Sex allows us to develop an intimate connection with our significant other, but it’s not the only way to feel close and connected. Getting close in this way is tough for some people and can take time, and that’s okay. If you’re not ready for that yet or you’re looking for ways to spice things up aside from your bedroom behavior, try out these ten ways to be intimate with a partner without going all the way. You’ll quickly discover that sex isn’t the only way to feel connected.
Keep close with cuddling. Even if you’re not ready to go all the way, it doesn’t mean your bodies can’t remain physically close. Cuddling in each other’s arms is an intimate expression. After all, you wouldn’t feel comfortable being that close to just anyone. Turn on a movie and get cozy with one another under the blankets. Rest your hand on his thigh or take his hand in yours to let him know you feel close and connected.
Find other forms of stimulation. Being intimate doesn’t just refer to intercourse. There are tons of intimate things couples can do with their clothes on and above the waist. Whether you keep things at kissing or go a little further is up to you. Do some reflection beforehand to identify what you’re comfortable with. And, of course, make sure to ask your partner what their boundaries are to make sure you’re both comfortable.
Share your deepest, darkest secrets. The emotional connection is just as important as the sexual connection. If you want to grow closer to your partner using just words, open up to them. This is a simple way to become vulnerable with someone without taking any clothes off. Wait for a private, intimate moment where you feel wholly comfortable with your significant other to share whatever is weighing on your mind.
Spend a night in the same bed. One of the best parts after a late-night romp is falling asleep in each other’s arms – but you don’t need sex for that. You’ll feel closer to your partner than ever after spending a night in the same bed cuddling. Invite him for a sleepover after you cook him a homemade meal or you binge-watch Netflix together. It doesn’t need to be planned. If the mood feels right, invite him to stay the night. But make it clear you’re not ready to go all the way so he doesn’t get the wrong impression.
Do something one-on-one. Simply spending time with each other creates a sense of intimacy that can’t be achieved by simply sleeping together. Be intentional and creative. Don’t just invite him to hang out without having anything planned. You don’t need to go over-the-top but putting in a bit of effort will show him you care about creating a connection. Find a project or hobby the two of you can share. Not only will this create a fun one-time experience, but it could become your ‘thing.’
Hold each other’s hands. Any sort of physical connection will draw the two of you together, no matter how small. That’s why holding hands is a great way to feel intimate with each other without going all the way. If you’re not used to holding hands with one another, try it out when you’re cuddling at home on the couch. Then you can move on to holding hands in public, which many people see as a bigger deal since it’s a public display of your affection for each other.
Dance in each other’s arms. Perhaps there’s nothing more romantic than slow dancing in your partner’s arms. Be spontaneous and turn on one of your favorite songs. Then invite him to dance with you. He’ll be caught off-guard by the randomness of the act, but he’ll quickly be swept up in the fun of it. You don’t need to go for a slow love song, especially if you think it’ll make things awkward. An upbeat song can create an equally intimate atmosphere as your bodies brush up against each other.
Play a round of ‘truth or dare.’ This is a great way to build your connection with no pressure. Playing a round of ‘truth or dare’ is light-hearted and fun, so it’s perfect if you’re both still awkward around one another. You can ask him the question you’ve been dying to know or impress him with your confidence by acing a dare. Just like sharing a secret, this will help develop your emotional connection and allow you to get to know each other without creating pressure or expectations.
Offer to give a massage. If you’re looking to do something sexy without going all the way, offer to give your significant other a massage. Spice it up by telling him he’ll have to remove his shirt. Of course, if he’s a gentleman, he’ll return the favor once you’re done. Being able to have skin-to-skin contact will excite the both of you, increasing anticipation for the next step, whenever that may come.
Reveal your intimate fantasies. It can be almost as fun to talk about your erotic fantasies as it is to act them out. When the timing is right, share with him what you like most in bed or what you’ve been dying to do. Not only will this make you both more comfortable with each other, but it will help him discover what you like in bed before you even get there. Just be warned, it may leave both of you hot and heavy. So, proceed with caution, especially if you’re not ready to take things to the next level.