The Importance of Intimacy: Building Stronger Relationships
Sex may not be the be all and end all for some couples but when it comes down to it, for many, intimacy is the thing that makes your relationship with your partner different to your other relationships.
When people talk about intimacy it is not exactly clear what they are talking about. Intimacy goes beyond the act of having sex, although that can undoubtedly be a key element. Intimacy involves mutual trust, attachment, and togetherness. For people experiencing sexual health complications, intimacy could involve starting a conversation about erectile dysfunction, or even discussing the use of Viagra or sildenafil tablets to help achieve the physical intimacy that both parties crave. There are broadly three types of intimacy, each of which plays an important role in building a healthy relationship.
While sex with someone new can be exciting and intoxicating in its own way, physical intimacy is often better when it comes with emotional intimacy. When you connect with someone on an emotional level, you will probably feel more comfortable talking to them about your feelings, desires and fantasies – both in and out of the bedroom. What’s more, they will feel more able to talk to you about what they enjoy, or would like to try.
Open up to your partner and be honest about your feelings, fears and desires, and give them the opportunity to do the same. This emotional awakening will give you both the opportunity to make yourselves vulnerable, as well as protect each other, which will in turn allow for a much greater sexual and intellectual connection.
Intellectual intimacy doesn’t necessarily mean watching the news together or reading the same books, but it is a meeting of minds in as much as it is a state where you both feel as though you can talk about your opinions freely, even if they are not the same. An intellectual connection shows that you feel safe to share your views, whatever they are, without judgement. You may even enthusiastically disagree with each other but at the end of the day, you know and care for one another to not let those views change your feelings for each other.
Don’t be afraid to voice your opinions, even if they differ from your partner’s. Your intellectual intimacy doesn’t come from agreeing on something, it comes from demonstrating that you respect each other’s opinions.
From that first kiss to holding hands in public, to sharing your deepest sexual desires, physical intimacy covers a whole spectrum. Physical intimacy is a very powerful way of demonstrating your feelings for someone, or for saying something that you are not sure how to say. Often, it is the smaller physical acts that create as much, or more, chemistry than sex itself. A small display of submission, protection or attraction can build sexual tension in a way that more covert acts often can’t do.
If physical intimacy is problematic, take sex off the cards for a while. Enjoy the liberation of that lack of expectation and allow the sexual anticipation to grow while you address how and where to progress from here.
Talking about sexual health
Whether you are talking about erectile dysfunction, debating about monogamy, or you are hoping to push your sexual boundaries, talking about your sexual health will help you to improve your intimacy in all areas: emotional, intellectual, and physical. The time for being embarrassed to talk about sexual health and our sexual pasts is behind us; by being honest and open with those we respect, we can open a whole new world of experiences and relationships.