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Cuddling Boosts Satisfaction, Sex in Relationships

Update Date: May 27, 2014 08:36 PM EDT

Cuddling improves sex and relationship quality, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Toronto Mississauga found that more post-sex cuddling led to better relationships, especially for parents.

Lead researcher Amy Muise and her team examined after-sex behavior in monogamous romantic relationships. They found actions after sex can really influence how couples feel about their own sexual satisfaction and relationships with their partner.

"When people think of sex, they tend to be focused on intercourse or orgasm," Muise said in a news release. "This research suggests that other affectionate aspects of sex are important for sexual and relationship satisfaction."

The latest study involved 335 individuals and 101 couples.

Participants were asked to report whether or not they engaged in affectionate behavior for an average of 15 minutes after sex.

Researchers also asked some couples to cuddle for a longer than average duration, revealing that those who spent more time together reported feeling more satisfied with their relationship and sex lives.

The study also revealed that engaging in post-sex affection, like kissing, cuddling or affectionate talk, promoted bonding and sexual satisfaction. Researchers said that this was true regardless of how often couples had sex.

The study also revealed that post-sex cuddling was more beneficial for couples with children.

"Parents often have less time for sex and romance. Time spent cuddling after sex had a stronger impact on their relationships than it did for non-parents," Muise said. "It is possible that additional bonding time after sex is even more important for couples who may face challenges finding time for intimate connection," she added.

"If you are able, spend those extra moments with your partner. Make time for shared intimacy, such as cuddling, kissing and intimate talk," Muise added.

The findings were published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

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