortable indeed, most of your center mass is soft and perfect for cuddling. The chest, stomach, lap and butt are essentially human cushions, and should be utilized whenever possible during cuddling. Likewise, the involvement of the “weapon” parts of the body should be controlled. Today, we pioneer the vestial arts. Continue reading

Welcome to Cuddle Labs!

(A version of this post will appear as the foreword in our upcoming book.)We’re gonna come right out and say it. Cuddling isn’t just about sex.

We began our cuddling research for a personal project. From the outset, we noticed a complete lack of information on how to improve cuddling and why it’s important. When sources did discuss cuddling, it was inevitably linked to sex—”cuddling is important because it improves your sexual relationships,” or in really good misogynistic sources, “cuddling makes her feel more comfortable.” Nice.

We started Cuddle Labs because we feel otherwise. This organization’s mission is three-fold:

  • To continue our study, learning all we can about cuddling and incorporating knowledge from a number of related disciplines.
  • To raise the profile of cuddling as a standalone human activity.
  • To get people cuddling more often, in part by providing them with the knowledge and tools that make cuddling more satisfying.

Our research has driven us to consider cuddling in its own right, as a fundamental human behavior. You see, when we asked why cuddling is important, we found answers considerably different from those of the popular sources above. Most importantly, we found that oxytocin, the hormone released during physical contact, plays a huge role in bonding and general well-being. It has been shown in studies to increase trust, empathy and contentment while reducing anxiety. Scientists even hypothesize that the feelings of love, empathy and connection brought on by MDMA (the main chemical component of party drug Ecstacy) may be mediated by oxytocin activity. It’s powerful stuff.

In our opinion, research has yet to unlock the full potential of this hormone: recent studies show that oxytocin administration may even help to alleviate the symptoms of autism. Nevertheless, we feel that it’s clear the effects we’ve listed above are significant enough to encourage additional attention… and additional cuddling.

So, our next step was obvious: we set about researching cuddling by doing it. From the oxytocin-laced comfort of our cuddle puddle, we applied basic scientific principles to evaluate what we were doing, and make improvements. We have isolated the variables that lead to awesome cuddling. Our findings are universally applicable and have met with a great deal of excitement from everyone we’ve presented them to. We think we’re really on to something here.

Our goal for this blog is to create a comprehensive cuddling resource—one that advises on the practical aspects of cuddling (“my arm keeps falling asleep!”, “it’s too hot!”, “I’m much too happy now that I’ve followed your advice!”) along with the social and scientific ones. We’ll tell you what we’ve come to believe, and provide support for our beliefs… but more importantly, we’ll supply the information you need to cuddle like a pro.

We believe it will result in better relationships, a happier life… and, okay, maybe even some sex.

%d bloggers like this: