The Heart Beat The Heart Beat blog

Study: Couples cuddle eight times a week

Hug it out, cuddle muffin.

By Kristin Wong Oct 26, 2012 3:48PM

While there are a ton of statistics and studies on how often the average couple copulates, cuddling is generally an uncharted territory of relationship research.

Photo: Andrew Olney/Getty ImagesBut the University of Michigan may have broken new ground when it comes to the science of cuddling. Researchers conducted a study asking over 500 men and women, all in relationships, about their cuddling behavior—everything from frequency, location, duration and quality. They found that the average couple cozies up at least eight times a week.

Reported in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, the study found cuddle sessions usually last for just over 45 minutes. Forty-seven minutes and 36 seconds, to be exact. Researchers also discovered that one in six cuddles leads to sex.

So what exactly constitutes a cuddle? The study defined it as an "intimate, physical and loving contact that does not involve sexual behavior and that involves some degree of whole body touching, not just hand to hand or lips to lips."

Unsurprisingly, the study found that women enjoy cuddling more than men. Then again, perhaps that is surprising.

Related: 50 things everyone should know about getting married

The sofa, armchair and bed were the most popular places to snuggle up, and couples are most likely to cuddle in the evening, watching TV.

Related: 50 unique engagement rings

And before you write off the science of cuddling as silly—physical, non-sexual embrace is quite important to a relationship. Dr. Sari van Anders, one of the study’s researchers, told MSN's The Heart Beat:

"Other scientists have reported that intimacy is important for long-term relationships, and cuddling seems to factor into that as people reported cuddling for love and intimacy reasons."

Photo: Andrew Olney/Getty Images

Subscribe to The Heart Beat

More Sex & Love on MSN Living:

30 diamond engagement rings so sparkly you’ll need sunglasses
5 signs a guy is toxic
5 sexy steps to get out of your date rut

Oct 29, 2012 11:49PM
Cuddling is the greatest thing to do next to kissing!!!  I love to do both more that lovemaking!  I find it very relaxing, but, it also can be a great turn on as well!  I could cuddle and kiss for hours!  So, when this article says that couples cuddle 8 times in a week!?  I could cuddle 8 times during the day and night if I had the chance!?  By the way, I am a guy saying all this and if I had a woman to cuddle with, I would be in heaven on earth to have that once again!!!
Oct 29, 2012 10:53PM
Cuddling with the person you love or like, is more satisfying than a large pillow at night!
Oct 29, 2012 10:06PM
I am very fortunate to have someone to cuddle up with every night. We cuddle every night, through the night. We cuddle up to watch a movie or new episode of our favorite show before bed. I believe our intimacy is a big part of our happiness and continued love for each other. We've lived together almost 5 years now, and have been married for 1 1/2, and it only gets better.
Oct 29, 2012 9:50PM
I love 2 cuddle. Unfortunately the person that I was involved w/ did not. He believed that cuddling meant sex and I wanted to be affectionate. If it led 2 sex, fine; but that was not my intention ALL THE TIME. We had a breakdown in communication. He turned out 2 be one of those toxic males.
Oct 29, 2012 9:11PM
Its hard to get time to cuddle when you're working three part time jobs a day, six days a week and then having to clean house, cook, do laundry and all the yard work. I'm so exhausted I'm lucky if I can stay awak long enough to kiss my husband good night.  My husband is a service disabled veteran who is trying to get his business up and running.  I feel like we're more or less room mates even though I know we still love each other very much.  When we get down time,it's usually to sleep.
Oct 29, 2012 8:13PM
Oct 29, 2012 7:25PM
You get what you sow and reap.  Women are stressed to the max with work, house, kids, husband, family, church, etc.  Men think that they are the “bread winners” even when their wives work out side the home; just remember there is a disparity in men and women’s wages.  Equality in the home, shared work and responsibility.  If you are sitting on the couch watching your wife do everything, there will be no loving.  Little jesters go a long, long way.  You have to nurture and take care of your marriage.     

Oct 29, 2012 4:22PM
Who did they ask? The people poll on MSN homepage shows that only 8% agree to that stat. From the people poll more than half of us say less! Just another suspect "poll"! Proves you really can make poll numbers show what YOU want them to show!
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

love: friendships, dating, sex & marriage

  • Sign placement/"10 Most Outrageous Wedding Photos"/Photo: Brooke Aliceon Photography

    10 outrageous wedding photos

    The typical wedding: A white dress, tiered cake, floral centerpieces and a cute flower girl -- you know the drill. Every once in a while, though, a couple trades in tradition for a quirky, never-seen-that-before idea. Here are a few of the most out-there wedding photos that made us do a double take.

  • Hot wedding trends for fall

    9 hot wedding trends for fall

    There's a lot to love about weddings this fall, like cocktails served in copper Moscow mule mugs, industrial-inspired lighting and pheasant feather details. See what's new!

  • Monique Pean Mineraux diamond and rose gold ring, $3,400; barneys.com

    Why single ladies are rocking a wedding ring

    Do you have to be engaged to sport a ring with bling?

  • ​KIVILCIM PINAR, Getty Images //  ​KIVILCIM PINAR, Getty Images (​KIVILCIM PINAR, Getty Images)

    Majority of Americans are single

    124.6 million haven't gotten hitched.

  • least expensive places to get married

    These are the 25 least expensive places to get married in America

    Even though the national average wedding is $29,858, that’s just an average. If you live in a smaller state like Idaho where the average wedding costs $16,159, you may find yourself saving a little more than half of the national spend! Check out some of the other least expensive cities to get married in below:

  • M Swiet Productions, Getty Images // M Swiet Productions, Getty Images (M Swiet Productions, Getty Images)

    Americans have nostalgia for summer romance

    Summer is winding down, but the ubiquitous summer romance lives on.

  • 8 signs it's time to break up

    8 signs it’s definitely time to break up

    For those times when nothing big and horrible happened--but nothing is feeling right either.

  • Actor/"Why we love an older man"/Photo: Shutterstock

    Reasons why we love an older man

    He’s confident, distinguished and anywhere from 4 to 20 years older than you. Age is just a number, but there’s something about older men that we love. Here are eight reasons why being in a relationship with an older man is tops.

  • Actor/"Why we love a younger man"/Photo: Shutterstock

    Reasons why we love a younger man

    While a younger man may have less life experience, that doesn’t mean he’s not emotionally mature. Here are the eight reasons why being in a relationship with a younger man is tops.

  • Other woman (Courtesy YourTango)

    5 reasons the other woman slept with your man

    Have you ever wondered what the 'other woman' was thinking?

  • Apple picking

    6 fun fall date ideas

    So fall is coming and you need some romantic inspiration now that long walks on the beach are out of the question. Well look no further! From apple picking to pumpkin carving, these are some great fall date ideas from girls just like you!

  • Go to a theme park

    8 cute celeb date ideas

    Getting bored of the same dinner and movie date night? Take an adorable cue from your favorite celebs and try something new! From dancing to boxing you can't go wrong with these awesome date ideas.

buzzing now on msn living
The Heart Beat is a Great Dating Blogs Winner The Heart Beat is a Great Dating Blogs Winner
relationship videos
editor's picks
the heart beat