Do Guys Like Cuddling? [2022 Statistics and Facts]

In this article, we collected interesting facts that will help you find out just how vital cuddling is in a relationship and whether do guys like cuddling too.

do guys like cuddling

Most people seem to think that girls are the only ones who like cuddling and that guys would prefer to do something else. Many go as far as to say that guys “never cuddle” and don’t like it! 

Is that true?

We scoured dozens of studies to find out all the stats you need to know about whether guys like cuddling, how often they cuddle, what happens after and more.

Top Cuddling Statistics You Should Know:

  • 86.2% of men say they would find “cuddling more often” either very appealing or somewhat appealing.
  • Men are more likely to initiate cuddling than women.
  • 83.64% cuddled with their significant other.
  • 12.80% of people agree that they would cuddle a stranger.
  • 92.07% of people agreed or strongly agreed when asked if they enjoyed their cuddling experience.
  • 84.76% of people would recommend cuddling to others.
  • 10.98% of people agree that cuddling is sexual
  • 70% of people said there was some kind of cuddling during their last sexual experience. 
  • 49% of men and women say they occasionally, rarely, or never expect sex after cuddling.
  • Cuddling feels good due to Oxytocin, which is produced when people are physically affectionate.
  • Cuddling can also improve your immune system: “Cortisol suppresses the immune response. Anything that increases the relaxation response triggers the restoration of your immune response.” 

What Is Cuddling?

Before we dive into whether guys like cuddling or not, let’s define it first:

  • Cuddling is an “intimate, physical, and loving contact” that isn’t sexual and involves some degree of the whole body touching. (Salem State University, 2022)1

Do Guys Like Cuddling?

Are guys a fan of cuddling? Most seem to enjoy it, according to our research. Here’s what studies have shown:

  • When men were asked if “cuddling more often” was appealing: (PLOS ONE, 2017)2
    • Very appealing: 41.9%
    • Somewhat appealing: 44.3%
    • Not appealing: 6.8%
    • Not at all appealing: 7.0%
  • Who is more likely to initiate cuddling, men or women? (Auburn University, 2019)3
    • Men are more likely to initiate cuddling than women:
      • 24.1% of men say they always, almost always, or sometimes initiate cuddling.
      • 18.3% of women say they always, almost always, or sometimes initiate cuddling.
    • Women (104 women)
      • I always initiate: 4.8%
      • I almost always initiate: 5.8%
      • I sometimes initiate: 7.7%
      • Both/neither of us initiates: 59.6%
      • My partner sometimes initiates: 13.5%
      • My partner almost always initiates: 4.8%
      • My partner always initiates: 3.8%
    • Men (104 men):
      • I always initiate: 9.6%
      • I almost always initiate: 5.8%
      • I sometimes initiate: 8.7%
      • Both/neither of us initiates: 49.0%
      • My partner sometimes initiates: 18.3%
      • My partner almost always initiates: 4.8%
      • My partner always initiates: 3.8%
  • When men were asked if cuddling was planned: (Auburn University, 2019)3
    • 56.3% of men say cuddling is almost never planned or never planned at all.
      • Always planned: 2.9%
      • Almost always planned: 1.0%
      • Often planned: 2.9%
      • Some planning: 16.5%
      • Little planning: 20.4%
      • Almost never planned: 23.3%
      • Never planned: 33.0%

Do All People Cuddle With Someone Or Something?

Cuddling seems to be a very common practice, with over 97% of people saying they’ve participated in it, according to these studies:

  • 97.58% of people said they had participated in cuddling (Salem State University, 2022)1
    • 2.42% had not participated in cuddling.
  • Of those who participated in cuddling, this is who (or what) they have cuddled with: (Salem State University, 2022)1
    • 83.64% cuddled with their significant other.
    • 58.18% had cuddled with family.
    • 81.21% had cuddled with a pet.
    • About 75.76% have cuddled with a friend.
    • 83.64% have cuddled with a body pillow/object.
    • 1.82% cuddled with another type of object or person.
  • When people were asked if they would cuddle with a stranger: (Salem State University, 2022)1
    • 3.05% of people strongly agree that they would cuddle a stranger.
    • 12.80% of people agree that they would cuddle a stranger.
    • About 18.29% of people neither disagreed nor agreed if they would cuddle a stranger.
    • 28.66% of people disagree that they would cuddle a stranger.
    • 37.20% of people strongly disagree that they would cuddle a stranger.

Do People Enjoy Cuddling?

