physical intimacy in a relationship

Physical Intimacy in a Relationship Matters

How important is physical intimacy in a relationship? Very.

Physical intimacy in all its forms plays an essential role in lasting relationships where both partners truly feel happy together. Many partnerships do survive years, sometimes decades without physical intimacy, yet almost never, would either partner say they felt joy, satisfaction or real peace in that relationship. Most would say, “It works. It’s good enough. We’re great friends.” 

Yet, neither the masculine or the feminine finds fulfillment without physical connection. 

Any thriving romantic relationship depends on and integrates many types of intimacy including emotional, physical and spiritual intimacy. If we’re talking about a soulmate connection, souls express themselves and unite through heart, mind, body and spirit. So, to leave physical intimacy out of an intimate relationship would leave out an essential ingredient necessary to know Soul Love. 

And, while physical intimacy in a relationship truly matters to the real satisfaction of both partners, it’s quite often misunderstood and therefore creates a lot of unnecessary conflict.


What is physical intimacy?

One of the reasons couples struggle with intimacy, both physically and emotionally, is because they have never actually asked themselves or each other the important questions “What is intimacy to you?”, “What is physical intimacy to you?” Your answers to these questions will undoubtedly be different and if this happens to be a masculine-feminine relationship, you can practically guarantee a significant contrast in perspectives. 

Physical intimacy in a relationship means simply that your bodies touch, that they literally physically connect. It does NOT mean sex, foreplay or intercourse, although it may include those. This common misunderstanding of intimacy, and in particular physical intimacy, causes much unneeded upset and heartache in romantic relationships. 

In relationships with a masculine-feminine polarity dynamic, limiting intimacy, or physical intimacy, to just sexual interaction will leave the feminine disappointed and hungry. And that means the masculine will also eventually find itself longing for more. Without a complete understanding of the importance of physical intimacy in a relationship, the resulting dynamics mean sexual attraction will fade. The shift into the friend-zone is driven primarily by the fact that most feminine women will lose interest in sexual intimacy when their partner doesn’t include a variety of forms of physical intimacy. 

Let’s make the definition of physical intimacy in a relationship even clearer by looking at the various types of physical intimacy. 


Types of physical intimacy

Again, physical intimacy means connecting body-to-body. While that likely means we want to unite our genitals frequently, it also means we want to connect many, if not practically all, of the other parts of the body frequently too.  

  1. Body intimacy – We’ll start with the most basic type of physical intimacy where you make any connection between any two or more points on your body. 
  1. Hugging – This is one types of physical intimacy, beside sexual intimacy, that brings large portions of the body into contact. For those who are familiar with energy systems, hugging aligns the energy centers, or chakras, which can have a powerful harmonizing and relaxing effect. 
  1. Cuddling / snuggle – Bring your bodies together in a way that creates a sense of comfort and joy. Most cuddling will bring about a sense of warmth. Be sure to cuddle not just in bed but anywhere. 
  1. Sleeping together – Let your bodies touch while you sleep. This doesn’t need to be full on cuddling or spooning but you might hold hands or let your feet or legs touch. 
  1. Affection – Caress each other, touch each other’s faces when you look at each other or talk, if you pass each other in the kitchen or the hall let your hands brush across your partner’s body in a loving way.  
  1. Kissing – Most couples enjoy kissing as the first form of shared physical intimacy. Powerful, happy partnerships keep this deeply intimate experience front and center in their physical connections to bring waves of bliss, joy and arousal. (And, kissing isn’t just for the lips.) 
  1. Holding hands – Physical intimacy can’t get much simpler than this. You can hold hands anytime, anywhere to deepen your physical connection. Given we know the answer to the question, “How important is physical intimacy in a relationship” is VERY, this type of intimacy can contribute frequently and abundantly to your happiness. 
  1. Touching feet under the table (or anywhere) – Again, like holding hands, you can bring your feet together almost anywhere, except maybe in the car. But you have many opportunities to say, “I love you. I see you. I want to connect with you…” with the simple connection of your feet.  
  1. Massage – massage offers many opportunities for physical intimacy and massage itself can take on many forms from therapeutic touch to sensual massage. Because of the nature of massage, it’s a great way to separate and practice the distinctions between giving and receiving. 
  1. Tickling / playing / roughhousing – Children can be great teachers when it comes to this type of playful physical intimacy. Engaged with fully and freely, you might find yourself laughing hysterically, gazing into each other’s eyes, or even being aroused. 
  1. Touching foreheads – Our foreheads are one of our powerful spiritual centers and touching your foreheads together for moments to minutes can be a great way to blend physical and spiritual intimacy. 
  1. Energetic touch –  A lesser known type of physical intimacy happens when we feel each other’s energy bodies without touching physically. If you’ve never played with energetic touch, it’s highly recommended and could be considered one of the Tantric Practices for singles and couples
  1. Sexual loving – Of course, we can not leave out sexual intimacy. This form of physical intimacy can literally create a physical union of two bodies. The ultimate experience of intimacy creates an experience of union. So intercourse itself must be given important consideration in your partnership’s physical intimacy. However, it’s also critical to remember and include all of the other types of physical intimacy described here as foreplay. The blending of various forms of physical intimacy will make intercourse all that more thrilling and pleasurable for both masculine and feminine partners. And, of course, if physical or other factors prevent actual intercourse, you can still share a very-very rich, exciting, natural, and happy physically intimate life in your relationship. 

Which types of physical intimacy in a relationship are most important to a particular couple must be discovered through conversation, exploration, and play. Explore often, explore deeply. Marry the varieties of physical intimacy with all the 23 types of intimacy including emotional and spiritual intimacy. In your exploring, be honest. Know yourself. Know each other. Then physical intimacy turns into not just a source of pleasure or release, but of relaxation, restoration, healing and the bliss of whole Love. 

*At Ecstatic Intimacy, an all-inclusive website for singles and couples, we welcome all sexual orientation(s), gender(s) and relationship expressions. In this article we utilize the pronouns he/she/him/her.

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