Cuddling is an act that occurs when 2+ humans (or, I guess, a human and an object — the last thing I want is to be human-normative and offend all the love pillows and security blankets out there) lie in one place affectionately. It takes as much skill as it takes to lounge on a comfortable surface and not sweat excessively or fart or pee your pants, which is maybe a considerable amount? I don't know.
For those of you who have yet to plumb the mysterious depths of The Act of Cuddling, GQ has printed an extremely handy guide called "How to Cuddle With a Woman." Thank you, GQ! The guide's basic tenets are: "Do not shove her against the wall. Do not block her airway from behind by pressing down upon her small woman skull with your man-head. Do not force her to smell your armpit." There's lots of interstitial references to maneuvering bodies around and the accompanying trials and tribulation. Effectively, it makes relaxing in a heap after sexual congress sound more complicated and ineffective than actual Congress (hey-ooo!).
Normally, cuddling enjoyability occurs on a scale of "Oh, this is pleasant, I feel loved and appreciated" to "OH SWEET JESUS GET THIS BONY SWEAT-MOP OFF OF ME." As part of my crusade for a sweat-mop-free world, I've handily compiled a Cuddling Position Power Ranking. Think of it as a Cuddle Sutra (alternate title: Kama Cute-ra. It is hard to come up with names sometimes, guys.) One day they'll be selling this as a day calendar at Urban Outfitters, but here I am offering it for free.
SNUGGLING POSITIONS RANKED FROM BEST TO WORST ("THE CUDDLE SUTRA"):
1. Spooning. Anyone who says spooning is not the best snug is a FOOL and should be cast into the fires of Mount Doom for insolence. One time, my grandpa gave a wedding speech about spooning and then made a crass sexual joke using forks. If you ask him about it, he will be happy to recite it.
2. Half-Spoon. This one is pretty good, as well; one partner lies on their back, while the other lies on their side. So you can still hug and stuff, but you can also stare at the ceiling and make profound statements.
3. Verona Skeletons. The GQ article throws a bit of shade at the Verona skeleton couple, who were found locked in an eternal embrace near Italy. This snug position is sweet because it is tender and historical and also probably at least 100 people have tattoos of it; on the negative side, foreheads are really hard and bony. Here is another, less romantic, rendition of this snuggle position.
4. The meat jacket. The "meat jacket" is when you hug your partner so tightly from behind that it's like they're wearing a genuine embellished leather jacket fashioned from your skin. High on the affection scale, but also it feels like a demon is clinging to your back and trying to drag you into an open grave.
5. The Ancient Mariner. This position is achieved by clinging to your partner's neck like an albatross and screaming "I FEAR THEE, ANCIENT MARINER!"
6. The starfish. When you spread out your limbs as far as they will go and your partner has to sleep at the foot of the bed. Very comfortable. For a pet-positive "starfish" modification, consider rolling your partner onto some couch cushions and cradling your cat.
7. The short stack. Lie on top of each other like pancakes.
8. The swamp creatures. Forsaking common sense, attempt to force a physical connection during a heat wave in the summer. Press your miserable, clammy bodies together and luxuriate in your own filth. Summer love.
9. The grandparents from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This is when you lie very straight in bed with another couple and refuse to get up until a delightful urchin offers you candy and the trip of a lifetime.
10. The bogeyman. Have your partner remain on top of the bed and lie underneath it. Bite their foot every time it dangles over the edge.
11. 127 Hours. Let your partner drift off to sleep with their giant, heavy head resting on your arm. Try to rouse them; fail. Fighting back feelings of panic, attempt to think of a solution. Eventually saw off your own arm with a pocket knife.
Feel free to share your own creations in the comments below, my sweet Snugpostles. Also please help me become better at making cuddle puns.
Image by Jim Cooke.