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5 types of intimacy that isn't sex

Intimacy is an important part of being human. But for many people, intimacy is inextricably linked to sex. Therefore, it can mean that you don't have intimacy if you don't have sex for whatever reason - but it doesn't have to be that way. Here are 5 ways to be intimate that aren't related to sex.

Written by somatic therapist Molly Mørch

Physical games

Intimacy can be expressed in physical playing. For example, you might have a pillow fight or wrestle in bed. Acroyoga is also an example of something physical you can do together. Often done with a partner, acroyoga is a form of yoga that incorporates elements of acrobatics.

It can also be fun to just lie or sit on top of each other on different parts of the body. You can try fixating each other in different ways, where it can be fun to try bondage tape. Make rules for your bondage games if you need or want to.

Take a shower together

Try taking a shower together, taking turns running the shower over each other's bodies. You can also wash each other with soap or rub the skin with your hands. Talk about which areas you are okay with being touched beforehand. After the bath, you can dry each other with towels and possibly apply lotion or something similar. Feel how you want the atmosphere to be. Do you want it to be cozy, fun or more sensual? Agree on this beforehand.

Emotional intimacy

Intimacy can be much more than just physical. Emotional intimacy is the kind of intimacy that happens when you talk about your feelings or thoughts with each other. It takes a lot of trust in the relationship to open up to each other and to be able to be curious and not try to fix anything or start arguing. Many people also experience a great deal of emotional intimacy with their friends. 

Rest together

One way to be intimate together is to take a break from everything that needs to be done. Lie together on the couch or bed so you're both comfortable. Put on some calm music if you like. Figure out the best way to lie down. You can take turns holding each other. It can be a good idea to set an alarm; it can help if you fall asleep, but also if you quickly become restless. It's a good idea to have rest time without words, but with touch.

Be there for each other

An important type of intimacy is the one that happens during difficult times. Throughout life, most of us face adversity or hard times, and it's great to have someone who is there for us. When it comes to being there for another person, you typically don't have to do much. You might ask them what they need, but otherwise you don't need to say much. A hand on a shoulder is sometimes better support than a lot of words.

Have fun - and remember!

We are all different, and some of the above may work well for some and not so well for others. Also, remember that intimacy is not necessarily foreplay to sex; it can be great on its own.

Have a great time

Read also: How to get better at communicating during sex

Read also: What is sexual aftercare?

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