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Study: Men Like Cuddling, Women Prefer Sex

As relationships grow, are gender roles reversed?

By Kristin Wong May 1, 2012 4:50PM

Photo: Paul Bradbury/Getty ImagesYou know the old stereotype that the guy falls asleep right after sex, while the women wants to stay up and cuddle and talk? Well, according to a new study, that's a bunch of bull.

Okay, so researchers put it more eloquently in their 13-page study, titled, "Sexual Satisfaction and Relationship Happiness in Midlife and Older Couples in Five Countries."

Researchers at the Kinsey Institute found that, in long-term relationships, women are more interested in sex, while their male counterparts prefer to cuddle. The five countries targeted in the study were Brazil, Germany, Japan, Spain and the United States and 1,009 couples were studied in the final sample.

The study found that men's relationship satisfaction "depended on health, physical intimacy, and sexual function." But for women, "only sexual functioning predicted relationship satisfaction."

If you consider yourself a fairly progressive person but are somewhat baffled by these findings, you're not alone. It's not surprising that women in relationships enjoy sex, but isn't it a little surprising that they only enjoy sex? Psychologist Dr. Leahcim Semaj was also puzzled by the stats. He told the Jamaica Observer:

"My awareness is that women are the ones who are generally more attracted to cuddling and just being close and want to hug and so on…"

But counselor David Anderson says the study makes sense.

"Once they settle in, and realize the woman is in for the long haul, then the macho guard drops," he told the Observer. "[The man] suddenly becomes the needy baby, the one who can't bear to be in pain; the one who needs comfort when he has a boo-boo; the one who can't stand the sight of blood…"

Wow, okay, I think we get the point, Anderson. As the relationship progresses, men become more comfortable with their sensitive sides; therefore, they might need a little cuddle wuddle time. Totally understandable.

His explanation for the study is that, as the man in the relationship becomes more emotional, "the woman, who has never had an issue with expressing herself emotionally, will want to explore more sexually."

Cuddling? Been there, done that!

Photo: Paul Bradbury/Getty Images

Tags: sex
40Comments
May 18, 2012 6:42PM
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I think most women want to cuddle- yea,ok..with the man's wallet!
May 18, 2012 8:42AM
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You don't learn until you are old. My beautiful wife raised a new born while I was in Viet Nam for a year. She too is a veteran. When I came home, we were subjected to ridicule for serving our country. She stood beside me. I traveled for approximately 20 years to make a living for her and our children while she was at home raising the kids and fighting the pharanas of capitalizm. I took her and the kids when we could. In our late 50s we built a dream home, mostly by ourselves, clearing the woods, building a bridge and a road and then doing 95% of the labor on "her little cabin". My wife and her granddaughter dug mud out of the forms for the footings with Dixie cups twice after flooding.  I am now battling my greedy sister over my inheritance from my parents. My sister and her husband / banker and their "Classmate" Petty lawyer want it all. My Wife stands beside me even though the courts are courupt in Illinois and I am destined to lose it all. We are both in fear of losing "her little cabin". She tells me to fight even thought she as as scared as I was while I was in Nam. Sex was always a war zone during our marriage of 44 years as I couldn't get enough, but I still enjoy holding her every night, thank God. You all can talk about sex, beautiful women, studs, rock stars, billionares, etc, but I have the most beautify woman, partner, comrade, hero that you will ever know.  I would never think about giving her up. You will never know the richness I have enjoyed, even when we were poor.    
May 18, 2012 4:59AM
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What a hype.  Womaen staying home and doing house work.  I worked long hours and took OT whenever it was available only to come home to a atage play of what happened on the SOAP s that day.  Women have faked sex and life so well they also have the courts believing all that crap.  Women can have all the rights they want but dont include me in their stage work.  Look, 95% 0f divorces in the US alone are filed by women and 93% are granted.  They also get the kiddos just because they are "the weaker sex" and cannot afford to make it on their own.  They get the house because of the kids.  In my divorce I asked fot custody of my three kids and the judge told me I won't have time to take care of them with having to get a part time job to cover my new living expenses.  In the mid seventies I had to pay $1880. child support, $1000. house pymt, and groceries.  I also had to pay for insurance for the kids.  I told the judge that was too much and he said either pay or go to jail.  I moved out of Calif.  Lost my business it took 17 years to build and all the time my wife was an attorney.  Guess who was with child now!
May 17, 2012 9:46PM
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And if we women are DUN with wiping noses and asses (raising our kids) since the majority of child care and care of sick relatives falls on women unfairly, in about an 80/20 split, in fact, why should we have patience with babying the grown men we live with? Might be we want sex and then to finally get on to something more fulfilling to us or at least, the housework or office stuff we had to bring home, again. This makes perfect sense, men need to learn to get some emotional needs satisfied with relationships with their kids, extended family and not be so egocentric. 
Go volunteer or spend time with your kids and grandkids, take care of an ailing neighbor or your mother, then see how much time you want to volunteer to coddling a giant toddler.
I'm sure it is a huge relief to be past the point of nursing babies when you walk in the door after work, holding a sick child and mopping up after her at night while the hubs snores in the other room. Men, we don't owe you jack. Good for us to be abole to reach an age and confidence where we can get laid and move on to the next item without feeling obligated to give the men all that time they feel is their right to demand now that the kids are gone and they aren't being "cheated" out of it.
There is a reason more women are killed by their partners during pregnancy, men being jealous of the baby, too immature to find emotional and physical satisfaction with the cuddling of their own children and resenting that a woman can, and must since they cannot....I want to kick every guy in this study square in the nuts after reading this. Find another source of comfort, like giving back to those in need. Stop treating your partners like your mommy.
May 17, 2012 11:43AM
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In my observation this is actually pretty true, but like with everything there are exceptions to the rule and different individuals.
May 16, 2012 8:41PM
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In my experience this study is way off the mark but statistics don't apply to individuals they apply to groups. It is kind of like decisions by committee no one is responsible, in a study the lie can be told and probably not verified unless the study is studied. 
May 16, 2012 6:49AM
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I don't know any man that likes to cuddle, including myself. I think this study is totalm BS. That guy that has sex, then falls asleep...that would be me.
May 16, 2012 2:51AM
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I find this so interesting... when men like cuddling, it is stated:

"[The man] suddenly becomes the needy baby"

But when women like cuddling, it is described like this:

"the woman, who has never had an issue with expressing herself emotionally,"

So for a woman, it is emotionally expressing herself, for a man it is becoming a needy baby. Thank you so much Mr. Anderson. Your insight is truly useless, sexist ideology of years gone by. I guess men are nothing but sex beasts that become needy babies and women are in touch emotionally and want to explore sexuality. So VERY interesting. The analysis of the data is actually more telling of how our society skews information to its real goal. Great job! Keep it up. Guys, you can't win even if you like to cuddle... uggggggghhhhh!

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