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Intimacy in Relationship is More than Just Sexuality!

As I have stated previously there are 10 things which I believe are really important factors to having a healthy relationship. A relationship which will stand the test of time, of stresses and of the challenges life brings. These are the things I call the relationship fundamentals and I will be going over each of them here on my blog.

Fundamental # 10: Intimacy and Sexuality

“The more connections you and your lover make, not just between your bodies, but between your minds, your hearts, and your souls, the more you will strengthen the fabric of your relationship, and the more real moments you will experience together.”   -Barbara De AngelisIntimacy & Sexuality in Relationship

Intimacy in relationship is much more that sex, although sex is also important. Intimacy encompasses more; it is about being real and authentic, it is about being sensitive to your partner’s needs, likes and feelings, it is about loving physical affection and touching, spending time together and it is about regular communication. I believe it is also about being able to laugh and share together about everything.

As human beings we need physical touch, studies have shown with infants that having loving touch regularly assists in brain development and in adults it boosts our body’s levels of oxytocin one of the hormones that assists us in bonding and forming attachments. This is what Psychology Today says” Oxytocin is a powerful hormone. When we hug or kiss a loved one, oxytocin levels drive up.” Realize all of us need physical touch it is an important part of our being human. Regular loving touch and affection such as holding hands, hugging, or kissing assists us in maintaining intimacy.

Let’s talk about sex! In a primary relationship sex or making love is often a cornerstone of the relationship. Although it is important to realize that this should not be the only method of physical intimacy in the relationship, it is still important to make sex an active part of your relationship. Often life can get in the way for making that special time together to connect in that most intimate way. So it is important to make an effort to make that special time for each other.

As a relationship therapist I often get asked by both men and women “How often should we have sex?” Or “What amount of sex is normal?” According to a study published in the late 70s that surveyed both genders in 93 societies, men and women have roughly equal sex drives. This comes as a shock to some people. I have found it often depends on the individuals in the relationship, each of their sexual needs, the level of intimacy as a couple, what is going on in their lives, stress levels and of course if they are making the time to make love. So normal is what meets both people’s sexual needs in the relationship while still respecting the rest of their life, preferences and feelings. If both partners understand that this is important in the relationship, and that they are still having feelings of sexual desire for each other, then they are willing to make time for making love, often when life get’s in the way, remembering to make time to nurture that intimacy, so it does not become an issue.

If however your partner does not know if you are still sexually attracted or it is unclear what your needs are or there is pressure to have sex when one of you is really not into it then issues can occur. Often this is a communication problem which has gotten out of hand…and can require some assistance in getting back on track.

So both intimacy and a healthy sexuality in life are important to having a thriving and long lasting primary relationship!

Q.

  • Do you allow your partner to see your underbelly?
  • Do you share yourself with your partner?
  • Do you and your partner regularly touch with affection, hugs and kisses?
  • Do you let your partner know that you desire them?
  • Are you taking responsibility for your own sexuality and letting your partner know what your needs, likes and preferences are?
  • Are you making time to make love?