6 Ways to Up the Intimacy in Your Relationship Without Sex
When you think of getting up close and personal with your partner, you likely envision being body-to-body between the sheets. But did you know that you can get intimate with your S.O. without sex?
“Sex is one of the most physically intimate acts we can do in a relationship, and couples often believe that the physical act of sex is the quickest way to establish and maintain intimacy,” says Rachel DeAlto, relationship expert and author of Flirt Fearlessly. But there are a lot of other ways to be intimate beyond sex.” So maybe you’re in the beginning stages and you haven’t had sex yet but are trying to take things to another level. Or maybe you’ve been together forever and just need to rev up the intimacy level.
Here are six things to try that don’t involve getting naked:
1. Turn off your phone. The most intimate thing you can do with your significant other in this social media age, DeAlto says, is “turn off the electronics and focus on one another.” By staring into each other’s eyes and not your small screen, you’re sending a super bonding message: You are the most important thing to me.
2. Go beyond the superficial “how was your day?” Even if you think you’ve got enough 411 on your significant other to write his or her biography, challenge yourself to still “ask those deep getting-to-know-you questions,” DeAlto says.
3. Rub one another. Get your minds out of the gutter—we’re talking about massages! Recently coupled pairs might be more comfortable sticking to a simple shoulder massage, while long-term couples could set a more sensual scene—think silk sheets, candles, and aromatherapy oils. Either way, the point is to ease your partner’s stress over non-sexual strokes.
4. Care about things big and small. It’s easy to show our support and affection at, say, Christmas. But we should be making every mundane day into an excuse to show we’re listening to and care about our S.O.s. “Remember what your partner said they like in their coffee,” she suggests, “or show up with their favorite flower. On date night, treat them to a spot you think they would uniquely love.”
5. Play teacher—and not the role-play sex-on-my-desk kind. “We all have our own unique talents,” explains DeAlto. “Share yours with your partner.” No matter your talent—whether you can shred a mean guitar solo or whip up something scrumptious in the kitchen—sharing your interest with your S.O. will bring you closer.
6. Work it out. Couples who exercise together, stay together. OK, so that might be a made-up factoid, but we happen to think it’s true. After all, there’s nothing that brings a couple closer than working toward a common goal.