lionloveRemember how when you were a teenager and you spent an inordinate amount of time hugging, caressing and kissing whoever you were dating that week–and it took every ounce of willpower to not to let all that canoodling turn into all-out sex? Well, turns out, there’s a good reason a good cuddle session can make sexual intercourse so irresistible–and it’s something we can use to make our adult sex lives a whole lot better. Let me explain:

In a small study of 16 women in the journal Hormones and Behavior, researchers discovered that cuddling–which involves hugging, kissing, caressing and other skin-to-skin contact–prompts a surge in testosterone in women. In fact, this surge is higher than you’d experience after sexual intercourse or exercise–both also known to prompt temporary spikes in this hormone.

This is a key finding since testosterone is a hormone that may play a key role in heightening physical sensations in the genitals, boosting your libido and helping you reach orgasm more easily, the researchers say. So, the higher testosterone climbs, the more sexual urges you experience and the more likely you are to climax during intercourse. 

In fact, the study authors theorize that the reason testosterone may spike so high from cuddling is to convince you to move on to sex. (I bet a lot of moms of teens reading this post volunteer to chaperone their next kid’s dance!)

The takeaway here: If your libido is low or you’re having trouble reaching climax–or you want to simply turbo-boost your already high sex drive and orgasms–then channel your inner teenager and boost your testosterone by spending more time cuddling before hitting the sheets.

[Photo: Francois de Halleaux]