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How intimacy in sex can keep the fire burning in your relationship

Your sexual encounters don’t have to go up in smoke every single time. Here’s what you can do to stay warm long after the initial spark.

It’s one thing to have great sex. But it’s another thing to make love.

You’ve come to dream of the passionate kiss that leaves you breathless. How you yearn for the gentle caress wrapped with tenderness— if only you can spend the night with someone you adore with all your heart. 

More than a mere progression of physical sensations, sex to you is an unforgettable experience laden with emotions. It has to be rooted in a deeper commitment and connection with your partner.

Fortunately, this isn’t simply an overused plot device in romance novels. Intimacy is real, and it breathes more sensuality into sex and relationships.

Can’t fight the feeling

Love and sex are two irrefutable needs of humankind that we recognize yet do not fully understand. No wonder their charm lies in how the experience is mostly left to the imagination.

But what we do know about them is how they involve cognitive, physiological, and neurological factors that deeply intertwine with the volatility of human emotions. Sexual attraction cannot exist in a vacuum— it is a fire that blazes in the hearth of context and attachment.

Intimacy can be plotted on any point on a continuum, one where you’re completely closed off on one end then unconditionally open on the other. 

When you’re closed off, any sexual experience is tense, detached, and cold. Your mind is anywhere but the present moment. But when you’re open, you’re relaxed with your guard down; you’re able to take in what’s right in front of you without a hint of wariness.

Friends with benefits ironically lack the main component of real friendship: openness. Feel free to talk about anything but your relationship status.

The more you allow yourself to feel, the more you’ll grow closer to your partner in your relationship. Intimate sex can serve as an essential bonding process that will even help you relieve stress.

This warmth ignites the flames of desire, along with a longer life, improved physical health, and most importantly, an inner sense of calm and peace.

The faces of intimacy

Each one of us is a multifaceted being capable of complex thoughts, emotions, and actions, all of which make intimacy a subtle and diverse catalyst of relationships. That’s why, if you hope to improve your intimacy with your partner, it’s best for you to get acquainted with its many forms first.

Emotional intimacy

Emotional intimacy deals with how honest we are with our feelings and things that matter most to us. The walls that you normally keep up around other people come crashing down as you bare the genuine version of yourself.

It’s easier said than done, but you have to let your guard down around someone you trust. Then foster an atmosphere where your partner would also feel comfortable in their own skin. Open communication will make a huge difference— always tell them that you’re grateful for accepting you wholeheartedly.

Intellectual intimacy

Do you build on each other’s ideas, parry on the playful debate, and make meaningful conversation? Intellectual intimacy is all about figuring out what makes your mind tick. That is, if you follow the same mental metronome and the cogs whirring in your head are constantly in sync.

Examine your core beliefs. Don’t be afraid to discuss things that you disagree on, but more importantly, respect your partner’s thought process. Relationships thrive when you learn to complement each other’s attitudes and perspectives in life.

Physical intimacy

The level of comfort you have with your partner’s proximity is defined by physical intimacy. Do you mind when their arm wraps around your waist? Will you hesitate to take their hand when you walk together? Can you look at your partner in the eye when you’re barely inches apart?

This shouldn’t sit on the back burner of your relationship, especially when you’re past the honeymoon stage. Make time for it and turn it into a priority. Sneak in an affectionate touch, an unexpected hug, or even just a quick kiss— it doesn’t always have to lead to sex.

Experiential intimacy

Simply put, experiential intimacy revolves around quality time spent on common interests and activities. Whether it be as boisterous as cheering for your favorite sports team, as introverted as reading books in silence, or as weird as enjoying pickles with peanut butter, there’s always something both of you can do together.

While men lean towards the physical and intellectual and women are more emotional and experiential, hetero couples can negotiate what works best.

You can never be too busy or tired to make memories with your partner. Set some time for it every week; it doesn’t have to be grand or exceptional to be meaningful. What’s important is that you revel in each other’s company, without distractions.

If you want to improve not only your sex life but also your relationship, then intimacy must be what you’re seeking. After all, honesty and fervor are bound to offer a kind of pleasure that’s unique to making love— a smoldering passion that lives on long after the initial spark.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is intimacy?

Think of intimacy as any point on a temperature scale. When you’re closed off, sexual experience is tense, detached, and cold. Your mind is anywhere but the present moment. But when you’re open, you’re relaxed with your guard down; you’re able to take in what’s right in front of you without a hint of wariness.

Are sex and intimacy the same?

Although “being intimate” as a common euphemism for sex, the two are not interchangeable terms. To put it simply, sex is an act, while intimacy is a context. Both coexist in an ideal relationship, but the act can exist outside of that context, and vice versa.

What are the types of intimacy?

Intimacy can be expressed on an emotional (feeling), intellectual (thought), physical (touch), or experiential (time) level. You can have a glimpse of at least one of these in any relationship, even one that isn’t romantic or sexual in nature. But all four are essential in order to have a long-lasting relationship between couples.

Do men and women define intimacy very differently?

Generally, men are genetically and culturally predisposed towards the physical and intellectual forms of intimacy, while women tend to value emotional and experiential intimacy more. But of course, this difference isn’t clear-cut, nor is it a hard and fast rule. The more important thing is bridging the gap where it occurs.

How can I be more intimate with my partner?

Intimacy is a matter of building trust with your partner. Make an effort to know them more— what they think, how they feel, how they like to be touched, and what they’re interested in. Find common ground that is strong enough to overshadow any difference, and go out of your way to stay connected.

Posted by Prism Kristensen

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