Getting hot and heavy can be exciting, but let's be honest—isn't it craving being the little spoon, snuggled as tightly as you can with boo, that keeps most of us tossing and turning in our beds at night? Sure, cuddling can often be an irresistible gateway to some very arousing grinding. But then there are times when it's not about getting frisky but rather about just easing into the warmth of your lover, the sweet pillow talk, and having giggling fits over inside jokes. If you're curious to explore why this feels so wonderful and how it adds to your pleasure playground, dive right in. In this piece, let's explore the joy of holding hands, heartfelt hugs, and the sheer comfort of being with someone you love. Check out our collection of personal massagers which can be used for both sexual and non-sexual intimate experiences.
What is Non-Sexual Intimacy?
Non-sexual intimacy is about those tender moments when you connect with someone in a way that's not driven by physical desire. It's the special connection and closeness you share with a loved one—this could be a partner, a friend, family, or even your pets. It's a sense of being completely at ease or in a safe space with someone, often because of a deep understanding of each other.
Non-sexual intimacy in dating is different from sexual intimacy because it emphasises emotional connection even without physical touch. It’s possible for non-sexual intimacy and sexual intimacy to lead up to each other, making both valuable aspects of your bond with bae.
Why Do We Need Non-Sexual Intimacy?
Non-sexual intimacy is the glue that binds relationships, making them richer and more fulfilling. Whether it’s a comforting hug from your bestie while you both navigate the quarter-life crisis together or playfully tickling your partner, these moments of non-sexual intimacy enhance the quality of our relationships, showing different ways in which you can connect, communicate, and bask in the pleasure of one another's company. Recognising this can help you stay conscious of the need to prioritise and nurture affection outside the bedroom and guide you to becoming a more empathetic and attentive lover.
Inviting Non-Sexual Intimacy into Our Lives
Some ways to indulge more in non-sexual intimacy are:
- Dedicating quality time: Being fully present during girls’ night or dinner dates amplifies the closeness that you experience together with friends and lovers.
- Diving Deep: Engaging in vulnerable conversations about your dreams and fears can foster a connection that goes beyond the sheets.
- Expressing Gratitude: Vocalising your appreciation for the people who bring non-sexual intimacy into your life shows that you truly cherish those moments and desire more of it. It can be as simple as, “I enjoy our daily morning coffee chats so much" or “I love how silly we can be together.”
- Embracing non-sexual physical touch: When you engage in non-sexual physical intimacy like massaging, stroking boo’s hair, or giving your ride-or-die BFF a gentle forehead kiss, it can show them how much you care and adore being with them.
While appreciating your playtime partner by tending to their kitty with LIT–our body massager designed to kiss the clit–can be a delightful way of expressing gratitude, keeping in mind their love languages can help you understand what forms of non-sexual intimacy they might crave. For instance, if they value receiving gifts, you could express your gratitude by creating a care package filled with their favourite goodies!
Expanding Our Ideas of Intimacy
When you take a step back from always equating intimacy with getting freaky, you open yourself to a world of meaningful connections. It's essential to recognise that intimacy isn’t solely reserved for your romantic or sexual partners. You can connect with different people in your life in unique ways, with each connection sparking possibilities for unique expressions of platonic intimacy.
Redefining intimacy may come more naturally to you if you identify with communities that are marginalised, like the queer, polyamorous, and disabled communities, because of ways of being and interacting with the world that go beyond conventional norms. For example, neurodivergent people describe our own version of the five love languages. One of these includes parallel play, which is when we can find enjoyment in doing separate activities while being in the presence of another person without any obligation for direct interaction. Neurodivergent people find comfort in parallel play because it acknowledges our desire for individuality and independence while also providing companionship and closeness.
Now that you’ve had a quick run-down on what non-sexual intimacy is, we hope you keep your eyes open to appreciate it more and marinate in it with your partner and loved ones to create stronger bonds that encourage you to navigate life together, hand-in-hand. And stay open to exploring intimacy and what it means to you, because it's all about owning yourself, babe!
About the Author
Anna (she/they) is a queer, neurodivergent and disabled psychologist and writer. They have always been curious about pleasure and conversations around it (and wanted to found a condom company when they were 12, because of Global North misinformed panic that the climate crisis is a consequence of overpopulation–they’ve learnt better now). They wish to contribute to a world where everyone can enjoy access to pleasure, safely and shamelessly.