Cuddling is common, and people as a whole generally seem to enjoy it:

  • 92.07% of people agreed or strongly agreed when asked if they enjoyed their cuddling experience. (Salem State University, 2022)1
  • When people were asked if they enjoy the experience of cuddling, here’s what they said: (Salem State University, 2022)1
    • 65.24% strongly agreed that they enjoyed the experience of cuddling.
    • 26.83% agree that they enjoyed cuddling.
    • 2.44% neither disagreed nor agreed with enjoying cuddling.
    • 1.22% disagreed with enjoying cuddling.
    • 4.27% disagreed with enjoying cuddling.
  • 84.76% of people would recommend cuddling to others. (Salem State University, 2022)1
  • When asked if they’d recommend cuddling to others: (Salem State University, 2022)1
    • 57.93% strongly agreed with recommending cuddling to others.
    • 26.83% agreed with recommending cuddling to others.
    • 9.76% neither disagreed nor agreed with recommending cuddling to others.
    • 0.61% disagreed with recommending cuddling to others.
    • 4.88% strongly disagreed with recommending cuddling to others

Do Straight Guys Cuddle With Other Straight Guy Friends?

Cuddling is generally a non-sexual experience, so most straight guys seem ok with cuddling with other male friends. 

  • Of 40 heterosexual male students, 37 said they have cuddled with another man. (Men and Masculinities, 2015)4
    • They said cuddling occurs in two places: on the couch and in bed.
  • When men were asked about their experiences when cuddling with other straight guy friends, here’s what they said: (Men and Masculinities, 2015)4
    • “We’ll just be watching a movie, and I’ll just put my head on whoever was next to me.” —Justin
    • “I feel comfortable with Connor, and we spend a lot of time together. I happily rest my head on Connor’s shoulder when lying on the couch or hold him in bed. But he’s not the only one. The way I see it is that we are all very good and close mates. We have a bromance where we are very comfortable around each other.”
      —Matt
    • “We’re always cuddling, my lot. We’re all comfortable with each other.” —Jarrett
    • “I love a quick cuddle, just so you remember your friends are about and are there for you.” —John
    • “I probably could talk a lot about this topic, actually. Cuddling is a standard part of my uni life, really. We very often have hangover cuddles and naps together. I have even done it today, actually. I really enjoy it! Seriously, I do it all the time.”
      —Max
    • “If your mate has a headache, you can like massage his head, or you just lie there together holding each other and laughing about how awful you feel.” —Max
  • The other 3 participants who hadn’t cuddled with another man did not stigmatize the behavior. (Men and Masculinities, 2015)4

What Do Guys And Girls Feel During Cuddle Sessions?

Cuddling can bring a sense of comfort, safety, and joy to many. Men and women who cuddle together can also feel love and, in some cases, get turned on by it. According to this data, it really depends on the person!

  • Here’s what men and women said they felt when cuddling: (Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2013)5
    • Love: 26%
    • Happy: 22%
    • Comfortable: 16%
    • Satisfied: 6%
    • Feels good: 5%
    • Bonded: 4%
    • Fatigue: 1%
    • Appreciated: 1%
  • Do people cuddle nude or clothed? (Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2013)5 
    • Nude: 15%
    • Partially-clothed/nude: 64%
    • Clothed: 22%
    • Clothing during cuddling may play a role in feeling sexually aroused during cuddling.
  • When men and women were asked how sexually arousing cuddling was, here’s what they said: (Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2013)5
    • Extremely: 18%
    • Moderately: 29%
    • Somewhat: 28%
    • A little bit: 18%
    • Not at all: 7%
  • Is cuddling sexual? (Salem State University, 2022)1
    • 2.44% of people strongly agree that cuddling is sexual.
    • 10.98% of people agree that cuddling is sexual.
    • 39.02% of people neither disagreed nor agreed that cuddling is sexual.
    • 35.37% of people disagree that cuddling is sexual.
    • 12.20% of people strongly disagree that cuddling is sexual.

When It Comes To Cuddling, Do Guys And Girls Expect Sex?

Cuddling isn’t necessarily sexual, but it can quickly become that way – especially with an intimate partner. Many people have sex either before or after cuddling, according to these studies:

