Having sex isn’t everything.
Intimacy is a beautiful thing. It requires vulnerability, which is sometimes the hardest thing to give to someone else. Letting someone know you on a heartfelt, emotional level takes courage. A lot of people think that sex is the beginning and end of intimacy, but it’s not even a fraction, really. Real intimacy is more about the pillow talk that happens after, and the sensation of falling asleep in your lover’s arms. With the right partner, merely holding hands is an intimate act. You can express it by catching your girlfriend or boyfriend’s eye. You can try the following actions, as well.
1. Laugh While You’re Naked
Genuine laughter is intimate anyway. Laughing each other while you’re both naked is intimacy on another level. Technically, this can happen while you’re having sex, but that’s all right—still counts. See, the ability to laugh together during sex is unique. People tend to take the whole act so seriously. A little giggle doesn’t mean your partner is laughing at you. Maybe she or he just wants to laugh with you. Give into all the tickles and weird noises that occur. If you’re just making out and someone farts, laugh.
2. Cry Together
If anything, crying is even more intimate than laughing. Not everyone is comfortable with sorrow, but the couple who cries together experiences another layer of closeness and vulnerability. That’s the thing, you see. There’s intimacy in vulnerability, not to mention extreme trust. The death of a loved one or a pet, a meaningful poem, a sad commercial, a memory from your relationship, a lovely day—there are a million reasons to cry together.
3. Stay Together in Close Quarters
Traveling together is the real test of a relationship. You might as well hang it up if you can’t manage to peacefully coexist in a small space, such as a hotel room or a hostel. Sharing close quarters is about as intimate as it gets because you’re in each other’s space whether you’re having sex or not. There’s also something about getting lost in an unfamiliar place that can either bring you closer or push you apart.
4. Kiss without Touching Each Other
Kissing each other without putting your hands on each other is not only intimate but also sensual. Seriously, that’s hot. It takes making out to the next level. It’s kind of impossible to keep your hands to yourself once the kissing gets good, so you could also give yourself boundaries, such as no touching erogenous zones and keep it above the waist.
5. Bare Your Scars and Imperfections
Everyone has them. You see your lover’s body as beautiful and perfect, but you know she or he has insecurities and the same is true for you. Share them. Point out the places you had. Tell the stories behind your scars. Ask each other questions. In doing this, you not only share intimate knowledge with someone you trust, but you might be able to let go of the past hurts that haunt you.
6. Be Sick with Each Other
Taking care of someone exposes you to a new side of them. Sometimes, it’s a whiny, needy, irritable side that you want to smother with a pillow, but nevertheless, nursing a sick lover brings you closer together. You can’t deny that there’s something intimate about cleaning up someone else’s various bodily functions.
7. Take a Two-for-One Shower
Bathing or showering together is sexy as hell. You don’t even have to get up to anything in there. The ordinary act of washing each other’s hair is thrilling and romantic. Wash each other, talk about your day, maybe light candles and play music. It’s a scene set for romance, but it can just be a way to connect after the end of a long day.
8. Talk Through a Fight Instead of Yelling
Discussing the points of a disagreement calmly and rationally requires a lot of willpower. It’s surprisingly intimate, as well, because you have to trust each other to listen and be open to a different perspective actively. People with fiery tempers or passive aggressive tendencies can have trouble with that. Even the attempt proves a willingness to change and adapt.
9. Play a Little Game
Specifically, play a little question game. There are games for couples therapy that have pre-written questions, but you can just as easily come up with things on your own. Try that during dinner together, or pass the time in the car. Be as light or as serious as the mood dictates. Your partner is hiding a treasure trove of personal experiences and tidbits, as are you.
Achieving a deeper level of intimacy will ultimately improve your sex life. Having that much trust in the person you’re with is a turn on like none other. Once you discover ways to get close without messing around, however, you’ll also find that you get that rush anyway.