WHY SPOON­ING IS GOOD

Spoon your way into a healthy & long-last­ing re­la­tion­ship.

Men's Health (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

Spoon­ing is much more than just a cud­dling po­si­tion. Do­ing this more can lead to a whole range of sex and health ben­e­fits.

If for some rea­son you haven’t been cud­dling with your part­ner af­ter sex, you prob­a­bly didn’t re­alise that post-sex in­ti­macy is just as im­por­tant for many peo­ple as fore­play. Whether you strug­gle with in­ti­macy is­sues or not, a lit­tle thing called spoon­ing doesn’t take much ef­fort at all, and can ac­tu­ally reap some ben­e­fits for you and your part­ner. Some­times some of us just want to be held, ya know?

Spoon­ing refers to ly­ing on your side with a part­ner (or more!) ly­ing on their side and curl­ing up be­hind you, mim­ick­ing spoons that seam­lessly fit to­gether. Peo­ple have been spoon­ing for cen­turies, as ev­i­dent from his­toric art­work de­pict­ing erotic em­braces and po­si­tions be­tween same-sex and het­ero­sex­ual cou­ples.

So what are the ben­e­fits of spoon­ing? And is there a right way to spoon some­one?

BEN­E­FITS OF SPOON­ING

There are some in­stinc­tual el­e­ments at play as to why spoon­ing tends to trig­ger such strong emo­tions.

“The largest or­gan we have on our bod­ies is our skin, and the pri­mal urge to have skin-to-skin con­tact for the ma­jor­ity of hu­mans is due to our de­sire to be soothed, com­forted and loved,” ex­plains Sari Cooper, CST, LCSW, founder and direc­tor of The Cen­ter for Love and Sex in New York City, a pri­vate prac­tice spe­cial­is­ing in sex ther­apy, in­di­vid­ual, and cou­ples ther­apy.

RE­LAX­ATION AND HOR­MONE RE­LEASE

When you spoon with a part­ner, you’ll no­tice your breath be­gin to slow, deepen, and sync, ac­cord­ing to Pam Costa, sex coach and founder of Down To There, a re­source for peo­ple who seek to cul­ti­vate bet­ter sex and re­la­tion­ships.

“Not only does this feel re­lax­ing, but it also trig­gers a re­lease of oxy­tocin, a hor­mone and neu­ro­trans­mit­ter which re­searchers be­lieve is linked to feel­ings of bond­ing and sex­ual arousal,” she says.

There’s a rea­son spoon­ing can pro­vide that feel-good con­nec­tion be­tween you and your part­ner.

“Spoon­ing is a form of in­ti­macy that helps our ner­vous sys­tem re­lax,” says Re­becca Hen­drix, an LMFT psy­chother­a­pist in New York City. “We are hard­wired to con­nect as hu­man be­ings, and the phys­i­cal touch and hug­ging that oc­curs dur­ing spoon­ing low­ers our blood pres­sure and sends a mes­sage to our bod­ies that it’s OK to re­lax and let go.”

COU­PLES CAN FEEL CLOSER

Some ther­a­pists have even found that em­ploy­ing spoon­ing tech­niques in their ses­sions can help cou­ples feel closer. “When I’m work­ing with cou­ples, I’ll have them try this in the of­fice by set­ting a timer for five min­utes and ask­ing them to lie down to­gether, with as much of their bod­ies touch­ing as pos­si­ble, with no agenda other than to ob­serve what is hap­pen­ing in their bod­ies,” Costa says. “By the end of 5 min­utes, most cou­ples re­port feel­ing closer emo­tion­ally and in­ter­ested in es­ca­lat­ing their phys­i­cal con­nec­tion.”

AL­TER­NATE FORM OF IN­TI­MACY

Spoon­ing is a good al­ter­na­tive for peo­ple who have dif­fi­culty with eye con­tact af­ter sex, Cooper points out. The po­si­tion of­fers an al­ter­na­tive, where the in­side spoon part­ner is so close to the other they can hear their breath­ing, feel the other’s heart­beat, and be held — with­out any de­mand on that big spoon part­ner.

IT’S AN EASY SEGUE TO IN­TER­COURSE

But spoon­ing can also be a sex­ual po­si­tion, one that can be eas­ily in­cor­po­rated if you’re feel­ing a lit­tle tired or lazy. Dur­ing sex, Cooper ex­plains that the in­ner “spoonee” is the re­ceiv­ing part­ner, and the outer spooner is the one pen­e­trat­ing, ei­ther with their pe­nis or a strap-on.

“The ‘spoonee’ can guide their part­ner in while arch­ing in or­der to get the right an­gle,” she says. “Depend­ing on each per­son’s size, there may be some ad­just­ing needed go­ing up, down, or for­ward in or­der to get a com­fort­able fit. Both part­ners can con­trib­ute to the thrust­ing, and both part­ners can con­trib­ute to stim­u­lat­ing the spoonee so that they are get­ting aroused ex­ter­nally and in­ter­nally us­ing hands, fin­gers, and/or toys.”

IS THERE A RIGHT WAY AND RIGHT TIME TO SPOON?

Post-sex spoon­ing is a way to con­tinue the in­tense in­ti­macy ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing or­gasm.

“There are many ways we make love to each other, with the act of sex be­ing just one of them,” says Hen­drix. “Spoon­ing and hold­ing each other is a form of ex­press­ing love and a deep sense of car­ing for [each] other.”

CHAL­LENGES OF HOLD­ING THE SPOON­ING PO­SI­TION

For some cou­ples, stay­ing in one po­si­tion for an ex­tended pe­riod of time may prove chal­leng­ing.

“Our bod­ies are ba­si­cally elec­tric blan­kets and when we put them next to each other as spoons, it can cause quite a lot of heat, which can make sleep­ing dif­fi­cult,” Hen­drix notes. “One can also ex­pe­ri­ence numb­ness and tin­gling from stay­ing in one po­si­tion too long, or hav­ing the weight of your part­ner’s arm or head on your body.”

AD­JUST­ING IS WEL­COME

To al­le­vi­ate that prob­lem, “it’s help­ful to find a com­fort­able way of hold­ing the side po­si­tion,” Hen­drix says. “For some, it may mean fold­ing their el­bow in and lay­ing on their hand, while for oth­ers they may need some sup­ports like a pil­low or wedge un­der their arm or be­tween their knees to pre­vent cramp­ing or a limb fall­ing asleep.”

Your other arm can ei­ther just rest in front of you or be in­ter­twined with your part­ner’s arm for more in­ti­macy.

BIG SPOON AND LIT­TLE SPOON

Ac­cord­ing to Cooper, you can have a spe­cific spoon­ing po­si­tion pref­er­ence or al­ter­nate be­tween big and lit­tle spoon. “Does a per­son al­ways like to be the leader, or can they en­joy tak­ing turns be­ing a ‘switch’?” she says.

But for most peo­ple, whether you’re solely the big spoon or lit­tle spoon has less to do with your per­son­al­ity and more to do with what­ever you feel com­fort­able with dur­ing the mo­ment.

“THE LARGEST OR­GAN WE HAVE ON OUR BOD­IES IS OUR SKIN, AND THE PRI­MAL URGE TO HAVE SKIN-TO-SKIN CON­TACT FOR THE MA­JOR­ITY OF HU­MANS IS DUE TO OUR DE­SIRE TO BE SOOTHED, COM­FORTED AND LOVED,”

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