I just ran across this year-old piece from Cuddle Party, the group that organizes snug-ins where groups of strangers can engage in no-commitment, no-hassle, a-sexual cuddling. The item explains why cuddling is sooo healthy.
Marnia Wilson and Gary Robinson, authors of "Peace Between the Sheets: Healing with Sexual Relationships," write
if you listed all the conditions and diseases related to stress or aggravated by stress, you'd have to list nearly every known condition. By easing stress, oxytocin helps to heal them all.
In addition to oxytocin's powerful effects on the body, it strongly affects your mind and behavior. It is nature's antidepressant and anti-anxiety hormone. It creates feelings of calm and a sense of connection, so it actually shapes how you view the world. The whole universe looks like a better place when you feel tranquil and loving. Oxytocin also reduces cravings, which makes it the key to healing addictions of all kinds. For example, rats addicted to heroin used less of the drug when experimenters raised oxytocin levels in their brains.
For a good article on Cuddle Parties, read this from SF Bay Area alt-weekly the East Bay Express.
I want to go to a cuddle party!