  • Here’s what people said when asked if cuddling led to sex: (Women’s Health Mag, 2020)6
    • “It can be too hot, and it gets uncomfortable, but it usually leads to something more.”  —Spencer W.
    • “Cuddling is a great way to, you know, move things to the next level. My wife and I have missed the end of many movies because we start out cuddling, and things escalate before the film is over.” —Michael B.
  • 70% of people said there was some kind of cuddling during their last sexual experience. (Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 2018)7
  • When people were asked how often they had sex after cuddling: (Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2013)5
    • In general
      • Always: 2%
      • Most of the time: 15%
      • Frequently: 17%
      • Sometimes: 39%
      • Occasionally: 18%
      • Rarely: 9%
      • Never: 1%
    • During their most recent experience of cuddling
      • Yes: 49%
      • No: 51%
  • When men and women were asked if their sex starts with cuddling: (Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2013)5
    • Yes: 75%
    • No: 25%
  • When men and women were asked if they have sex before cuddling: (Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2013)5
    • Yes: 31%
    • No: 69%
  • When asked if they expect a cuddle after having sex: (Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2013)5
    • Always: 12%
    • Most of the time: 27%
    • Frequently: 18%
    • Sometimes: 17%
    • Occasionally: 13%
    • Rarely: 8%
    • Never: 4%
  • Do men and women expect sexual activity after cuddling with a partner? (Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2013)5
    • 49% of men and women say they occasionally, rarely, or never expect sex after cuddling.
    • 19% of men and women say they always, most of the time, or frequently expect sex after cuddling.
    • Most men and women don’t treat cuddling as a precursor to sex. However, in many cases, their most recent experience of cuddling led to sexual activity.
    • When asked if they expect sex after cuddling in general:
      • Always: 3%
      • Most of the time: 9%
      • Frequently: 7%
      • Sometimes: 32%
      • Occasionally: 16%
      • Rarely: 23%
      • Never: 10%
    • When asked if they had sex after their most recent experience of cuddling:
      • Yes: 64%
      • No: 36%

Benefits of Cuddling

Studies have shown that there are lots of benefits to cuddling – beyond just feeling pleasant. 

  • Men on “feeling good” in cuddling: (Women’s Health Mag, 2020)6
    • One man said that cuddling was “comforting and always something that calms me down.” He noted that it’s one of life’s simple pleasures and that cuddling gives a feeling of satisfaction that “nothing sexual ever does” when you’re doing it with someone you have passionate feelings for. —Evan L.
    • Another man said, “Cuddling is awesome” and that after working in a high-stress job, it feels good to “hold someone and be held.” He noted that “it’s a peaceful and calming” experience and gives the feeling that the person they’re cuddling with cares about them. —Will D.
    • Based on people I know personally, every guy who’s tried being the little spoon will tell you that they like it. It’s just a very comforting feeling.” Julian M.
  • Cuddling feels good due to Oxytocin, which is produced when people are physically affectionate. This produces the “warm fuzzy” feeling that people often feel, including “feelings of connection, bonding, and trust.”  – Paula S. Barry, MD, a physician at Penn Family and Internal Medicine Longwood. (Penn Medicine, 2018)8
  • “Oxytocin is a neuropeptide, which basically promotes feelings of devotion, trust, and bonding,” according to Matt Hertenstein, an experimental psychologist at DePauw University in Indiana. (NPR, 2010)9
  • Cuddling can also improve your immune system: “Cortisol suppresses the immune response. Anything that increases the relaxation response triggers the restoration of your immune response.” according to Roberta Lee, MD, vice chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. (CNN, 2011)10
  • Cortisol is the stress hormone, which increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose, and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues. It alters immune system responses and suppresses digestive, reproductive, and growth processes. (Mayo Clinic, 2021)11
  • “Having this friendly touch, just somebody simply touching our arm and holding it, buffers the physiological consequences of this stressful response,” says Matt Hertenstein, an experimental psychologist at DePauw University in Indiana. (NPR, 2010)9
  • “Spooning” can help the body relax and can reduce blood pressure. It can also promote healing due to the release of oxytocin, according to Rachel E. Salas, assistant medical director for the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep. (John Hopkins University, 2013)12
  • Cuddling can improve your relationships: “94% of couples who spent the night in contact with one another were happy” with their relationships. Only 68% of people who didn’t touch said they were happy, according to Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire. (University of Hertfordshire, 2014)13
  • The further apart couples spent the night, the worse their relationship. (University of Hertfordshire, 2014)13
    •  86% of those who slept less than an inch apart from their partner said they were happy with their relationship, compared to only 66% of those who slept more than 30 inches apart.
  • Cuddling can strengthen relationships by giving couples a way to connect that doesn’t require words and that isn’t necessarily sexual,” says Chloe Carmichael, Ph.D., a New York-based therapist and author of Dr. Chloe’s 10 Commandments of Dating. (Women’s Health Mag, 2020)6
  • Men who often kiss and cuddle with their partner are more likely to say they’re happy in their relationship (0.93 probability) than men who rarely kiss and cuddle with their partner (0.83 probability). (Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2011)14

What Do Guys Like And Don’t Like In Cuddling?

While most people seem to enjoy cuddling, there are certain things that might make cuddling uncomfortable, weird, or unenjoyable. 

