Dave Johns explores his own propensities for snuggling, what it says about masculinity, and our long national battle with the non-sexual cuddle:
In fact, this very conundrum weighed on the minds of certain early American purity expertsthe Puritanswho practiced an odd form of nonsexual snuggling known as "bundling." Bundling occurred when a courting young man wound up at his love interest's home in the evening, and was invited to spend the night in bed with her. They were given separate blankets, and sometimes placed on either side of a "bundling board" that ran along the mattress from head to toe, so as to impede hanky-panky. If the bundling board did yield, and pregnancy occurred, the couple was expected to marry.
The British mocked bundling as a tawdry American tradition, but in fact there is evidence it came from Europe and was practiced from Britain to Holland to Switzerland, perhaps dating as far back as Roman times.
(Photo: A young Russian couple embraces while waiting for a train at a metro station in Moscow on February 4, 2010. By Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty.)