This will make you say "awwwww."
Contrary to popular opinion, this study found that men who kiss and cuddle are three times happier than those who don’t.
In other words, men more in touch with their kinder, gentler sides are more likely to experience satisfaction in their long-term relationships. The men who made a practice of smooching with their wives (or significant others) were in fact found to experience greater levels of sexual satisfaction than those who didn’t.
There I’ve said it! Intimacy goes a lot deeper (no pun intended) than the length and breadth of the penis or the depth of the vagina for that matter. Sexual satisfaction also definitely extends beyond the latest tricks and those impossible gymnastics' positions highlighted in the kama sutra!
If this study is correct, then intimacy means a lot more to men than they have traditionally let on.
If you remember anything about the movie Pretty Woman, starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, you'll recall that the prostitute (played by Roberts) had a distinct difficulty kissing her clients. She admitted that it fostered attachments and created a sense of intimacy that she didn’t exactly want to encourage in her line of work.
Both, women and men, recognize that there can be nothing more intimate than breathing each other’s oxygen. Maybe this explains why some men subconsciously decide to lay off the smooching after they have landed their catch — perhaps it’s a means of maintaining some level of control — you know, like protecting themselves against too much vulnerability.
Unfortunately, however, holding out in the intimacy department actually leads to less relationship fulfillment. Not that I’m suggesting that most men don’t enjoy kissing. However, other studies have shown that the more stale a relationship gets, the less kissing there is.
As sex becomes routine, couples admit to simply honing in on what they see as the important hardware for sex (read: the genitals). With getting kids off to school, working, feeding pets, cooking dinner and whatever your day job consists of, kissing can become relegated to the trash-heap of a relationship.
Whether intimacy dies because there is a lack of deep kissing or whether it's that the death of intimacy means that we no longer want to kiss and cuddle, this study confirms that relationships that are satisfying do thrive on something more than just straight-up sex.
What was even more astounding was that this cuddly stuff was more predictive of male happiness than it was of female happiness in relationships.
We women have been conditioned into seeing ourselves as soft, mushy, emotional and in need of lots of non-sexual affirmation; that is, hugging and the like. While I do believe that this is still very true, it is also true that as women grow older, they also become more in tune with and comfortable expressing their sexual needs.
As we women grow older, we come into our own sexually. A woman’s sexual peak tends to take place after 35 and really takes off when she hits her 40s. Men on the other hand, tend to peak in their early 20s. It's not that men lose interest in sex, but there is a known difference in our sexual peak-points.
(I honestly believe that this seesaw effect is genetically engineered to allow us to get on with other aspects of our lives; imagine how the world just might stand still if men and women both peaked at the same time; nothing else would ever get done; balance is always good)
Of course, being in love and being committed in a long-term relationship will affect a man’s libido to a great extent. Consequently, what this study also reveals is that men in stable relationships are very concerned with pleasing their partner sexually — it’s more about connection and less about competition.
After all, it takes a class act of a man to learn his woman’s body very well and know how to keep it humming, as her sexual needs change.
As men become more settled with one woman, their desire is to be more intimate with her and this is strengthened as they kiss, cuddle, and allow the attachment hormone oxytocin to go to work.
Women, on the other hand, as their relationships lengthen, experience a greater yearning for hot, steamy sex with the one man to whom they are committed. And this is, of course, in keeping with a woman’s rise in sexual assertiveness.
These male-female differences in need, are in fact complementary and represent a wonderful dove-tailing of cuddly warmth and hot passion.
And it’s nice to know that it’s finally official: Guys are a lot more than automatic sex machines.