When we talk about being intimate with someone, we’re typically alluding to sexual encounters and utilizing “intimacy” as a more acceptable euphemism. However, intimacy goes far, far deeper than sex, and while very physical, it’s also incredibly emotional.
The success of our relationships, especially long-term, hinges on our ability to create enduring, non-sexual intimacy, which in turn can amp up the heat and connection in the bedroom by increasing safe closeness and a flood of oxytocin. Cheryl Fagan, sexologist and founder of On Top, created a special deck of cards for you and your partner(s) to do just that.
“I created The Closeness card deck for couples to use as a tool for cultivating and achieving intimacy. Questions to help you dig deeper into the soul of your relationship. If you find it awkward to talk about certain topics, or just don’t know what to ask, they help take the pressure off—it’s not you asking, but the card!”
Here are some of Fagan’s major takeaways from this deck.
“Ask yourself, how do you like to receive love and care from your partner? Make a list and then ask your partner to do the same. Start doing those little things that really let one another know you’re thinking of them.”
“It’s not always easy, but it is necessary for intimacy. It creates a safe environment for you (and your partner) to be your true self, and sexually free. This is created by sharing your desires, curiosities, struggles, fantasies, and so on.”
Set an intention
“Intimacy and closeness take active participation and prioritizing. It can even be a goal for 2022 to grow deeper in love and truth with one another.”
Mood and atmosphere
“When it comes to your intimate moments, whether that’s sex, play, or deep conversation, make sure you have set up the space that makes it feel calm, safe, relaxing.”
“Every once in a while, check in with one another by asking what you enjoy about the relationship. What are you excited for? What’s been a bit more challenging?”
Touch each other often
“Another way to cultivate intimacy outside of the bedroom, but that will certainly keep the simmer going, is to keep up with non-sexual touch. Holding hands, stroking your lover’s hair, or lightly touching them each time you pass them casually in the house sends a signal of warmth and love, keeping the channels open. Being able to feel openly, lovingly intimate without the promise of subsequent sex creates an aura of safety. When people feel safe, they feel wide open to receive and give love, verbally, physically, and emotionally.”