  • Here’s why men and women said they cuddle with their partners: (Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2013)5
    • Intimacy/closeness: 24%
    • Love-affection: 20%
    • Comfort/relaxation: 20%
    • Security/safety: 17%
    • Feels good: 15%
    • Sex: 7%
  • Men’s comments about liking cuddling: (Women’s Health Mag, 2020)6
    • Some say cuddling gives a sense of “closeness and relaxed intimacy that’s difficult to find in other activities” and compares it to a “better version of a hug.”
      Ben K.
    • Cuddling gives a sense of closeness, and some men enjoy being the little spoon saying, “it’s sweet to have my back rubbed. In our sleeping arrangement, I fall asleep naturally facing the wall, and my girlfriend is the big spoon protecting me from the edge of the bed.” Alejandro G.
    • Some reserve cuddling for more serious relationships but enjoy it frequently when they’re in one: “If I’m in a serious relationship, I’ll get a good cuddle session in pretty much every night.” also noting that they’re not sure why there is a perception that men don’t enjoy cuddling. —Ray P.
    • “…when I see a couple cuddling out in public, it’s just really cute. It’s a great way of showing your lady—and those around you—that you want to be close with her.” Darren V.
    • If my girl feels comfortable cuddling on the couch or in bed while we hang out, I’m totally into that. Especially because somehow she always smells fantastic.”
      Chris O.
    • “I love cuddling. My girlfriend and I just started living together, and it’s one of my favorite things about sharing a home and a bed.” Aaron P.
  • When men were asked about times they didn’t enjoy or like cuddling: (Women’s Health Mag, 2020)6
    • Some people are not just ‘cuddle’ types, with some saying “not all women are cuddle fiends.” Josh L.
    • Some don’t like cuddling due to intimacy issues: “I don’t really like cuddling. But I have a lot of intimacy issues, so take what I say with a grain of salt.” —Stephen W.
    • Others say it disturbs their sleep: “…The only time I don’t like cuddling is when I’m actually trying to sleep. For one thing, your limbs might fall asleep, and that’s uncomfortable. For another, you’re in a position you wouldn’t normally be in if you were trying to sleep alone…Cuddling isn’t worth it if it’s going to make you cranky in the morning.” Ray P.

What Do Most People Do When Cuddling?

Most people do more than just cuddle, especially if they’re dating. Talking, kissing, and massages are all popular activities for couples who cuddle: 

  • What men and women do when they cuddle: (Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2013)6
    • Spooning: 56%
    • Touch/rub: 50%
    • Kiss: 38%
    • Hold: 13%
    • Talk: 7%
    • Massage: 6%
    • Rest: 5%
    • Sex: 4%
    • Laugh: 2%
  • Activities that go with cuddling according to men and women: (Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2013)6
    • Talking: 28%
    • Massage: 24%
    • Sleep/rest: 18%
    • Reading: 14%
    • Music: 5%
    • Eating: 3%
    • Sex: 3%
    • Games: 2%
  • Topics of conversation during cuddling among men and women: (Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2013)6
    • Anything: 21%
    • Relationships: 18%
    • The future: 13%
    • Work/school: 12%
    • Movies/TV: 11%
    • Friends/family: 10%
    • Sex: 4%
    • Stressors: 2%
    • Humor: 2%
    • News: 2%

Conclusion

So – do guys enjoy cuddling? It seems like, for the most part, they do.

The myth that guys don’t like cuddling is widespread, but surveys have shown that men enjoy cuddling with friends, family members, and intimate partners. Not only does cuddling provide a host of benefits, but it’s just downright nice!

So go out and cuddle your man today 😉

For more interesting sex studies, check out this article.

Footnotes

  1. Salem State University, 2022. A study of 169 respondents.
  2. PLOS ONE, 2017. A study of 2,021 American adults.
  3. Auburn University, 2019. A study of 104 American heterosexual couples.
  4. Men and Masculinities, 2015. A study of 40 British heterosexual male students.
  5. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2013. A study of 514 participants was composed of mostly American men and women.
  6. Women’s Health Mag, 2020. An article on how men feel about cuddling.
  7. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 2018. A study of 1,493 American individuals.
  8. Penn Medicine, 2018. An article on kisses and hugs are ways to better health.
  9. NPR, 2010. An article on studies on hand-holding and hugging.
  10. CNN, 2011. An article on how touching can make a person healthier.
  11. Mayo Clinic, 2021. An article on chronic stress risks on health.
  12. John Hopkins University, 2013. An article on healthy side effects of cuddling.
  13. University of Hertfordshire, 2014. A survey of 1,000 American people.
  14. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2011. A study of 2,018 individuals from Brazil, Germany, Japan, Spain, and the United States.
Dainis Graveris

Dainis Graveris

Over last 4 years Dainis have helped millions of people through his advice on this site (200+ guides and 1M+ visits/monthly). His work & advice has appeared on sites like: Healthline, Vice, Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, WomensHealthMag, MindBodyGreen & more. Read More

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