Only 1 in 6 cuddles lead to sex
A cuddle is likelier to be used to talk about how the day has gone than as a build-up to activity in the bedroom, the first in-depth study into hugging habits has concluded.
And scientists revealed that only one in six cuddles between couples usually lead to sex, the Daily Mail reported.
But the intimacy that comes with cuddling may help boost your bedroom acts, as the study also showed that those who cuddled the most tended to report having better sex lives.
The study, reported in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, found that the typical couple cuddles at least eight times a week, with each embrace lasting for just over 45 minutes. The most popular cuddling locations were the sofa, armchair and bed - and women tended to enjoy it more than men.
For the study, the University of Michigan researchers asked more than 500 men and women in relationships about the frequency and length of their cuddles and how cuddling made them feel.
The participants were also asked about what they did when they cuddled, where they cuddled and when.
A cuddle was defined as 'intimate, physical and loving contact that does not involve sexual behaviour and that involves some degree of whole body touching, not just hand to hand or lips to lips'.
The scientists discovered that the average cuddle lasts 47 minutes and 36 seconds, with evenings being the most popular time to cosy up.
They also found that couples were most likely to cuddle while watching a film or TV, followed by talking, having a massage, listening to music or reading - but only one in six said sex was likely to follow.
For those who chatted while cuddling, the most popular topic was what they had each done that day.
"Men and women reported feeling nurtured, protective and relaxed after cuddling and rarely mentioned sex when questioned about what they did or felt during cuddling, but talked about love, intimacy, closeness and comfort," the paper quoted researcher Dr Sari van Anders as saying.