Intimacy and sex are related but are not the same. For many people, especially women, intimacy can lead to better sexual experiences. A study published in American Sociological Review 1 found that heterosexual college women have orgasms more often in relationships than in hookups. When you know you are accepted and valued, you are more comfortable talking about your fantasies and what gives you pleasure. Good sex in the real world is not like that.
When you trust the other person, you are willing to take risks and expose vulnerabilities that can lead to new, enjoyable experiences. When your partner trusts you, they will reveal their inner thoughts and desires, which will make you more connected as a couple.
When you feel emotionally connected, you both can be your authentic selves. A meta-analysis published in January in the International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology 3 found that people with more open attitudes about sexual pleasure are able to explore their sexuality without guilt, which makes for more satisfying sex.
How to Achieve More Intimate Experiences Many people are uncomfortable or afraid of making themselves vulnerable — physically and emotionally — to another person. If you want more intimacy in your sex life, here are some helpful guidelines: Focus on the experience rather than letting yourself get distracted by random thoughts. Think about and enjoy what you are experiencing and how you might give pleasure to your partner in return. In her research, Lori A. Brotto, PhD , the executive director of the Women's Health Research Institute and the Canada research chair in women's sexual health at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver has found significant improvement in responsiveness in women suffering from anxiety-related sexual dysfunction through use of mindfulness training.
Only then will you know what to ask for. Work together to get in sync. Men and women may have different priorities in relationships. When he has sex with you, then he will want to talk to you. This can make for misunderstandings and frustration, but open communication can go a long way to minimizing it. Rewrite the script in your head.
When you try to be sexual, are there negative refrains going through your head that make you ashamed of your body or your technique and make you shut down? Who could make love to that? Krychman recommends this process: Recognize the thought, extinguish the thought, and replace the thought.
When the judgy tapes in your head start up, recognize this is a negative thought, focus on the positive, and replace that thought with: This should be my new focal point. Let me focus on my sexual feelings and experience in the moment. When you and your partner have been separated for a while, you can get disconnected. It may take a little while to reestablish the rhythm of intimacy. Lomanowska, PhD , in the department of psychology at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, who has studied the phenomenon.
If you yearn for intimacy and yet run from commitment, you need to accept that you are getting in your own way. A good therapist or sex therapist can help you iron out any past traumas that are still affecting you. Why do you feel this way? It usually involves something unresolved in your past.
Sign up for our Sexual Health Newsletter! Thanks for signing up for our newsletter! You should see it in your inbox very soon. Please enter a valid email address Subscribe We respect your privacy. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. A Systematic Review of Sexual Satisfaction.
International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology. Archives of Sexual Behavior.