Sex & Intimacy

For long term couples, intimacy can be lost over time. It’s not that you don’t love each other anymore, but life has gotten in the way and maybe passion has cooled. Routine kills intimacy; romance fades over time until you’re having sex on a schedule, and it’s getting more difficult to spark that passion that used to consume you both. You may feel that you both know one another so well, there’s nothing new to discover. You’d be wrong. 

A physical relationship without intimacy can become routine, even boring. More of a physical out let than an emotional connection. We all have a need for physical touch, intimacy and connection, but how do we bring intimacy back once it’s been pushed out of our relationships? 

Increase physicality – More physical touch that does not lead to sex can help intimacy grow. Snuggle, hold hands. Hold each other for longer hugs. Kiss more. Non-sexual touching gives a depth to your connection. You feel each other in a different way and become more physically and emotionally aware of your partner. You begin to read body language, notice tension, facial expressions and signs from your partner that you may have been overlooking.  

Open your eyes – This is a big one for connection. We often get into our own little worlds when we’re interacting with our partner, we’re thinking of the bills, the housework, kids. Closing our eyes allows us to simply feel.  When you open them things change. Look into your partner’s eyes when you’re kissing, when you’re holding each other in an embrace; when you’re making love. Really seeing each other gives an entire new dimension to all of your interactions. You’ll begin to notice things about your partner that you didn’t before. This will increase the feelings of intimacy between you. 

Talk and share – Intimacy at its core is a feeling of closeness and friendship. Open up to each verbally while you’re opening up physically and sexually. Share about what you like, what you want, when it feels good; when you’d like to try something new. We all have our own desires and fantasy life. When you’re able to share these ideas and desires with your partner, intimacy grows. There’s always more to discover but you have to be able to communicate it with your partner or it will remain an idea forever. Remember to keep judgement and rejection out of these conversations. It should all be listening and acceptance. Whether or not you act on these fantasies is entirely up to your mutual agreement, but you should never make your partner regret telling you their innermost thoughts and fantasies. You will understand that it is when you join playfulness, emotional connection, risk taking and physical touch that your connection becomes far more sensual and erotic.

Foreplay – I always say foreplay should begin when you wake up in the morning, but that doesn’t mean every conversation should be about sex. What is meant by that statement is that all of your interactions should be kind and loving as well as passionate and intimate. All of your touching, even non-sexual touching, should be loving and intimate. Random hand holding, kissing , embracing and holding each other briefly in passing with a whispered message of what will happen when you do get to the bedroom later can be incredibly sexy and exciting. To have that feeling simmering on the back burner all day long will raise anticipation of your time together. These are secrets that only you two share, and this is a powerful feeling of intimacy. 

Taking time – While there’s nothing wrong with a “quickie” when you’re both in the mood for it, taking time to be intimate and sensual in the context of sexual relations will make a huge difference in your experience. Set the mood (see above), take time for a sensual massage or extended period of foreplay before intercourse happens (if it happens at all). Languid, sexy and slow can make for an incredible time together.  When you are intimate with the one you love, there’s no need to rush, no need to hurry. Take your time and make sure that you both have an amazing experience.

Intimacy is not one thing. It’s a process of becoming so close and comfortable with one another that you are not afraid of opening up and sharing your deepest and most vulnerable selves. Intimacy and passion grow when you allow each other to strip themselves bare and keep them safe and secure in the process, knowing they are loved. 


About the Author:

Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW helps couples to overcome the disconnection in their relationships. As an author, blogger and podcaster, Stuart has helped couples around the world to experience a unique relationship in which they can feel special and important, confident in knowing they are loved deeply and that their presence matters. The Couples Expert Podcast consists of weekly provocative conversations offering the perspectives and insight of experts from a variety of relationship related fields. Stuart also offers daily relationship video tips on The Couples Expert YouTube channel and by subscription in Stuart's Daily Notes. Stuart is happily married and a devoted father of 2 daughters. His office practice serves the greater Phoenix, Arizona area including the cities of Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, and Mesa.