Ask A Sex Coach-What is Intimacy? There are 4 different types of Intimacy. Part 2 of 2
Last week I talked about Emotional and Intellectual Intimacy. This week I want to talk about the other 2 types: Experiential and Spiritual Intimacy. All 4 types of intimacy discussed are as important as Physical intimacy.
When all 4 types are present in a relationship it feels amazing! Trust me! Mark and I have this in our relationship. We are very fortunate to have found one another and we work hard everyday to keep our relationship in and out of the bedroom amazing. If you are willing to do the work you can enjoy it too!
Let's move on to the 3rd and 4th types of intimacy!
3. Experiential Intimacy
Shared experiences can lead to inside jokes and private memories that deepen intimacy between you and your partner. Teamwork and moving toward a common goal while creating experiences together also establishes a feeling of closeness. This bond is a result of Experiential Intimacy.
Our memories are closely linked to our senses. An example of this would be, when I smell chocolate cake baking in the oven, I remember visiting my grandmother's house. She always baked a cake for me when I visited. Now the smell of a chocolate cake baking stimulates the memory of my grandmother.
So, if the moment was pleasurable, it prompts the same energy we experienced at that time.
Examples of Experiential Intimacy
You and your partner decide to get into better physical shape. This allows you to support and push each other toward a confidence building goal.
You and your partner enjoy cooking a meal together. You are prepping the vegetables and your partner is getting the pots and pans ready on the stove.
You both decide to go an a nice hike. Your partner is responsible for planning the route on the hike and you are responsible for packing snacks and water.
You and your partner decide to visit a city neither of you have been to before. Together you are both able to discover and explore the city for the first time.
How can you Increase Experiential intimacy?
You can plan new adventures with your partner to increase Experiential Intimacy. Plan activities you haven't done together. Or, schedule a weekly date night at your favorite restaurant so that it becomes your spot. Mark and I love to go to Never Blue in Hendersonville, NC.
Each of you has your separate experiences. You don't have to collaborate on everything, however you need to have shared experiences. With shared experiences , your intimacy is interwoven with memories and acquired knowledge of one another. It exists in multiple spaces.
4. Spiritual intimacy
Spiritual Intimacy isn't necessarily about religion. However, it can be if you are religious.
This is more about a closeness that forms when you and your partner share passionate memories together. If you are religious, praying and worshipping as a couple can qualify as that moment. There are also many other examples of Spiritual Intimacy.
Examples of Spiritual intimacy
You and your partner are at the beach and you watch the sunrise or set together, both of you marveling in the beauty.
You and your partner take a walk through the park, holding hands, enjoying the beauty of nature and each other.
You connect with your partner as you stand on top of Grandfather Mountain in awe, taking in the beauty of the mountains.
You have a discussion about your ethics, sense of purpose and personal definitions of spirituality. This deepens your understanding of each another.
You read your favorite poems to each other at night before going to bed. This helps you to relax and feel mutually attuned to one another before going to sleep.
Spiritual Intimacy allows for transcendent connection beyond logic and conscious thought. It helps to be intentional in improving this type of closeness. Although, sometimes, it can just happen in a moment. Try to find those moments. It could be as simple as looking at the moon together with your arms around one another just enjoying the beauty of it all. (This is one of our favorites)!
How can I increase spiritual intimacy?
Talk about Spirituality with your partner so each of you can discover experiences the other considers awe-inspiring. Then regularly schedule times to do things or something similar to those things.
The good thing about Spiritual Intimacy is that you don't have to exert much effort. Just create the opportunities and let the moment do the work!
What to do if you fear Intimacy?
This is not as uncommon as you might think. Many of my clients come into sessions with a fear of intimacy. Usually, they are holding onto a past experience that left them feeling hurt or disappointed.
Vulnerability is a must when achieving intimacy of any kind. This can be really scary. You have to take the risk of opening yourself up to your partner. You have to be willing to trust. Trust that your partner will see you and love you just the way you are.
Clients who are afraid of being intimate often have the desire for intimacy and the fear of being hurt or disappointed is stronger.
My advice on overcoming fear of intimacy. Start with yourself. Learn how to become intimate with yourself so you can get comfortable with how it feels.
The bottom line
The non-physical types of intimacy discussed in this blog are 4 types of intimate relationships you can have with the same person.
Healthy relationships involve relating on many different levels not just physical.
Learning to engage in open, truthful communication, as well as working to understand your partner, helps create the exquisite feeling of closeness that strengthens your relationship.
Isn't your relationship worth it? Mine certainly is.
Intimacy is not purely physical. It is the act of connecting with someone so deeply, you feel like you can see into their soul.
My love and I at Flat Rock Park. One of we like to go, enjoy the beauty of nature and always each other.
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