Springsteen once sang "Cuddle up, angel, cuddle up, my little dove." And, as always, he was onto something. And science now wants in on the action. According to the Brisbane Times, women dig cuddling. Yes yes, shocking. Another case of someone with a clipboard telling us what we probably should have guessed if we thought about it for 2 seconds. But some of the other pieces to this puzzle are pretty interesting.
Per the survey referenced by the Brisbane Times, women seem to want additional post-coital cuddling more than they want increased foreplay or longer humping. Granted these women were Japanese and all of the numbers were close (49%, 44% and 38% wanted longer lasting cuddle time, foreplay and boning, respectively). But it still seems likely that you women sometimes trade sex the other kind of physical intimacy and we're none the wiser.
I first suspected this might be the case when listening to Steve Martin's novella Shopgirl. I said 'listening' because it was a book-on-tape as part of an 8-hour convoy up the Eastern Seaboard to move a friend out of an apartment. The book's protagonist, Mirabelle Butterfield, invites a young man back to her apartment for sexing with the hope that he'll hold her after they've finished humping. Both the sex and the spooning were ultimately unsatisfying. The whole passage was a profoundly sad commentary on Mirabelle's loneliness, which I discounted because it was too depressing to fully contemplate. I also thought that Steve Martin may have been telling a joke which I just didn't get. My homie went with a Tom Clancy book-on-tape and was chided by the checkout girl for his decision. I believe he may have made the right move.
Unfortunately, most men are not into cuddling. We assume that the unselfish portion of the show is the sometimes interminably long bit of blue-ballery known as foreplay. I know that the image of the guy falling to sleep immediately after doing it (or recalling some heretofore unknown early morning meeting) is long-standing pop culture cliché. And the sentiment is that if he was 'that into you,' he'd be up for more hugging post-sex. But clichés exist because there is a general truthiness to them.
A lot of guys just want to get that vile condom off, maybe pee and catch some shut-eye after delivering what they felt was an outstanding performance. And convincing him to do otherwise is a tough proposition. We've been conditioned that our main concerns are to not prematurely ejaculate, to maintain physical alertness and not 'accidentally' try to put anything in the wrong place (like anal sex). Let's start calling cuddling 'postplay' and see if it doesn't become more popular. And all men probably should learn to gently roll their partner off when she falls asleep.