Say the word ‘intimacy’, and most people immediately think about sex. However, as rightly asserted by Psychology Today, intimacy is a complex idea that encapsulates more than just what adults get up to in the bedroom. Involving simple conversation, gentle touches, attention-giving and everything up to and including sex, it is a process that’s built up over the years that makes healthy relationships last, and it’s not an easy thing to define. When a relationship is lacking in intimacy and it starts to affect the bedroom, it’s often important to get back to basics.
Understanding each other’s bodies
Relationships are often founded on a mix of physical attraction and melding personalities, and it’s little wonder that in the frantic weeks of the honeymoon, many couples leap right into bed without taking the time to slow down and really think about each other’s bodies. The AARP highlight this as a key way that intimacy can be built, as it helps partners to build an understanding and appreciation of what makes one another tick. The AARP highlight the use of sex toys as a tool to building this understanding, and that’s great advice. Sex toys – for men as well as for women – are designed to provide specific stimulation in ways that traditional intercourse cannot, and experimenting with toys over the course of an evening – or a few – can help you to understand what makes your partner happy.
This knowledge can provide the basis on which you can continue to learn about your partner. A healthy sexual relationship is grounded in common understanding and a real strength of partnership. As Healthline note, there are several types of intimacy: intellectual, physical, experiential and emotional. This complex mix can be hard to grapple with, but that’s the point of a relationship. You grow together, you learn about your strengths and weaknesses as individuals, and you come to terms and compromise wherever possible. In a healthy relationship, this intimacy picture, built up as an in-depth knowledge of your partner’s entire personality and self, provides the springboard to really begin your adventures together.
Using intimacy for good
Having that in-depth knowledge of one another is important because it builds confidence and trust. Trust is crucial to any relationship, alongside communication, and it can give you the confidence you need to create surprises. Even when they go wrong, or don’t quite hit the mark, this doesn’t matter; you have the communication and the intimacy that you know will back you up and ensure you both understand one another. Simply put, understanding and having developed intimacy can open doors to new heights in your relationship, whether that be sexual or simply in the experiences you share.
Building intimacy, then, is something you do every day. It’s something you do by being open and interested in your partner, by listening and learning about what matters to them, and reflecting this in your treatment of them. It isn’t just about the bedroom, though that is important – but if you cover all the other bases, everything should fall into place.