How To Cuddle Better This Winter

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

As a native Vermonter, I’m well aware of the fact that there are a lot of things to hate about winter. There's less sun, it's colder outsider, it's harder to get exercise because you don’t like breathing hard when your boogers are freezing. You get the picture. But the one reason I’m always excited about winter is that it means cuddling season is back! That cold weather that makes it hard to step outside your door (or just like, mildly less pleasant if you live somewhere not arctic) also makes cuddling better.

I’m a serious cuddler. When I went away to college, the thing that made me the saddest wasn’t leaving behind my brothers or my parents or even my high school boyfriend. It was the lack of physical contact. I come from a big family — I’m one of eight kids — and our house was always a riot of noise, people, food, and cuddles. So, landing in college, where there was no one for me to regularly snuggle up to, gave me the blues in a major way.

And I’m still like that. I live for cuddles. In the evenings, my favorite thing to do is curl up with my boyfriend on our giant couch. He gets too hot if I cuddle him at night, but we usually fall asleep with either my foot on him or his hand on my butt because I just like the contact. In the mornings, I roll over and drape my body on his, a move he’s deemed “The Emma Duvet.” I would be perfectly happy if I was touching another human being at all times. So now that I’ve firmly established my credentials as a Cuddle Fanatic, here are seven ways you can boost your cuddle game this winter.

1Get A Onesie

Emma McGowan

Confession: I own two onesies and my boyfriend owns three. Two of his are kigurumis — Japanese style animal onesies — that I made. (He wanted a black unicorn and the only ones I could find online were white or pastel, so I made him custom ones in two different weights.) The other is a super soft modal one from MeUndies, which basically feels like you’re wearing the softest jersey sheets you could imagine. I have a MeUndies one, too, as well as a kigurumi giraffe. Sound goofy? It is. But it’s also comfy AF and we love it.

2Invest In A Super Soft Blanket

The Citizenry

Here’s a fun thing I’ve learned recently: Nice blankets are hella expensive. Even a throw will set you back a couple hundred dollars! But I’ve also learned that nice blankets are worth spending money on, if you care about maximum cuddling comfort. While you can totally get a more affordable one from somewhere like Target (and no shade if you do!) I decided to go in for this beautiful handwoven blanket from The Citizenry because it’s super soft, goes with our living room, and supports Peruvian artisans. All around wins.

3Invest In A Massive Couch

Crate & Barrel

My boyfriend and I traveled for the first four years of our relationship, so the couches we lived with weren’t always the best for cuddling. And I have to say, when we had a place with a subpar couch, our relationship suffered. So when we finally moved into a place with a long-term lease and had to by our own furniture, we knew we needed to get a couch that had maximum lounging benefits.

So we bought one that’s literally called The Lounge II, from Crate & Barrel. It’s big enough for us to lie together side to side or end to end without feeling crowded. It has down cushions, so you can nestle right in. Also, literally every person who has sat on it since we bought has made involuntary sounds of pleasure. I can’t recommend getting a big, comfy couch enough.

4Moisturize More

Thrive Market

This seems kind of weird, but moisturizing can really up your cuddle game. Think about it: Who doesn’t like to touch nice, soft stuff? So if your skin is super soft, won’t your partner want to touch more of it? It's sneaky, but very effective. I recommend Almond Oil all over when you get out of the shower for maximum smoothness, while my boyfriend goes for baby oil.

5Use Pillows Strategically

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Pillows can totally be a part of your cuddle sesh. While pillows can act as a block between you and your partner, they can also enhance your cuddle time if you put them on your opposite side, for example. Then you’re fully ensconced in comfiness on all sides! Giant teddy bears and/or other stuffed animals also work in this case. And for solo cuddling, if your partner isn’t around or is just sick of you trying to rub up on them.

6Think Of It As Foreplay

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Cuddling can absolutely lead to sex, obviously. You’re touching bodies and you’re usually somewhere that's sex-friendly, like a bed or couch. So if you’re looking for ways to up your cuddling game, consider upping the cuddles to making out and then to other adult activities.

7Or Think Of It As Totally Non-Sexual

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

But on the flip side, another way to up your cuddling game is to think of it as totally non-sexual! If you’re always turning cuddling into sex, you’re missing out on the awesomeness that just cuddling can be all by itself. Instead of escalating to sexual contact, try keeping your cuddles purely platonic for once and see how it feels.

So there you go, seven ways to up your cuddle game, from free to thousands of dollars. Pick one; pick a couple; and get your cuddle on this winter!