Kissing, Cuddling, and Massage at Most Recent Sexual Event: Findings From a U.S. Nationally Representative Probability Sample

Debby Herbenick, Tsung Chieh Fu, Christopher Owens, Elizabeth Bartelt, Brian Dodge, Michael Reece, J. Dennis Fortenberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Using data from the 2014 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, a probability survey of Americans aged 14+, we assessed the prevalence and correlates of kissing, cuddling, and massage during 1,493 individuals’ most recent sexual event from the past year. Most respondents reported kissing (87%) and cuddling (70%); fewer (23%) reported massage. Each was significantly associated with age, education, and relationship structure. Respondents younger than 30 were significantly more likely to indicate they did not kiss because kissing would have been too intimate with their partner. Only cuddling was significantly associated with event-level emotional intimacy and sexual pleasure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-172
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Sex and Marital Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

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