We have been made to believe that sex alone is the most intimate thing in a relationship. What if we tell you there are other non-sexual ways that will make you feel more intimate and closer to your partner than a hot shower make-out episode? In fact, non-sexual intimacy can help blossom your feelings for each other into seasoned, mature love.
It is great to have amazing sex in all its dirty glory and shining pride. While sex is inarguably an important part of a relationship for many, it most certainly isn’t the be-all and end-all of a romantic connection. Sex can sustain your connection in those initial days of a relationship, but the feeling of ‘I can’t take my hands off you’ fades with time. Through the ups and downs of life, you need non-sexual ways to be intimate with your spouse or partner to carry your relationship forward.
The ability to foster intimacy without sex is the bedrock of a lasting and successful relationship. We are not saying that you shouldn’t invest your time in having passionate and amazing sex with each other. It just means that emphasis should also be placed on other ways to get intimate in your relationship, which is why we’ve made a list of some super amazing, non-sexual intimacy ideas to amp up your love life.
13 Ways To Show Affection Without Being Sexually Active
Marshal and Joyce had a heady run in the sack during the initial days of their relationship. Sex was on the table whenever they met, and it seemed as if their appetite for it was insatiable. Then, as their feelings for each other grew stronger and the relationship found a rhythm, the passionate streak lost its edge. That’s when they found themselves wondering, “Are there ways to be intimate without sex?
Sure enough, after giving it some thought, talking to friends and reading up about non-sexual acts of intimacy examples and turn-ons, they were able to find ways to connect with each other on a deeper level. Like Marshal and Joyce, you too may find yourself at a juncture where intimacy becomes a lot more than just about sex.
While it is great to have amazing, passionate sex, you can strengthen your relationship by regularly indulging in the below non-sexual intimacy touches. They won’t lead to orgasms, but will definitely make you feel a lot closer. To get started, here are 13 non-sexual intimacy ideas you can explore:
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1. The hand-in-hand stroll
Have you noticed how movies focus on holding hands and walking down a deserted lane with flowers and trees lining the sides, and an ocean breeze gently grazing the actors’ hair? While that may not be possible for us all, we can still take a short stroll holding and caressing each other’s hands and feeling good about it.
A leisurely walk, when you hold hands or wrap arms, or simply rest your head on their shoulders, can leave a beautiful, lasting feeling. It is, undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful ways to show affection without kissing or being sexually intimate. It’s one of the most effective non-sexual intimacy ideas you can apply to your relationship.
2. A kiss on the forehead
Looking for non-sexual ways to be intimate with your spouse or your partner? Well, there is no better way to cultivate intimacy without sex than with affectionate physical touches and gestures. Among these, a kiss on the forehead is a league apart.
While hot kisses are often talked about, a kiss on the forehead is enough to make your partner feel happy and safe in a second. Lean in to gently touch your partner’s forehead with your lips, or touch your partner’s neck to plant a gentle kiss. Your partner will close their eyes and bask in the moment, while you get to see their face light up.
3. Playing under the table
A relationship which doesn’t have sex as the sole focus should not be mistaken for a sexless relationship. You can still desire each other and feel your heart skip a beat by just being in your partner’s vicinity or seeing them after a long day. The question is, how do you express these feelings when not having sex?
How about some playful touches under the table while you are having a quiet dinner? Just take off your shoes and play footsie softly. No sexual connotation, just playful, soft touches without any other gesture. Don’t linger too long; just a couple of caresses and let go. This is one of the most amazing non-sexual turn-ons that will make you feel sensual and romantic.
4. Stroking the hair can be a beautiful act of non-sexual intimacy
Stroking your partner’s hair is a great way to show you care and helps in bonding, which makes it one of the most sought-after non-sexual ways to build intimacy. Everyone likes to feel loved and cared for, and ruffling your fingers through your partner’s mane will do just that. Stroking the hair is considered to be relaxing and de-stressing. It is a great way to let your partner know you love them. When you cuddle, just run your fingers over your partner’s head in a playful way.
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5. Hug your partner often, for no reason
Hugs have the power to heal, de-stress, and boost the mood. They are nurturing in nature, and give the other person a feeling of warmth, welcome, and security. One of the best non-sexual intimacy ideas you must put into practice, no matter what stage of the relationship you’re at, is to cuddle when your partner returns from work, or when they are feeling particularly stressed.
Hug your partner when you both are going through tough times – it will make them feel that you are in this together. You actually don’t need a reason to hug your partner. When you get up, while you go about your business for the day, when you see each other, anything happy, anything sad – you can hug so many times!
6. A pat or a squeeze while walking by
Now, this is not like a spank on the butt. It’s a gentle pat on the back or a squeeze of the shoulder as you cross each other in the hallway, or when you go get a glass of water from the kitchen and find your spouse washing or chopping the veggies, unaware of your presence. A gentle tap, a sudden rub – it will instantly boost your partner’s mood and fill you with a happy feeling too.
