09 24 19 — Culture, Relationships
It’s undeniable that relationship satisfaction has a strong correlation to sexual satisfaction, as we are hardwired to use moments of physical pleasure to create intimate bonds with our partner(s). For most of us, physical intimacy helps to build security and therefore deepens our emotional and psychological bonding mechanisms. This increases attachment and even further works to satisfy our needs so that we’re able to feel desired, nurtured and wanted.
While sex is essentially the most intimate experience that can be shared with someone else, it’s definitely possible to do the act without forming much of a connection at all. Inversely, if you’re only bonding in the bedroom that could also mean your relationship may be in need of other activities to create a more emotion-driven relationship full of intimacy.
As humans, we naturally crave surprise, variety and adventure. But stability is the opposite of spontaneity, and routine can sometimes cancel out variety. It’s easy to become distracted by the daily responsibilities of life, and sometimes intimacy gets left to the wayside.
Taking intimacy outside the bedroom can be a simple way to create more connection and satisfaction within our relationships. It’s true that improving connection takes effort—it’s a process that requires open communication, energy and desire.
Here’s our list of things you can do outside of the bedroom to strengthen your connection.
Be Touchy: One of the easiest ways to demonstrate intimacy is through touch—think simple caresses, hugs and soft kisses, or even a body massage. Getting close physically, while embracing and touching each other is so important for strengthening intimate relationships. Over time, touching creates more trust between partner(s), encouraging a greater connection. Not every act of physicality has to turn into a wild make-out session (though that’s never a bad thing!) Try holding hands more often, kissing gently, or spending more time cuddling. It’s necessary to create a culture of touch within our day-to-day lives, as these small acts of affection can keep romance on the forefront.
Write a Note: Historically, the written word has always been one of the best ways to showcase personal and intimate feelings. It’s romantic and heartfelt to be the recipient of a handwritten note. But if that’s not your thing, you can always get technical and send a spontaneous text. Research tells us that sending sweet (or sexy) messages helps to increase the likelihood of pursuing more intimate conversations when you are actually with your partner(s).
Run a Bath: Studies says that any kind of relaxing activity that helps to soothe our bodies and our minds can help to encourage intimacy. From cuddling, to back rubs and solo or coupled bath time—these activities can turn into engine-revving precursors to sex and/or increased intimate moments. Reports tell us that with each progressive stage of physical intimacy, people will experience pleasure and desire it in very different ways. Something as simple as running a bath for your partner can create unexpected moments of romance.
Give Affection: Another way to give and receive affection is through identifying the love languages of both you and your partner. If you’re able to understand how each of you prefers to interpret romance and love, you’ll be able to speak the language that your partner(s) needs in order to strengthen the bond.
Share Compliments: Everyone loves compliments, though we often don’t remember to shower our partner(s) with them. Studies tell us that showing affection and verbalizing compliments on a daily basis can lead to increased sensuality. Maybe we feel too busy, forgetful, or simply have other things on our minds. Whatever the case may be, it’s well worth the effort in order to create a stronger bond.
Be Playful: When new relationships are in the process of forming, being playful and flirtatious usually comes naturally and leads to more intimate moments. As relationships continue into the long-term territory, it’s important to cultivate this same sense of playfulness to help us stay connected. Try to lighten up the mood with unexpected touches or kisses.
Talk it out: Having real conversations with your partner(s) is the best way to build intimacy. Talk about what you want more of—perhaps touch, foreplay, connection. Rarely do couples get to the place where they feel confident and comfortable sharing their fantasies. Everyone has desires, and talking about them with your partner(s) can bring you much closer together.
Try sitting down outside of the bedroom and open up about expressing what you want. Not only is communication important for the relationship, but it’s also helpful for feeling understood and heard when you’re actually getting down to business. These conversations open the door to more satisfaction and fulfillment—just be honest.
Escape: If only for an afternoon or a quick evening getaway, try to plan something special that you and your partner(s) will enjoy. Creating experiences together allows for an increased connection that’s also enhanced by relaxation and clarity of the mind. Use this time away for positive, fun-loving conversations that will keep you feeling bonded. We often fall into mundane schedules and patterns, but if we’re willing to create new shared experiences together, breaking the routine can lead to a renewed sense of intimacy.