If you hope snuggling up to your other half on the sofa will be a prelude to something more, you're in for a disappointment - five times out of six, anyway.
Only a sixth of cuddles between couples usually leads to sex, scientists claim.
The first in-depth study into hugging habits has concluded that a cuddle is more likely to be used to talk about how the day has gone than as a build-up to activity in the bedroom.
But the intimacy that comes with cuddling does have some benefits between the sheets - cuddly couples report having better sex lives.
The typical couple cuddles at least eight times a week, with each embrace lasting for just over 45 minutes, the study reveals. The most popular cuddling locations are the sofa, armchair and bed. Women tend to enjoy them more than men.
The University of Michigan researchers asked more than 500 men and women in relationships about the frequency and length of their cuddles and how the affection made them feel.
They 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.
The study, reported in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, 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 chat while cuddling, the most common topic is what they have done that day.
Researcher Dr Sari van Anders said: "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."
- DAILY MAIL