As a Houston marriage counselor, I have seen a lot of relationships benefit from making physical affection a priority. Contrary to popular conception, it’s not just women who enjoy cuddling and consider it an important part of a successful relationship. A recent study by the Kinsey Institute found that men actually rated cuddling, as well as caressing, kissing, and tenderness, to be more important to their relationship than women did.

From my experience as a Houston marriage counselor, I don’t find these results surprising. In our society, women typically have more outlets for physical affection. In relationships with friends, it is more socially acceptable to hug, kiss each other on the cheek, stroll arm in arm, or even brush each other’s hair. And in many households the woman does most of the parenting, which allows for many opportunities for physical contact, such as tucking children into bed, bathing, and even changing diapers. Men, on the other hand, often rely on their female partners to fulfill this need.

What relationship advice can you take away from this? Start snuggling!

Houston Marriage Counselor: Cuddling Can Improve Your Sex Life

If you aren’t happy with your sex life, consider how other forms of physical affection may have waned as well. Make a conscious effort to touch even while doing mundane things, like washing the dishes or doing laundry. Take time to snuggle before going to bed. Hold hands while watching TV. Share a kiss before leaving for work in the morning. These small pieces of relationship advice can make a big difference in how connected you feel to your partner, and they can also lead to a greater sense of intimacy in your sex life in general. If you need help discussing your need for more physical affection, consider talking to a Houston marriage counselor.