No matter how great and hot the sex is, it is these non-sexual acts of intimacy examples or gestures outside those lust-driven moments that cement your relationship. That’s why this seemingly insignificant gesture is among the habits couples in healthy relationships swear by. It is one of the best ways to be intimate with your spouse.
7. Tickle them to laughs
Well, it may get annoying at times but tickling each other for sheer fun is a great way to get to touch each other, show affection without kissing, and let some giggles and laughs follow. Tickling your partner can instantly lighten their mood and bring out a series of laughs that often end with a deep hug and a small peck.
Plus, it makes you feel happy for hours afterward. You may even end up having a pillow fight (how cute is that!) or playful wrestling on the bed after the tickling. These playful moments are a great way to connect with your partner when you’re not having sex. If you’re looking for non-sexual intimacy ideas, this is one.
8. Pull them close when they are asleep
Not when your partner is in deep slumber, but when you lay down to sleep, pull your partner toward yourself gently or push your body closer to theirs. Just let your bodies touch each other without getting sexually intimate. Touch your partner’s face with your fingers, hug them tight, and rest your legs on each other. Wrap the day with a whispered goodnight, as you find solace in each other’s arms. This is one of the most heartwarming ways to build non-sexual intimacy in a relationship.
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9. A short massage before you sleep
Ever wondered if it’s possible to feel like you’re having sex without touching each other sexually? If yes, then this is one of the must-try non-sexual intimacy ideas for you. Just before you hit the sack and call it a day, offer your partner a massage. Take your partner’s feet in your lap and gently massage them with your fingers.
It does not have to be a pressure massage, just a few gentle, circular motions to kick out exhaustion and make them feel wanted and loved. Or just give a short back massage or a shoulder rub whenever you feel like it. Your partner will feel relaxed and thankful. No matter how tired they are or how bad their day was, this small act of love will definitely wash away all their fatigue.
10. A little kiss can foster non-sexual intimacy
Have you ever wondered why you don’t kiss your partner anymore, and if you do, it is generally an act of foreplay? Kissing is a wonderful way of connecting with each other and one of the most beautiful gestures of love, even if it’s a small peck on the lips. Yeah, not talking about playful tongues here, but more casual, lovable, and totally adorable – a simple kiss.
A small peck on the lips when you wake up or before you leave for work or go to sleep is one of the most beautiful non-sexual ways to build intimacy. You both will feel good and happy about the kiss, and you can do this often without any reason whatsoever. This is among the most effective non-sexual turn-ons that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy long after the moment has passed.
11. Gaze into their eyes
If you have been dating for a long time, you would have done this for sure. Young, new couples often sit and gaze into each other’s eyes and play the blinking game. Whoever blinks first, loses the game. Not that we are telling you to keep score, but gazing into each other’s eyes will give you both an escape from all that is happening around you – even if it is just for a few seconds. You will feel like you had been missing out on this connection for a long time. It will give your relationship a new life.
12. Holding hands
Still looking for ways to show affection without kissing or build intimacy without sex? Well, holding hands is one sure-shot way. Just like that. While walking. While watching TV. While talking to each other. While sleeping. Just about anytime, anywhere. Hold each other’s hands snugly and remind yourself how well they fit into each other. Truly made to match! Ways to be intimate without sex cannot get more wholesome than this.
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13. Watching TV with head rested on their shoulders or in their lap
Another classic way to feel close to your partner and make them feel loved. While watching your favorite movie or TV show in your pajamas, just hold on to your partner’s arms and rest your head on their shoulders or chest. You may even feel like taking a nap, as comfort and warmth build around you. The scent of their body will mingle with your senses and you may inch a bit closer. It is a beautiful way to bond. Or you can rest your head on their lap, it builds a nurturing bond and allows them to caress your hair softly.
Sex cannot see you through once your honeymoon phase is over, and it cannot always be as hot and amazing as it was in the initial days. This is exactly why being adept at ways to show affection without kissing or being sexually intimate is what you need for your relationship to thrive.
Once you start bonding with each other physically and figure out non-sexual ways to build intimacy, you will notice a new wave of happiness and contentment ruling the air. We hope these non-sexual touches keep your relationship happy forever. Share with us anything else you’d like to see added to the list of non-sexual intimacy ideas!
Non-sexual intimacy does not include any sexual acts. It means getting intimate with your partner emotionally and intellectually. It also includes physical gestures like hugging, holding hands, cuddling, and more, but not sex.
There are several ways to get intimate with your partner other than having sex. Non-sexual touches include cuddling, hugging each other, resting your head on your partner’s shoulders, holding hands, touching each other’s arms or legs, kissing on the forehead, etc.
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