by: Max Alborn
Sex is great. Well, it’s great when you do it with the right person, even if that person is yourself. For the purpose of this piece, we’ll go out on a limb and assume you have a companion of some kind (casual, committed and/or friendly) to assist you in what I consider to be a more intimate act than sex: cuddling.
It’s a non-aggressive word: “cuddling.” But make no mistake. It can be as much of an art as the act of sex itself, whether you are Little or Big Spoon. Cuddling is as much about technique as it is about adaptability—you have to be able to read your partners actions and reactions and go from there. To master cuddling is to master a vital tool in your bedroom arsenal; it’s a “gateway action” (which I totally made up) that can lead to anything ranging from calm sleep to getting laid.
Take note that this guide is written under the scenario that you are on a couch or bed, potentially watching something like Battlestar Galactica or other great television. Remember that having a Michael Bay or Brett Ratner movie on does not inspire cuddle feelings in anyone. A need to vomit, maybe but not to cuddle, unless you’re in the 8th grade.
Big Spoon: Give Them Some Space
Yes, that sounds counterproductive. The entire idea is to get up in their space, but just jumping on top of a person can be a huge turnoff, especially in the earliest stages of getting to know someone. Most everyone has their own personal bubble that when broken unexpectedly, can throw them off balance and make them less comfortable. Get close but don’t encroach. Make your presence known and don’t forget communication is key. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can hold someone’s hand or put your arm around them. Oftentimes, we’re led to believe that asking if we can do things to someone shows a lack of confidence and that’s crap. What it shows is that you are willing to put the wants of your partner ahead of yourself and to make them as comfortable and content as you can. That’s a huge turn on for many which has the added benefit of good karma.
Little Spoon: Master Your Signals
If you’re going to be cuddled/handled/fondled, you deserve to call the shots on who will be putting their hands on or around you. If you find someone who pleases you, you can take any route to let them know. There’s the slow burn method: smile, chuckle, talk, “accidently” brush their arm, etc. But unless you’re dating a telepath (in which case, good luck with that), your partner can only read so much of your mind—even if you’re both lying on a bed watching TV. That leads us to the more direct option of just saying “hold me, goddammit!” Really, whatever works for you, as long as you find a means to communicate to Big that yes, you (really) want them close to you.
Big Spoon: Keep Your Cool
You’re in and that’s great! Now don’t frak it up. You’ve got your arm around them; do not squeeze them like they will float away if you let go. Unless you’ve already established a safe word (really?), we don’t recommend choking Little. Now it’s time to build your advance and a good way is to wrap one arm around them and prop yourself up with your other arm—we’ll call this the Quad Cuddle (look it up). While a cuddling position, it’s more casual than intimate but still expresses your interest and allows you a better angle to read your partner’s face/reactions. Sure, your arm propping your head will tire, but that’s kinda the point. Eventually, you’ll have to drop said arm and where will it end up? Under Little’s neck, most likely.
Little Spoon: Hands are Key
Given the position you’re in Little, it might feel like you have few options. However, just because you are in the submissive position of the two does not mean you have to be submissive. Take some control in where Big’s arms go—grab the things and wrap them around your chest. Or your waist. Or simply take Big’s hands in yours. Rub the inside of their arm with your thumb. The options are yours and they’re near limitless. If he’s holding you, chances are he’ll let you do anything to him, the pushover.
Big Spoon: Mind Your Head
While Little is mindful of where hands go (and you’re only so glad to oblige), you should be mindful where your head is placed. By now, you’ve likely collapsed as your arm went numb keeping it propped up (you slave driver) and you’ve drawn yourself closer to Little—you have a few points where your head can go. You can drag your whole body up slightly to continue propping yourself up, say if you’re watching a movie: it’s a safer move though more intimate than a Quad Cuddle. You can also move your head onto Little’s shoulder, but be mindful that you don’t dig into their chin nor breath excessively into their ear. Dare we say nuzzle? Is that too flowery? Well frak it, nuzzle their neck. Bonus points if you have a beard (tickles in all the right ways). Or you can put your head directly behind theirs, close your eyes and take in the feel of Little.
Little Spoon: Take the Lead
There’s a chance that Big initiated this, but you’re more than likely going to guide where this goes. Do what makes you comfortable, physically and mentally. If their head is leaning on you, lean back. If you feel their breath, expose your neck slightly. Turn their every twitch into something that excites or comforts you. If that means turning slightly and kissing them, more power to you. Or maybe you’ll hear rhythmic snoring and find Big has fallen asleep. If that happens, smile and enjoy it. Maybe you won’t get off physically, but you can get off on the fact someone you find attractive felt comfortable enough to fall asleep holding you.
Max Alborn is an Oregon-raised graduate of DePaul University, specializing in Media and Cinema Communications studies. He began writing about the entertainment industry during his Junior year and has done so for the DePaulia, HEAVEmedia and Player Affinity since then. Often on the outskirts of the Chicago LGBT community, Max has slowly been integrated through LGBT-focused volunteer work–with an interest in LGBT seniors/youth outreach. He spends his off hours writing, threatening his roommate and spinning as fast as he can in swivel chairs. He was also an RA for two years and was run over by a horse at the age of 5.