ask maude: cultivating intimacy

02 24 19 — ask maude

What are the best ways to cultivate intimacy in sex?

— Craving Closeness, Alaska

Dear Craving,

Excellent question—and good on you for wanting to connect with your partner on a deeper level. While it’s perfectly possible to enjoy sex on a purely physical basis, when you focus on also creating an intimate connection with your partner, it can make things way more pleasurable.

I get it: It’s not always so easy to cultivate that intimacy, especially if the relationship is relatively new, or if you’ve been together so long that you feel like the connection you once had has faded a little with time.

Let me suggest some simple ways that can help you and your partner feel more emotionally connected during sex.

First off, no matter how much you might be overwhelmed with the desire to jump each other’s bones, don’t skip the foreplay. Kissing, cuddling, whispering and touching can not only help you both feel more desired and connected, but can also help strengthen the emotional bond between you.

Eye contact is also super important. I’m not saying you should stare intensely at your partner the whole time—which, let’s be honest, might be a little creepy—but sharing a sultry gaze once in a while during sex can help enhance feelings of love, passion and general affection between you and your partner.

Be sure to also give your partner a few words of encouragement while you’re getting it on. Tell them what you like, how their touch makes you feel, and, if you’re feeling adventurous, what you want them to do to you. The more you know you’re both enjoying yourselves, the more intimate things are likely to feel.

The other thing to remember is that you can work on cultivating that intimacy even when you’re not having sex. Slip a short love note into your partner’s coat pocket telling them what you adore about them, so they’ll discover it sometime during their workday. Or little bit of simmering can also do wonders.

Whatever you decide to do, Craving, I know you've got this.

Your partner in pleasure,