Cuddling is physical closeness of two persons, usually with at least one arm placed around the other, as in hugging. Cuddling takes place in a comfortable position, usually sitting or lying in an armchair, a couch, a bed, or on the floor. The partners can be side by side, or facing, or spooning, or one partner can sit or lie in the other's lap. They may gently stroke each other, and/or kiss if they feel like it.
Cuddling by itself is a non-sexual form of closeness and a gesture of affection or forgiveness that makes one feel loved, protected, and good. It is common between parents and children, siblings, lovers and spouses. It is also called holding, especially when it is one that holds the other in their arms without other intimacy.
It is also sometimes found among friends, however with some cultural bias (like other forms of intimacy such as holding hands): In most places it is more commonly found between two girls, and rarely between a boy and girl, unless there is a very intimate friendship or a sexual interest. Cuddling between two boys is very rare in Western culture where males typically are more distant to another, but somewhat more often found in other cultures, especially those in the Middle East and Asia that traditionally have a greater distance between members of opposite sex.
Cuddling after a spanking
Cuddling in ageplay
Cuddling is also a very important thing in ageplay because it really gives the person who plays a child role a good "child-like" feeling of being loved and cared for. This is especially much needed after a punishment.
- Snuggling (similar, but does not necessarily require a second person: one can also snuggle in one's bed alone, referring to a comfortable rolled-up position)
- Nestling down (e.g. in one's bed)
- smooching (mainly refers to prolonged kissing, but often combined with cuddling)
- canoodling (mainly refers to prolonged kissing, but often combined with cuddling)